Bringing Up Muslim Children in the West: How?
Name of Questioner: Magdy
Date: 10-2-2016 03:58:55 PM
Consultant: Ask about Islam Editorial Staff
How do we as Muslims living in the West maintain an Islamic education for our children? Primary and secondary education up to the age of 15/16 may be provided in Muslim schools (which are also very expensive) but as for higher education, there is no such Islamic Institute. Even on the secondary school level on the agenda of curriculum, we do not have books that deal with the branches of knowledge that are available in secular institutes, such as Political science, Sociology, Psychology, Pedagogy. Please give me some advice on how we should go regarding bringing about an Islamic education system for our youth in the West (bearing in mind that it is near impossible for us to migrate to Arab/Muslim countries because of the restrictions on immigration etc.)
Salam dear questioner,
Thank you for your question. May Allah help you in these pressing conditions! Actually living in a country with non-Muslim majorities involves great religious dangers that one has to exert constant efforts to be able to come up with them. Below are some of the recommendations given by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid in this concern:
In order to preserve the structure of the Muslim family in the non-Muslim countries, we need to meet a number of conditions and requirements, both within the home and outside it:
Within the home:
- It is essential for parents to uphold the habit of praying regularly in the mosque with their children; if there is no mosque nearby, then they should pray in congregation at home.
- They have to read Quran and listen to its recitation daily.
- They should eat meals together.
- They should speak in the language of the Quran as much as they can.
- They should uphold the good manners prescribed by Allah for families and in social settings; these include those that are to be found in Surat An-Nur.
- They should not let themselves or their children watch immoral and corrupt movies and shows.
- Their children have to sleep at home and should stay home as much as possible, to protect them from the influences of the bad environment outside.
- They should avoid sending their children to universities far from home where they would have to stay in university accommodation, otherwise we will lose our children, who will be assimilated into the non-Muslim society.
- We have to be careful to eat only halal (lawful) food and the parents should avoid using all kinds of haram (unlawful) things such as cigarettes, marijuana and other things which are widely available in non-Muslim countries.
Outside the home:
- They should send our children to Islamic schools from kindergarten to the end of secondary school (high school).
- They should also send them to the mosque as much as possible, to pray Jumu`ah (Friday prayers) and other prayers in congregation, and to attend lectures, and the Quran and religious knowledge circles.
- They should establish educational and sporting activities for children and youth in places that are supervised by Muslims.
- Organizing educational camps where all members of the family can go.
- Fathers and mothers should strive to go to the Sacred Places to perform the rituals of `Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage)and the obligation of Hajj (pilgrimage), accompanied by their children.
- Training children to speak about Islam in simple language which adults and children, Muslim and non-Muslim, can understand.
- Training children to memorize Quran and sending some of them – if possible – to a Muslim Arab country so that they can gain an understanding of the religion, then come back to be da`iyahs (callers to Islam) who are equipped with knowledge of Islam and the language of the Quran.
- Training some of our sons to give Jumu`ah Khutbahs (Friday sermons), and to lead the Muslims in prayer, so that they will become leaders of the Muslim community.
- Encouraging the youth to marry early so as to protect their religious and worldly interests.
- They have to encourage them to marry Muslim girls from families who are known for their religious commitment and good attitudes.
- Not attending parties where there is dancing, music and singing, or joining in celebrations of immorality.