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Is it acceptable in Islam to convert in secret from one’s parents, especially if it is a female individual?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Darulifta-Deoband.com
We are writing this email to you as we are in utter distress. My husband and I both are born Muslims (Alhamdulillah) from India and are currently residing in the UAE. We have a grownup daughter who had gone to Canada for higher studies. There she met one Sikh boy and they decided to get married; now our daughter is asking our permission. The girl is 23 years of age and the boy is 27. Both are having good jobs in their respective country of residences. Facts: The boy is ready to accept Islam before getting married to the girl. The boy is ready to come to the UAE to revert to Islam, learn everything and get married as per the Muslim tradition. (Nikah) The conversion is going to be kept secret from the boys parents. Currently the boys parents are ready to accept a Muslim girl as their daughter-in-law. After the wedding the girl will be living with the boy and his parents in the same house. The boys parents do not have any objection to the girl following her faith in their house. The boy will be following/practicing Islam in secrecy. The boy is their only male child so he cannot abandon them to live separately with the girl. As the girls parents we met the boy and his family. The boy is very nice and sincere and is promising that he would follow the new faith and will keep our daughter happy. The parents are also very nice also said that they have no issues if the girl is going to continue to keep her faith after marrying their boy. But they do not wish their son to change his faith. Issues: (2) Is it correct for an individual to revert to Islam in secrecy of his parents and especially for a girl? (3) Will the boy be able to practice Islam in that house? (4) What will be the fate of their children? (5) The boy is promising us that their children will follow the faith of the mother (Islam) and not of the paternal grandparents (Sikhism). (6) Dilemma: If we give our consent to this marriage then we will be taking a big risk by allowing our daughter to spend the rest of her life with a threat of the boy going back to his old faith (7) If we say no then we are afraid of stopping/denying an individual to embrace Islam. We are requesting you to kindly guide us with either Fatwa or advise so as to make the decision easy for us. As we love our daughter like all parents; we are trying to work a way for her happiness. Kindly treat this matter as URGENT and reply as soon as possible.


(Fatwa: 204/175=D)

If any person accepts Islam wholeheartedly with true intention and starts practicing Islam he will be considered a Muslim and his actions will be accepted in the eyes of Shariah even if he is forced to hide his iman (faith) due to any problem. (2) Expressing ones intention to accept Islam just in order to marry a girl is doubtful. It is necessary to get satisfaction about his iman before having the delicate and tender relation of nikah with him. (3) If he is strong enough in his iman then he can do, but practically he will face difficulties. (4) If he converts to Islam truly, starts practicing Islam and you are satisfied by his Islam and marry your daughter to him then the husband and wife will be Muslims and their children also will be Muslims. (5) This is something suspecting, seemingly he is differentiating between the faith of him and his wife. With this difference the nikah will not be valid. (6) The danger you apprehend is quite important and difficult to cast aside easily. It is essential to be satisfied about the iman of the boy, which is under suspicion here. Moreover, the girl will stay with the parents of the boy who are Sikh; this will naturally have effect on the beliefs and actions of the girl. The same effects will necessarily be transferred to her children. It is extremely serious matter to endanger ones valuable asset like iman and the iman of the children. This must be deliberated thoroughly again and again. (7) Islam is above the greed of woman and wealth; if he is embracing Islam for the sake marriage (otherwise he will not convert to Islam) then you should think twice to rely such a greedy iman. If your conscience does not allow you, you will not be sinful and you will not be considered a hindrance in his way of accepting Islam.

Allah (Subhana Wa Ta’ala) knows Best

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

This answer was collected from the official ifta website of Darul Uloom Deoband in India.

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