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.
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
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.
And each individual is obligated to seek out knowledge of God and the messengers He sent to guide us back to Him.
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.
And 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.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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