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She is concealing her conversion to Islam from her family, and they force her to prostrate to their idols; what should she do?


Publication : 30-01-2023

Views : 8797


I am a revert and accepted Islam, But the problem is I am financially not independent and my parents don't know that I practice Islam. my family forced me to prostrate before idols and I did it because I cannot tell them otherwise they will throw me out of the house. also, I don't have any female friends except a male colleague, I am not telling you this now because of Islamophobia in my society, I have siblings and their studies and life may get affected, my parents are suffering from disease, plus we have nuclear family, my father is the only working member and we don't have a stable income source, I am studying so that I can help my parents financially. 1. Should I tell them about my religion? 2. If no how to protect myself from doing shirk? if I don't tell them they will again force me to do, sometimes they tell me to do worship and as there are upcoming festivals in January and later in other months also, I couldn't give an excuse of periods,I don't have friends even to whom I can go neither do I earn that I leave this place. CAN YOU GIVE me ideas at least to protect myself from committing shirk( as there is a ritual of prostration just similar like sujood in some of the worship, i am).


Praise be to Allah.


We congratulate you, our sister, for Allah having guided you to Islam, and we ask Allah to bless you with His care and support, and to make you steadfast. We appreciate what you are going through of major challenges, and we understand very well the great impact that they have on you and what they are causing you of distress. We hope that Allah will give you the strength to overcome these challenges, and will reward you immensely for all that you are going through.


Undoubtedly it is important to plan strategically to live independently and have financial independence, and that should be among your future goals. As you are studying in order to be able to help your mother, that (i.e., continuing your studies) should be one of your plans, so that you will be able to support yourself (by working after you graduate) in a place far away from your family’s supervision and pressure. Undoubtedly there are some details of your situation of which we are not aware, and we cannot say that you should do such and such, or not do such and such, in precise terms.

We can only say that complete freedom to practice your religion and perform the obligatory acts of worship, and keep away from family pressure and the challenges of concealing your religion, is something that you must begin to plan to attain, even if the plans are slow and will only be achieved in the long term.


One of the important tricks that have been used by people in circumstances similar to yours is that they started by claiming that they were losing interest in [their former] religion and its rituals, because families usually react violently to a change of religion, but their reaction is less serious if their daughter pretends to have lost interest in [their] religion and its rituals.

We do not know precisely how successful this trick will be in your case, but we suggest that you can try it.


With regard to the issue of prostrating, there is a permissible way out that may be suggested so that you can pass this terrible and painful test. This is by doing this prostration when you are forced to do it, but you can intend in your heart that you are prostrating to Allah, may He be glorified. Thus it will be a prostration to Allah in front of the idol, but it will not be a prostration to the idol.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: Outward actions that constitute disbelief, such as prostrating to idols and reviling the Messenger, and the like, are disallowed because they are indicative of inward disbelief.

But if it so happens that a person prostrated in front of an idol but he did not intend in his heart to prostrate to it – rather he intended in his heart to prostrate to Allah – then it does not constitute disbelief, and that may be permitted if a person is living among polytheists and fears for his life, so he goes along with them in outward actions, intending in his heart to prostrate to Allah. This is like what was narrated, that some of the scholars of the Muslims and scholars of the People of the Book did that with some people who were polytheists, then they called them to Islam and those people became Muslim as a result; they did not show that they were different from them in the beginning."(Majmu‘ al-Fatawa  14/120).

So if you are compelled to do this prostration, let your intention be that it is prostration to Allah, and the fact that the idol is present in the place where you are prostrating to Allah will not harm you, and neither will their thinking that you are prostrating to their idol, so long as you are in these extenuating circumstances. We ask Allah to grant you relief soon, and a way out from this environment that is hostile to your religion.

Whatever the case, you should understand that so long as your heart is at peace with faith and comfortable with it, there is no blame on you for anything that you say or do under compulsion, and that will not affect the soundness of your faith. This is a great concession granted by the Lord of the Worlds, the Most Merciful of those who show mercy, to the weak and oppressed among His slaves, those who have no control over their affairs. So if they find themselves doing some practices of disbelief under pressure from the disbelievers who are forcing them to do that, they do not become disbelievers or go beyond the bounds of Islam, and they are not sinning by doing such things. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{Whoever disbelieves in Allah after his belief... except for one who is forced [to renounce his religion] while his heart is secure in faith. But those who [willingly] open their hearts to disbelief, upon them is wrath from Allah, and for them is a great punishment} [an-Nahl 16:106].

For more information on this topic, please see the answer to question no. 150748 .


As you now realise, there is no blame on you if your family put pressure on you to prostrate to their idols or to join them in any of their rituals of disbelief. There is no blame on you if you do as much of that as will ward off their harm from you, and will protect you from their persecution, so that they will not become suspicious about your having become Muslim.

In that case, what we advise you to do – and we do not see any other solution right now – is not to tell any of them about your religion, because they will not compromise with you and they will not accept your situation, especially in your society, which is very hostile towards Islam and Muslims.

Therefore you must take precautions by doing your acts of worship and rituals of your religion in secret, away from their gaze, and whatever you are unable to do because you are being watched by your disbelieving family or your community that is hostile towards you and your religion, there is no blame on you regarding that, and that obligation is waived in your case, for Allah does not burden any soul with more than it can bear.

In the answer to question no. 324751 , we said to a new Muslim woman who persecution:

What you must do is do whatever you are able to of that, without exposing yourself to trouble or persecution, until Allah grants you relief and a way out.

Whatever you are able to do in secret of prayers and other acts of worship, do it.

Whatever you are unable to do of that, then Allah is Oft-Pardoning, Most Generous; He has commanded His slaves to do whatever of His commands and acts of worship they are able to do, and He has not obliged them to do that which they are unable to do.

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{So fear Allah as much as you are able} [at-Taghabun 64:16]

{The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” And they say, “We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.”

Allah does not burden any soul with more than it can bear. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.”} [al-Baqarah 2:285-286].

We have also previously given advice in several questions to people who have gone through the same situation as you, which you should read so that you can learn how to conduct yourself in your current, difficult circumstances. Please see the answer to question no. 192411 .

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A