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I Let My Child Choose His Own Religion. Here’s Why

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When a baby is born, his religion and faith is automatically determined as per the beliefs of his or her parents. The newborn does not have a say in deciding this important part of his identity and later in their lives, the children have to defend something they did not choose for themselves.

In our part of the world, religion is considered a ‘sensitive’ topic and every kind of open discussion on religious practices is not only discouraged but also punished. Having an open mind and questioning religious customs is not possible because in doing so you cross a red line set by humans who routinely misinterpret religious teachings.

Islam does not discourage critical thinking, but the followers of this beautiful religion have made it a crime to think differently and ask questions. If, for instance, one is unable to understand the rationale of a particular religious command, the right thing to do is to consult a religious scholar and ask them to elaborate on it. But the mere thought of not ‘understanding’ an Islamic concept is disallowed and people turn hostile towards the person asking questions.

When I became a mother seven years ago, I decided to let my son choose his own religion. My husband and I belong to the Sunni sect of Islam and are practicing Muslims. But I have taught my son to make his own decision. On his fifth birthday last year as a relative suggested that we should hire a Qari sahib (Quran teacher) for him, I straightforwardly told him that we were not going to do any of that. I won’t teach my son something he cannot even digest at such a young age. I have seen people making their little children learn the Quran by heart in order for them to boast about their ‘hafiz’ status. But how many of these children actually understand what they memorise in the Quran?

I am therefore firm on my belief that my child will be taught religion only when he is young enough to understand what it all means so he can make his own decision. If he chooses Islam as his religion, I would be delighted. But I will still love my child with all my heart if he chooses a religion different than mine. We need to give our children this liberty and let them choose their own religion.

I recently had a conversation with my child about faith and am glad that he is clear-headed about his views on religion. Contrary to popular belief, this critical thinking skills that I am trying to instill in him have not made him a rebellious child. He is ever so obedient and knows the difference between right and wrong which a child his age ought to know.

The notion that without religion one cannot be on the right path is absurd. If you are being a good person just because you fear hell, then you are not actually a good human. I have taught my child the difference between right and wrong without trying to instill a fear of hell and destruction in his mind. When he grows up and is old enough to make his decision, I will support him all the way.

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4 Comments

  1. Sabiha Shaheen May 18, 2020

    Wish we have more parents like you. You are a brave mother

    Reply
  2. Muslim May 19, 2020

    Total disgusting article which is clearly showing your personal thinking and only based on your personal wish and ambition.
    If your article is based in religion then what about other religions of world??? Your target is only Islam and its followers.
    I suggest you before writing on such topics, do some research work and then jump into it.
    I understand you are fulfilling agenda of this news forum called nayadaur which deliberately published such filthy articles.

    Reply
  3. Khan June 9, 2020

    What pretentious nonsense. All human beings are born upon fitrah i.e. Islam. A child isn’t capable of “selecting” their own religion. Define “right” and “wrong.” The concept of “right” and “wring” are grounded in objective morality not whims and fancies of whatever is in fashion. This is the height of irresponsible parenting. A child has to have structure and discipline at the most impressionable part of life. The author has the critical thinking ability of a damp sponge and the English writing skill of a fourth grader. I can almost guarantee the author has no understanding of deen, writing like a secular feather weight then a Muslim with a sound foundation in Islam. Her child will end up an atheist.

    Reply
  4. Ahmed June 10, 2020

    Dear Author,

    1) Will you let your son choose whether to get educated or not?
    2) Whether to behave or not?

    I think not. IT’s because these things matter to you. Does you being a Muslim matter? Is being a Muslim a good thing?

    What if he decides to become a Mushrik(Idol worshiper)? Now according to Islamic beliefs he will burn in hell fire for it. Are you going to be ok with that? Does the question of what God wants matter to you? Just like you will tell him all that is right in hygine, education etc. IF anyone really consider Islam to be from God and the right path, then any parent will raise their child according to it.

    As for morality without religion. You say a person can be good without it. What exactly is good? Right? Correct?

    What if he decides incest is ok? As I know that there is no objective reason for it being wrong. Many people see it as ok. What if he decides to ruin world economies. There are many people who consider it to be morally right? What if he becomes an Atheist?

    According to Dostoyevsky ” If there is no God everything is permissible”. Including the things I have mentioned above and many other things you consider wrong.

    Have you asked these questions?

    I haven’t made any ad homenim arguments. Will look forward to your reply. Even if it’s on my email.

    Reply

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