I have searched your site and have not found an answer to my following question:
I would like to send our children to Catholic School as it has a better academic system than the public school system in my city. What is your view or directive on sending them to Catholic School? My reasons for doing so are not for the “religious” classes – but for the academic learning. Also, how do I “teach” them the difference between the two religions as well as teaching tolerance towards others, who are outside of Islamic faith.
I am new to the Islamic faith and am trying my best to learn all the “rules”.
Please forgive me if I am not using the proper terminology, although my husband is Muslim, he doesn’t seem to know much either, and my Father-In-Law (who I rely upon for guidance) is in another province. Any guidance or references you can supply me with will be greatly appreciated.
Although the kind of school that one decides to send one’s child to is not a matter directly covered by the Shari`ah, yet because of its direct connection with the proper upbringing of the child (which is a natural and a religious obligation of the parents), it is a religious duty of the parents to give close consideration to the pros and cons of their decision.
Obviously, the ideal situation would be to find an institute, which offers the best standards of education as well as provides the growing and developing mind with an environment, which promotes Islamic values and etiquettes in the child. However, in the life of this world we generally have to settle for the best available option rather than the absolute best.
Under the generally prevalent circumstances, it seems that the only option available to us is to make parallel arrangements for the child: one for the general education of the child and the other for the development and understanding of Islamic values and concepts in the child. Thus, the parents may send their child to a school, which provides it with a suitable environment for the development and understanding of Islamic values and concepts and then should supplement any shortcomings in the general education offered by the school through any other source. Or they may opt to send their child to a school, with the best academic facilities and then make a separate arrangement for the proper Islamic education of the child.
It may also be added here that the proper Islamic education of a child is not dependant on the formal education structure. In fact, it is likely to be more effectively achieved by giving the child the right kind of environment at home and the society, in general.
It is extremely important that neither of the two aspects of the training and development of the child be ignored. Nevertheless, the specific method of striking the ‘balance’ may vary with the circumstances of each household.
November 20, 2000