I’m a Christian Mother and My Baby Will Be a Muslim

16 March, 2019
Q I am back to my country now and will have a baby in few weeks. The father of the child is a Tunisian Muslim. Now we don't have any communication anymore. My question is, what will be my stand to this? What name should I give my daughter, and deep inside, I really wanted to fix the relationship of my daughter and her father.

What should I do? Or what action should I take? I understand that the religion of my child will be Islam and I don't really have a problem with that because even though I am a Christian, I have little knowledge about Islam. The majority of my friends are Muslims and they have the most genuine hearts. Please send me some advice. Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.

Answer

In this counseling answer:

“Raising children Islamically is a difficult mission for Muslim Parents, What about a single Christian mother, the counselor advises the questioner that she has to give her baby his/her father’s last name. And also it would be great to learn more about Islam and read the Quran.  There are many good books out there about Islam. But the counselor assure to not read stuff written by non-Muslims or by Muslims writing about Islamic Law to not be confused and misleading!”


Wa ‘alaikum Salaam,

Wow! Bless your heart for being willing to raise your child as a Muslim even though you are a Christian still.

I am sorry about your separation from your child’s father!  It is always sad when a family is broken up, but, sometimes it is, nonetheless, for the best. It sounds to me like the father of your unborn baby is not a very good Muslim; he got you pregnant outside of marriage and is not being an absentee father. I am so glad that your other Muslim friends have set a better example for you of the character of a Muslim then your baby’s father!

So, let me start from the beginning, InShaAllah (Allah Willing): Yes! You should give your baby his/her father’s last name for 3 important reasons:

*Genealogy (to trace who is his/her brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc… so no one marries someone who is their sibling or close blood relative (it causes birth defects)

*Spirituality (marrying your direct blood relatives is forbidden in both Islam and Christianity)

*Emotionally (everyone needs to “belong” except Allah, Who is The Only One Who Is “One”, i.e., we need to interact with people for survival, both physical and emotional, and we need to interact with Allah to survive spiritually, the first place where Allah provides for us for this belonging is our parents, we also need safety and love, which is what that “belonging” is supposed to supply – along with physical survival) So, even though your baby’s father has abandoned his baby, he may change and the child, as they mature, may want to know his/her father—and they may help his/her father change.

I'm a Christian Mother and My Baby Will Be a Muslim - About Islam

As regards learning about Islam, read The Quran. So many people have become Muslim simply because of the beauty and insight of the Quran, they realize that it cannot be a manmade book! However, some people have been confused by the Quran and it did not have that effect on them. In which case, there are many good books out there about Islam. There is an excellent pamphlet put out by Saudi Arabia called “Islam, the Misunderstood Religion”. Also, “What Everyone Should Know about Islam and Muslims” is good too.

Don’t read stuff written by non-Muslims or by Muslims writing about Islamic Law – that could be misleading to a person who is new to the study of Islam – because Islam is not about its rules first – first and foremost, Islam is about “tawheed” one God, the creator (not a human being or status or money, etc.). This truth about Islam is supported by the fact that tawheed was revealed first, not the laws of Islam.

The laws were revealed over a 23-year period in answer to problems faced by the Prophet (Peace on him) as he struggled against great odds to spread the message of Islam, i.e., Tawheed. So, that means, be understanding with yourself. Maybe you won’t understand Islam hook, line, and sinker (so to speak) at first, or all at once or you won’t be able to do it all at once, if you decide you be a Muslim. You too will need to learn and grow gradually.

This truth about Islam is supported by the fact that tawheed was revealed first, not the laws of Islam. The laws were revealed over a 23-year period in answer to problems faced by the Prophet (saws) as he struggled against great odds to spread the message of Islam, i.e., tawheed. So, that means, be understanding with yourself. Maybe you won’t understand Islam hook, line, and sinker (so to speak) at first, or all at once or you won’t be able to do it all at once if you decide you be a Muslim. You too will need to learn and grow gradually.

I know one woman who has driven away from Islam because, when she went to the mosque to learn, she was told that she could not wear fingernail polish (which is true because when you wash for prayer the water needs to touch your fingernails and it can’t if you have fingernail polish on). But, that make her not want to be Muslim because that did not make any sense to her, because it has little to do with why we are Muslim, we are not Muslim because we can’t wear fingernail polish (and, by the way, we can when we don’t have to wash for prayer!)!

That is why I don’t talk about rules like that until the person knows the “reason” for Islam in the first place. Even things that are very important in Islam, like salah (our form of prayer) and hijab (women covering their hair and chests with an over-garment) were not revealed early on (salah was revealed in the tenth year and hijab in the 20th year)

So, that means to that we are supposed to take it easy and talk about Allah first, and talk about what Allah talked about first: tawheed, belief in the creator as one and all the ins and outs of what that means, like tawakal (depending on Allah in hardship and ease),  Ihsan (awareness of Allah watching you even though you can’t see him), and taqwa (love and fear of Allah so that you want to do the right thing to earn Allah’s pleasure and reward, and to avoid sins, i.e., hurting people, stealing (the 10-commandments, basically), to avoid Allah’s displeasure and punishment), and Iman (belief in Allah, and all his messengers (including Jesus – as a person, not a “god”) and the world of the unseen (angels, the Next Life, )). You get my point?

I hope this helps and May Allah Make it easy for you and I hope you have a healthy, faithful baby, InShaAllah

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem
Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem, an American, has a BA in English from UC Berkeley
and is about to receive an MS degree in counseling psychology
(Marriage and Family Therapy - MFT) from the Western Institute for Social Research.
For over ten years, Nasira worked as a psychotherapist with the general public and in addiction recovery.

For the last few years, she has been a life coach specializing in
interpersonal relations.
Nasira also consults with her many family members who studied Islam overseas and returned to America to be Imams and teachers of Islam. Muslims often ask Nasira what psychology has to do with Islam. To this, she replies that Islam is the manifestation of a correct understanding of our psychology. Therapists and life coaches help clients figure out how to traverse the path of life as a Believer, i.e., "from darkness into light", based on Islam and given that that path is an obstacle course, according to Allah.