In a discussion regarding a Christian woman married to a Muslim man, accepting her children being raised as Muslims, the following question was asked:
" how strongly can one believe in their professed faith if they are willing to raise their children in a faith that has a ...HUGE difference? If you don't believe strongly enough in Christianity to be sure to raise your kids as believers in it but maybe you find Islam acceptable why not just become Muslim?"
This was not directed or asked of me, however, I am in this exact situation and I thought it was a valid question. I can see how a Muslim woman wouldn't understand my reasoning for allowing this or accepting it. I will offer a little into the way I see it....
Before I offer my views on it, for anyone that isn't clear what the HUGE difference is, let me explain. Islam and Christianity are pretty similar on many levels. Many of the stories in the Koran and The Bible are the same. However, Christians believe Jesus is the son of God. Muslims believe Jesus is a prophet, not the son, and that Muhammad was the last prophet. Obviously, there are other differences as well, but that would be the main difference. Since Christianity is based on the belief that Jesus is the son of God, it would basically mean that since Muslims do not, they are unbelievers. Since Christians do believe Jesus is the son of God and that Muhammad was not a prophet, it would basically make Christians unbelievers. The Koran does not say to hate Christians, quite the opposite. They are allowed to marry both Christians and Jews because we are people of the book.
Now, on to why I am accepting of my children being raised Muslim....
What I know about Islam, I can respect. Can I believe it for myself? Not right now. Why not? Well, I truly believe we are a product of our environment. If I were born into a Muslim family, without a doubt, I would be Muslim. If a Muslim were born into a Christian family, I believe, without a doubt they would be Christian. For me, the past 30 years, I've believed that Jesus is the son of God. It's hard to NOT believe that, which is what I would have to do to convert. It's hard to un-believe what you've been taught for 30 years, and I'm not sure there is a reason for me to. Obviously, it would be much easier for me to be a Muslim, as my husband is, and my children are. But easier isn't always better, in my opinion.
So if I'm not sure Islam is the truth, why would I allow my children to be raised as Muslims? Well, I'm probably the minority here, but I don't think that only ONE religion gets to heaven. I do not believe I have a better chance than my husband or my other Muslim friends, simply because I'm Christian. My husbands faith is something I envy. My husband worships God faithfully. He lives his life in a respectable way. He prays probably more than most Christians. He studies the Koran. But I don't think he has a better chance than me to get to heaven simply because he's a Muslim either. Maybe he does because he's more devout than I am, but not because of WHAT he believes.
On a religious scale, of the two of us, my husband is MUCH more religious than I am. So knowing that, it is better for my children to have that parent to learn from. He leads by example, and he is passionate about Islam. He likes talking about it. He loves telling stories from the Koran. He looks forward to teaching the kids about Islam. I, on the other hand, don't enjoy any conversations about religion. I would never take the time to sit and make sure my children are religious. Believe in God? Yes. Religious? No.
So what about getting into heaven? I think if my children follow my husbands path, they'd have a better chance than following mine. Although I follow the 10 commandments, and I worship God, I do not take the extra steps....like reading the Bible or setting specific times to pray. Taking Islam and Christianity out of the equation....just religiously speaking, my husband is more committed to knowing and serving God than I am. I don't think this makes me a bad Christian (obviously I could be better) but I think it puts my husband in a better position to do any religious teaching in our house.
I don't have doubt in Christianity, so there is no reason for me to convert to another religion. I find Islam, not only acceptable, but respectable, so there is no reason for me not to want my children to be Muslim. I think I find it fine, just because of my belief that God is SO good, he wouldn't punish people that worshiped him in life, to the best of their ability and knowledge. If Christianity is wrong, God will know that we believed it with the best of what we were taught and we lived good lives worshiping Him. And the same goes for Muslims, they are worshiping God as they were taught. How could they be punished for that? I just cannot comprehend how people think that God would send the majority of the living world to hell. If only one religion gets "in", that would be very sad for me.
So in summary, for me, it's just about who worships more - not better, or more correctly. To be completely honest there is no way for SURE to know who is RIGHT. We can only BELIEVE, not know. And in this particular case, I don't think that there is one right answer.
- Some of you know me from my old blog "Moving to Morocco" where I wrote about meeting my husband and, you guessed it, moving to Morocco. Well, we're back now, and I want to write about other things (but yes, we're still happily married). There's no real subject to this blog. I just want to write. If you have a subject you'd like my opinion on, just let me know. I also plan on doing advice posts. If you have something you'd like an outside opinion on, e-mail me anonymously at firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks for reading!