Sending Muslim children to non-Islamic school
Fatwa No: 81846

  • Fatwa Date:18-8-1999 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 7, 1420
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Question

We live in Tampa, Florida, United State of America, where we have a full time school that teaches Arabic and Islam. This school is weak in education and discipline. Many families can not afford to pay the fees which is around 275.00 per child per month. Many of us send their children to public school which is stronger in education and discipline and much better than the Islamic school where the teachers are weak, with no experience at all. One of the imams of the mosque and one in charge of the school gave a fatwa last Friday saying that it is Haram to send our children to American School because the teachers in American School are no Muslim. My Question: is it haram for children to go to a shcool where the education and discipline is way a head of our Islamic school? Meanwhile we send our children to weekend school that will teach the same period of Arabic, Islamic study and Qur'an. Please be aware that we do support all Islamic institutions in this country but we feel that those who are in charge of the Islamic school are not professional, either in the academic subjects or the Islamic studies.

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. There is no doubt that Allah made every person responsible and guardian for his subjects. Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “All of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects. A ruler is a guardian of his subjects, a man is a guardian of his family, a woman is a guardian and is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring, and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for subjects”. The offspring are among the subjects. Generally, we find depravity in public schools. This evil is much more than benefits you want to gain in those schools. Probably a student would not complete his education, but he had gone away from his faith, religion and good conduct. Mixed environment has bad effect on one’s conduct. Everybody knows that this stage of life is a very critical stage. In this age a boy will grasp very easily good and bad. You know my brother that Islam always protects the religion, life, wealth etc. Protecting life is more important than protecting wealth, but protecting religion is the most important. Studying of these students at public schools is harmful for their faith and life. Weakness of Islamic schools and expensive fees are not good reasons to send the students to other schools. It is the responsibility of all of you. Struggle hard to strengthen these Islamic schools. If all of you try unanimously, indeed, Allah will help you and guide you for your best. We advise you to send your children to Islamic schools, in spite of their weakness and high costs. Allah says (meanings in English): {And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty} [65:2] If all ways are blocked in your face, and no alternative option except sending them to public schools, then it is enjoined on guardians to keep looking and monitoring their children’s attitude. Make an agreement with school management to excuse your children from all the activities which contradict the religion and rules of good conduct. Usually they agree. Strengthen their link to Islamic centers, provide them with interesting programs. In spite of this you all should try to make a good alternative. We ask Allah to bless you and bless all Muslim children. Allah knows best.

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