Monday, December 11, 2006

Q&A: Sending children to schools where Kufr is taught?

The following is a translation from Arabic.

Question: Can we send our children to a Kafir school in the West or the Muslim lands if we know that Kufr beliefs and thoughts are promoted as part of their curriculum, under the pretext of seeking knowledge in various disciplines? Can it be said that it is forbidden for a Kafir to teach our Muslim children as they are Kuffar and do not share the same ‘aqeedah as us, hence the issue being the children being taught by a Kafir and not in relation to what the curriculum teaches?

Answer: There are general texts regarding seeking knowledge. He (saw) said: ‘Seek knowledge’. This is general (‘aam) and includes all types of knowledge. So it is allowed for the Muslim to learn any discipline/science but if these sciences lead to a harm (Darar) then learning such sciences would be forbidden and the other sciences would remain permitted in accordance with the Shari’ah principle which states: ‘If any aspect of a permitted thing leads to a harm, then that aspect is prohibited, but the thing remains permitted’. Hence learning something, which causes one to deviate from the beliefs (‘aqaa’id) is considered a harm and learning such harmful ideas will weaken and effect children easily. Therefore, it is forbidden to send children to schools of the Kuffar, which teach the Kufr thoughts and beliefs on the primary level. This is because children are affected by what they learn at this level, and the family is ordered to protect its family members from the Fire of hell. Allah (swt) says: ‘Ward off from yourselves and your families the Fire...’ [TMQ At-Tahrim: 6]. Protecting their children from the fire would be by not sending them to the schools of the Kuffar that teach Kufr beliefs and thoughts.As for the existing schools of the Kuffar in the Muslim lands which teach the same curriculum taught in Muslim schools, it is not forbidden to send ones children to them. This is because their reality differs from the schools of the Kuffar in Kafir countries, which teach Kufr beliefs and thoughts. Also, just because one of the teachers is a Christian does not mean it is forbidden to study in this school, because the education is linked to the curriculum taught. So if Kufr beliefs and thoughts are not taught in a primary school and the lessons are from the general sciences then it is allowed for children to study there, whether the teachers are Muslims or if one of them is a Christian. If the one who teaches Kufr beliefs and thoughts is a Muslim it is Haram for the children to learn this from him. The fact that the teacher is a Muslim does not make the children’s study of Kufr thoughts and beliefs from him Halal.



Anonymous said...

Source?, please. JAK.

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

This Q&A was verified by Sheikh Abdul-Qadeem Zalloom (rh).

Anonymous said...


this issue was further clarified and it was stated that you could send them to these schools as long as you persue your children and give them the islamic culture.

This is what i thought.

But naturally as a parent you would speak to the school you send your children to, to remove them from unislamic activity such as hymns practise.

(sadly i did a lot of hymn practise at my juniors school, but on a positive note, it has given me an angelic voice)


Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

That is not correct - what it says in the Q&A stands. What was clarified is that if the child is no longer a child i.e. mature (baligh) then it is allowed to send them to such schools (e.g. secondary schools) on condition that the Kufr they are taught is refuted by the parents.

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

The following is another translation of a Q&A which clarified that point:

Question: What is the Hukm Shari’ regarding sending children to the kaafir schools. In most of these schools they teach kufr and make them participate in western customs and freemixing. Can it be argued that when it is said (translated) in the Quran "O you who believe! save yourselves and your family from the fire of hell..." that this indicates that such an action of sending the children to the kaafir schools is not permitted? Also is there a difference when a child is older and is able to distinguish between right and wrong to when he is young.

Answer: Sending children to the schools of kuffar is not allowed (haram) as long as these schools teach kufr thoughts and culture. This is because a child in his early years will become effected by what he learns. The noble ayah applies in this case, the parents are obliged (fard) to protect their children from such schools. As for when the child grows up and is able to distinguish i.e. until he becomes mature (baaligh), sane (‘aaqil). Then it is allowed for him to go to these schools on condition that the parents pursue the matter with him when he returns from school to refute the kufr thoughts taught in the schools and provide him with the thoughts and rules of Islam. And all this if no other schools can be found.

22nd August 2001

Muslim in the West said...


I know quite a few families that enroll their children in primary public schools. I am sure that they would want to either enroll them in an Islamic School or to Home-School them, however, it is not feasible for them.

What does the hukm sharai' say about such a situation?

Are there any alternatives?

Jazak-Allah Khair,


Anonymous said...

Can you comment on what specifically constitutes "teach kufr thoughts and culture."

Also, how should one measure the negative affect of these teachings on primary aged children from Shar'ie perspective?

I am sure this is a serious matter for many parents in the west.

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

With regards to the question about alternatives. The shariah rule does not change due to difficulty in the reality, for example it may be difficult to buy a house without engaging in Riba (interest) - this does not change the shariah rule of it being haram.

This is similar to this matter, we have to look for a halal alternative such as home schooling, sending them to an Islamic school or moving to the Muslim world where education is cheaper. At the lower primary level it is theoretically possible for to stop them being taught Kufr if there was heavy intervention by the parents and the school allowed this, however I think this situation is very uncommon.

We need to realise that to follow the shariah in these difficult times is a test upon us. Remember Taqwa (piety) is to follow the commands and prohibitions of Allah (swt), Allah has told us that we will not enter Jannah without being tested and the Prophet (saw) has told us that a time will come when holding onto Islam will be like holding onto a piece of hot coal and the one who acts righteously in that time will get the reward of 50 men.

We must also appreciate that if someone cannot practise their deen in a place then it becomes fard for them to migrate to a place where they can. Therefore people should consider moving to the Muslim world where in many countries it is easier to make sure Kufr is not taught to children.

With regards to the second question, the 'teaching of Kufr' means teaching of Kufr thoughts, aqa'id (beliefs) and rules. For example the teaching of the evolution theory in biology, the teaching of the thoughts of other religions in Religious Education, the big bang theory, teaching of democracy in citizenship, legitimisation of homosexuality and Zina, teaching of gambling & Riba in business, etc.

It is haram to allow your children who are not baligh (mature) to be taught such ideas as they do not have a developed mind to be able to distinguish the truth from the falsehood. The negative affect of such ideas is devastasting as they negatively affect the inclinations of children not to love what Allah & His Messenger love and to hate what Allah and His Messenger hate - but instead to love and hate according to what they Shaytan loves. Once the Kufr inclinations are ingrained in children they are difficult to remove as they can become deep rooted. This can lead the child to turn away from Islam completely when they grow up or to turn away from parts of Islam.

Nour said...

Assalaamu Alaikum,

With regards to your explanation of kufr thoughts, aqa'id and rules, I understand all the examples that you mentioned except for the big bang theory. What is wrong with this theory? Could you please clarify?

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

The theory contradicts the Aqeeda as in essence it states that the Universe expanded for a single form of condensed matter and that there is no God. They believe that either that matter existed forever or that there has been big bang's and big crunches (where the Universe contracts again into that form) forever, which is the more view of the theory. In any case it denies the existence of Allah (swt).

Anonymous said...


From the discussion above it is not clear if it is haram to send primary school going kids to Kuffar schools (in the first place) or it only become haram if the kids are getting affected with what they are being taught.

If it is haram to send them to these schools what would you comment about the Islamic schools in the West. Are Islamic schools an acceptable option (for those who can afford) for primary level children?

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

The issue is not about whether the schools are run by Kuffar or Muslims or whether the teachers or Kuffar or Muslims. The issue is about what is taught - it is prohibited (haram) to allow Kufr to be taught to our children who are not baligh (physically mature) and aaqil (with an able mind). However if Kufr is not being taught to them then it is permitted for them to learn in schools.

Therefore Islamic schools for Muslims in the West are a good option to send their children to as Kufr is generally not taught at them.

ibn Ghulam said...

Jazakhs for an enlightening viewpoint on the issue of schooling and how Islam views this point in relation to children being taught in schools.

A confusion still occurs as even though in summary of your points it comes across clearly that children who either are of under baligh age or of discerning mind can not partake in schooling in which any element of non-islamic education exists..

the confusion that comes across as that we the muslims living in the west are informed that it is permissbale as long as you can combat the erroneus concepts eg. evolution in the home and if known that certain lessons contain erroneus concepts eg. religious educaction then you can abstain the child from such lessons.

Could you shed some light on this as this needs to be understood clearly.

jazakhs in advance. Wasalaam.

ibn Ghulam

Islamic Revival said...

The point is that with non-baligh children you cannot combat what they have been taught as they do not have developed minds in order to understand, this is why we must protect them from being exposed to kufr thoughts. Unfortunately recently many of us may have witnessed young non-baligh Muslim children coming home with valentines cards having made them and learnt about it at school, even parents who see themselves as Islamic are allowing this to occur on the pretext that it is difficult or that there is nothing else they can do. This is the test of this life, as the Prophet (saw) said: "The dunya (world) is the prison of the believer and paradise to the disbeliever".

Umm Madiha said...

Asalaamu alaikum,

I have a question about sending my young children to an Islamic primary school in the US and in the near future, India. I noticed that in the Islamic schools in both countries, they teach nationalism (celebrate Independence Days, etc)and the democratic processes. Would these additions to the curriculum make it haram to send my kids to the schools despite the fact that they do not teach Darwinism, kufr holidays, such as Christmas, Holi, etc?
Jazakallah khairun