My Family’s Response To Me Leaving Islam

I get asked this question a lot, “What was your family’s response to you leaving Islam?”

So here is my answer.

Family outing by Stanley Zimney

In summary, I am very lucky to have a loving tolerant family.  And my personality is like an open-book, so I could not hide my disbelief. I had to tell everyone.

My dad, he was an Ismaili, and he was a very liberal tolerant easygoing guy.  He was hurt but actually had no problem when I left Ismailism to become Sunni Muslim. He told me “However you wish to worship God is your own choice.” He did used to caution me about being too religious, missing out on life due to strict religious doctrine and all that, but he said whatever made me happy made him happy.  He was a wonderful dad.

He strongly believed in God, and Aga Khan (The Imam or Leader of Ismailism) but was very skeptical about the nature of God and the hereafter. He used to joke “How do you know God isn’t a black man?” (meaning dont try to tell me this and that about God) and “I want to go to hell with all the naughty girls”.  He used to believe that God was in everything, in the flowers in nature etc..

When I told him I was atheist, he was okay with that too.  No problem

My mom is a Sunni Muslim, but she is also very tolerant, quite liberal, and I had no issue with me leaving Islam, but she did caution me that the belief in God can be quite helpful when you are in trouble and need help.

I have one brother. He converted to Sunni Islam one year after me due to my dawah (preaching) and insistence that this is the truth did not agree with me leaving Islam.  He suggested I speak to an imam but we did not personally discuss my reasons for leaving the religion and we have never discussed it.

My wife was a practicing Muslim and I was cautious, as I knew that she would be pressured by the religion and by others to leave me, since I was an apostate.  Thankfully that did not happen, we were able to live together in peace despite our differences.    We have many discussions and try to learn from each other.

My kids, well I will let them decide for themselves what to follow.  I highly doubt there is any reason they will follow Islam after seeing their father who was so religious and then left the religion completely continue to follow it. In my opinion the reasons for not believing are much stronger than believing.  They are quite happy that I am no longer such a strict religious dad, and from their perspective those rituals were difficult and cumbersome anyway.  I am perfectly fine if they want to be Muslim or whatever they want to be. I will teach them to be skeptical about all claims and to investigate the evidence.  Take a look at this video called “Grooming Minds” on why this is important.

You are welcome to ask questions, but for my family’s privacy I may not answer them.

Reflections on my dad’s passing:

This video is an interview with my wife:

And here is how my community responded to me leaving Islam:

14 thoughts on “My Family’s Response To Me Leaving Islam

  1. Wow you are super courageous ! Hopefully your family will be able to more forward in a happy and healthy way, whatever that may be for them. Your informative videos will be helpful for helping them learn more about Islam.

  2. Your story is fascinating and inspiring for me as a convert to Islam recovering from religion. My question is whether your wife is a convert; if yes, did she convert under your influence or before you met her? Have her views changed since you have become an atheist? Thank you)

    1. Hi there. Yes, she converted to Islam before she met me from some friends. She is less religious now because together we both encouraged each other, but now that I left Islam, she obviously is on her own to find motivation.

  3. Abdullah Sameer, I commend you for your bravery. You are a wonderful example to many on HOW to think for yourself. I would like to ask you, how do you feel about our Prime Minister’s attempts to protect Muslims from non Muslims who have examined Islam and reject it by imposing laws to silence them?

      1. Your views are baseless, off and have a twisted thought. In my opinion you are a munaafiq … If the book Allah was written and made by man anoozu billah then know that you are also a man . Why don’t you create a book or even are Surah like it. This is an open challenge from Allah. Go and make istighfaar and you still have doubts then contact The Majlis from P.E … you will find them on the net when you look for them. You also seem to have a lot of pride ….

  4. I think you already internalized the liberal attitude from your parents since childhood. When our parents are not practicing orthodox Muslims, the chances are quite high to become secularized in today’s world about which our Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said: A person will be a believer in the morning and an unbeliever in the evening in those challenging days.

  5. A slightly different question: how did your parents balance their marriage as they were from two different sects? What kept it together and how did they find compromise amongst one another as well as both sides of their families?

  6. hey there, hope u all r doing well, long story about zam zam water? what kind of water is it then? hope u can make a video of it, thanks a lot.

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