Muslim Child Indoctrination

Muslim Child Indoctrination

Question: Some people say children should be left to make up their own minds about religion. Do you agree?

ABDUL RASHID is a member of the Ottawa Muslim community, the Christian-Muslim Dialogue and the Capital Region Interfaith Council.

When Prophet Abraham had to leave his birth place, he prayed for a child: “O my Lord! Bestow upon me a gift of the righteous” (37.100). Later, Prophet Zachariah cried out in old age, “O my Lord! Leave me not without offspring though Thou art the best of inheritors” (21.89).

A child is a precious and delightful gift bestowed on us by our Creator, but it is also a trust that entails certain obligations on our part. Protection and nourishment of the offspring is common to all animals. The distinction of human beings lies in their moral consciousness. It is this unique human faculty that parents must develop through example and instruction.

We are fortunate to live in a country where it is easy to discharge parental responsibility for health and education of children irrespective of our financial position. This allows us to devote our efforts toward the much more important task of raising children who will not only be efficient and productive members of the society in an economic sense, but who will also strengthen the moral fibre of the society.

Faith or religion has three mutually reinforcing aspects. It inculcates certain beliefs, prescribes certain worship practices and, finally, promotes righteous behaviour consistent with faith and worship.

These teachings are based on the value system of the religion. It is a major function of parents to inculcate these moral values in their children, first by their own example and then through formal teaching.

Parents want to do the best for their children. Faith is not just a matter of belief and worship; it is contains a moral code par excellent. To most parents, faith is an important source of both receiving good and doing good.

It will indeed be irresponsible to leave children in a vacuum on this aspect of life.

Religious Opinion

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