Question and answer details
|Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. I am Canadian, raised Muslim, but I attended Catholic school from kindergarten till OAC. I myself have difficulty following Islam, but I do understand the religion very well. My question is, all of my friends are Catholic and I feel by compassion that I should teach them Islam. Should I teach them or not? If yes, how should I? As well, if I was to end up marrying a Catholic woman, isn't it fair to her and the children to teach them Islam and Christianity? Thank you. I hope to read your answer soon.|
Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
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.
Answering your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states,
I commend you for your desire to seriously pursue the practice of Islam. You should never lose patience. If you open your heart and seek guidance from Allah, surely He will guide you.
Islam is all about compassion and mercy to everyone. This includes not only Muslims but also non-Muslims, as well as all of the creation of Allah. Allah is the Lord of the worlds, Who has been described as the Compassionate, the Merciful.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us, “No one can be a believer until he/she loves for his/her brother/sister that which he/she loves for his/her own self.” Since there is nothing for us dearer than Islam, we must certainly love to share it with others. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If a single person were to be guided aright through you that is better for you than having the whole world as a treasure!”
So you should never hesitate in sharing the message of mercy with your Christian friends. Continue to deal with them most compassionately, in spite of their religious affiliations.
Coming to your question on how are we supposed to share the message of Islam with them, it is important to remember the following:
Islam is a continuation and confirmation of the message delivered by all prophets before Muhammad, the last of them was Jesus (peace be upon him). In fact, countless Christians in every generation entered Islam simply because of their deep conviction that the message brought by Muhammad is a fulfillment of the mission of Jesus. So never present Islam as something altogether new, but as affirming the pristine truths brought by all prophets. On deeper reflection and inquiry, we also find that this is now being corroborated by statements and observations of some of the Christian theologians themselves. A general awareness is slowly emerging among them that the pristine teachings of Jesus are to be found in the Qur’an and no where else.
So by following Islam, one is seeking to be more Jesus-like; he is in fact being true to the pristine teachings of Jesus.
As for your question, whether you are allowed to teach both religions in case of marriage with a Christian woman, the answer that you can teach the children what Christianity has in common with Islam (i.e. the authentic teachings of Jesus). It is the Muslim father’s duty to raise the children as Muslim. In Islam, each person must choose his/her own faith based on rational considerations. The Qur’an is most explicit on this point: “Say: ‘Truth is from your Lord.’ Now whosoever will, may believe, and whosoever will, may disbelieve.” (Al-Kahf: 29) “There is no compulsion in religion.” (Al-Baqarah: 256)
Allah Almighty knows best.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islam.ca