It is a reality of our multi-faith world that sometimes people abandon the religion in which they were raised in order to give allegiance to a new religious faith. When this happens in families it can put serious strain on relationships. I was pleased to learn of a new book that addresses this challenge in the context of a young Christian woman who became a Muslim and how she and her mother have worked through the resulting issues. The book is Undivided: A Muslim Daughter, Her Christian Mother, Their Path to Peace (Thomas Nelson, 2015). You can read an interview with the two at Religion News Service. Here is the book's description online:
"Mom, I have something I need to tell you..."
They didn't talk. Not for ten years. Not about faith anyway. Instead, a mother and daughter tiptoed with pain around the deepest gulf in their lives - the daughter's choice to leave the church, convert to Islam and become a practicing Muslim. Undivided is a real-time story of healing and understanding with alternating narratives from each as they struggle to learn how to love each other in a whole new way.
Written with rare honesty and striking transparency, Undivided opens a door on the lives of an American Islamic convert, Alana Raybon, a dedicated educator, and her devout Christian mother, Patricia Raybon, an award-winning author, as they struggle to reconcile and heal their family divided by faith.
An important work for parents whose adult children have left the family's belief system, it will help those same children as they wrestle to better understand their parents.
For anyone troubled by the broader tensions between Islam and the West, this personal story distills this friction into the context of a family relationship--a journey all the more fascinating. While a conversation is desperately needed in America between Christians and Muslims, Undivided offers a real-time conversation to follow.
Undivided is a tremendously important book for our time. Will Patricia be able to fully trust in the Christ who "holds all things together?"
Will Alana's love for God cause her to become an outcast to her family--or provide a path that leads her back home? And can they answer the question that both want desperately to experience: "Can we make our torn family whole again?"