Can a Muslim Be a Godfather to a Christian Boy?
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Can a Muslim Be a Godfather to a Christian Boy?



Reply Date

Jan 11, 2018


I am a Tunisian French Muslim married to a converted French national. My husband’s sister who is Catholic is going to have a child soon. My husband, in attempt to make his sister happy, is willing to be a godfather for this child according to the French culture! I told my husband that a Muslim is not allowed to do such a thing in Islam. He told me that it will be only administrative and not religious issue. He said that he will do it only at the French administration “municipality” and not at the church as France is a laïque country. I still don’t feel comfortable with the idea as I do believe that the role of a godfather in Christianity is to lead the child and guide him in his religion and culture. I do agree that a Muslim is always encouraged to be generous with all people and to be helpful to all needy people regardless of their beliefs; but my concern today is that my husband is going to be officially a godfather to a non-Muslim child which is, I believe, unaccepted in our religion due to the consequences that will rise in the future. Moreover, we have two children who see us like models and I fear that they will copy us in the future and will look forward to do the same thing with other non-Muslim children making this as a new-Muslim habit! Also, I fear the upcoming MORAL obligations in the future resulting from this child’s life! Please, do help us with what Islam says about this.



Can a Muslim Be a Godfather to a Christian Boy?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

1- If he is required to take any religious responsibility, such as baptizing or the like, he should not do so.

2- If he is expected to maintain the child or provide him if he is in need, then it’s not objectionable.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

According to the best of my understanding, the concept of a godfather varies from a culture to another. It sometimes it involves responsibilities of baptizing and religious initiation and associated rites.

While, in some cultures, it does not involve any of the above; rather it is simply acting like a mentor or a big brother to the child.

Therefore, your husband needs to find out what is expected of him if he were to take on this responsibility. If it involves the former, as a Muslim, he cannot take on such responsibilities. If not, he is expected to serve as a mentor or guardian for the child in cases of the sudden demise of his parents, then it is up to him to choose it. There is nothing objectionable about it.

So, I advise your husband to find out the specifics before making such a commitment.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.


About Sheikh Ahmad Kutty

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty is a Senior Lecturer and an Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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