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Baptized Catholic As a Child: Am I Still A Muslim?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Dec 08, 2017

Question

Selam, I was born from a Muslim father and catholic mother and by birth I am aware I was Muslim although at the age of 2 my mother baptized me and proceeded with my communion. Even though I did not have a say in this decision does that mean I lost my faith with Islam and do I have to revert to Islam or am I still considered a Muslim?

Consultant

Answer


baptized catholic

Short Answer: It depends on your heart. Your mother having baptized you and making you take the communion does not necessarily mean that you are a Catholic. God does not hold you accountable, especially since you were a child, for your mother having you baptized and receiving communion. We do not inherit our faith from our parents, we choose to practice it or not.


Salam (Peace),

Thank you for sending in your question to Ask About Islam.

First, I think it will be a tremendous help to us to define what it means to be a Muslim.

A Muslim is simply one who submits his or her free will to the overarching Will of God, acknowledging that God is One.

To become a Muslim all one must do is state in front of witnesses: “I testify that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is God’s messenger.”

This, as you may already know, is called the shahada or the testament of faith.

Whether you must make this statement of faith if front of witnesses (as your question does not make it clear if you have made this declaration) depends on if you yourself, of your free will as an adult, have converted to a faith other than Islam or not.

Children Are Not Accountable For Their Actions

Your mother having baptized you and making you take the communion does not necessarily mean that you are a Catholic.

And this is two reasons:

1- Allah does not hold us responsible for the actions of others and

2- He does not hold a child responsible for his or her actions.

It is only with full maturity and with the forethought of intention that we are judged.

Allah says in the Quran:

Whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul. And whoever errs only errs against it. And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And never would We punish until We sent a messenger. (Quran 17:15) [emphasis added]

God does not hold you accountable, especially since you were a child, for your mother having you baptized and receiving communion.

Also, these actions have no bearing on what faith you are. No one can make another person belong to a faith.

We Choose Our Faith, Not Our Parents

The word faith itself connotes a feeling and belief that reside in the heart, this can never be forced, just like we cannot force love into someone’s heart. If you believe in Islam, then you are a Muslim.

Similarly, we are not from a certain faith simply because our parent(s) ascribe to that faith.

Faith is not hereditary like eye color or height.

Prophet Abraham’s father was an idol worshiper. Prophet Muhammad’s parents were pagans.

And neither of these men inherited their parents’ faith. Each made a conscious decision to submit his will to God’s Will.

Each individual has a choice.

Each individual is obligated to seek out knowledge of God and the messengers He sent to guide us back to Him.

Conclusion

You are a Muslim if you, as an adult, believe in the oneness of Allah and submit your will to His. If you believe this, then you can say of your own free will and with full conviction, the shahadah (for the first time or not), to testify to this fact.

If you feel in your heart that you are a Muslim and have always been, then your testament of faith will only be an action to introduce you to the community.

If you are already in the Muslim community and practicing Islam, you can rest assured your mother’s actions do no change that.

May Allah guide us all back to Him.

I hope this answers your question. If you have any further question please do not hesitate to ask.

Salam. 


(From AboutIslam’s archives)

Read more…

Can I Let My Kids Choose Their Religion?

How to Revert to Islam?

Is Islam a Religion, Culture, Nationality or Ethnicity?

What Are The True Teachings of Islam? Part 1




About Theresa Corbin

Theresa Corbin is the author of The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book and co-author of The New Muslim’s Field Guide. Corbin is a French-creole American and Muslimah who converted in 2001. She holds a BA in English Lit and is a writer, editor, and graphic artist who focuses on themes of conversion to Islam, Islamophobia, women's issues, and bridging gaps between peoples of different faiths and cultures. She is a regular contributor for AboutIslam.net and Al Jumuah magazine. Her work has also been featured on CNN and Washington Post, among other publications. Visit her blog, islamwich, where she discusses the intersection of culture and religion.

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