Sending Muslim Children to Non-Islamic Schools
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

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

There is no doubt that Allah made every person responsible and guardian for his subjects. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “All of you are guardians and are responsible for the people under your guardianship: the Imam (Muslim ruler) is a guardian and is responsible for the people under his guardianship, a man is a guardian in his house and is responsible for the people under his guardianship, and a woman is a guardian in her husband’s home and she will be questioned over the people under her guardianship. Indeed, all of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The offspring are among the subjects. Generally, we find depravity in public schools. This evil is much greater than the 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. A mixed environment has a bad effect on one’s conduct. Everybody knows that this stage of life is a very critical stage. At this time and 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 thing. 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 (what means): {And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out.} [Quran 65:2]

If all ways are blocked in your face, and there is 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 the 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 and 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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