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Muslim Father, Catholic Mother: What About the Child?

Questioner

A (27_female_Philippines)

Reply Date

Apr 16, 2018

Question

Salam, I am from the Philippines. I am married to a Muslim guy. I just wanted to know because my parents have been asking me about this also: does my child have the right to choose what religion he wants to practice? Should he be taught both of our religions and have him choose which one he wants to follow when he's the right age? I'm a Catholic and my husband is a Muslim.

I am open-minded, liberated as they say, and I only want the best for my child, which would be every mother’s wish for her children. I wanted to know if my child would have a choice what religion to follow. Thank you so much and hoping for your reply soon.

Counselor

Answer


In this counseling answer:

“Islam is seen as the synthesis of all prior revealed religions. This does not mean that you cannot tell the children about your way of life and your religion; however, they should still be raised according to Islamic guidelines. I am sure that once you spend some time looking over Islamic guidelines you will see that it emphasizes what is best for your children from conception throughout their lives.”


As-salamu `Alaikom,

We thank you for your trust in us to seek clarification regarding your current situation.

In Islam, one of the requirements of a mixed marriage is that the mother is allowed to follow her own religious practice but the children are to be raised as Muslims. I can understand your concern as a mother and understand from your heart that you would naturally want what is best for your children.

An Islamic upbringing will not devalue your children’s belief in Christ and the second coming of Jesus; rather such an upbringing should serve to strengthen such beliefs, for they are a main part of the Islamic belief system as well.

Also, Islam dictates that the children be raised as Muslims is to relieve the stress that they may endure in a dual-religion home.

At times, it can be extremely difficult for children to understand why their parents are doing different things. Not only does this become a source of tension and confusion, but children can also feel trapped in a difficult family situation. It is important that the home environment is tranquil so as to allow the children to develop in the best possible environment for their benefit in this life and the next.

Islam is seen as the synthesis of all prior revealed religions. This does not mean that you cannot tell the children about your way of life and your religion; however, they should still be raised according to Islamic guidelines. I am sure that once you spend some time looking over Islamic guidelines you will see that it emphasizes what is best for your children from conception throughout their lives.

The children will naturally know and be exposed to your life and religion as well. When the children are old enough, they will be wise enough to choose for themselves.

You have been open-minded with your husband and so I encourage you to explore Islamic child-rearing practices and the Islamic belief system.

I am sure that within it, you will find that it truly will teach your children how to understand and accept differences of faith of all people and to become God-fearing and righteous individuals who would advocate for justice for all people regardless of faith, color or creed.

Salam

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. If you feel you are going to harm yourself, or harm someone else, please seek immediate help by calling your country’s international hotline! In no event shall About Islam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides.

Read more:

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About Jeewan Chanicka

Jeewan Chanicka is from Toronto, Canada, and has been involved in working with youth, education, and social services issues since 1993. He graduated with a bachelor's degree with honors in individualized studies at York University with a focus on conflict resolution and culturally appropriate forms of mediation. He has done much work with both youth and adults, especially around parenting, teenage and youth issues, and bridging the gap between generations.

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