Sending Children to Mixed Schools & Marriage

Sending Children to Mixed Schools & Marriage

Question:

I am very concerned about a matter which has arisen regarding my marriage. I am considering someone for marriage and we had pretty much decided that we would get married when we both finished our studies.

However yesterday we discussed education of future children (if Allah swt would bless us with a family) and I said that I would want our children to be taught in an Islamic environment, preferably in an Islamic school, certainly not in a mixed school. By profession am in contact with a lot of school children and the way I see things being taught in school simply makes me uneasy about sending my own children to such places.

However he did not agree with me and insisted that we must send children to ”normal” schools as this is important for them to be able to integrate in society (as we live in the UK). But i strongly disagree – I don’t feel comfortable about sending children to a school where they are not taught Islam, but rather they are taught (maybe not explicitly) or exposed to accept un Islamic ways (i.e. homosexuality, boys and girls mixing, pre marital relationships etc). Schooling is very important and especially in the west its a huge part of a child’s life – so on the one hand we will try to teach our daughter that pardah is essential for her and that she shouldn’t be mixing with the opposite sex, but on the other we’ll be sending her to a school that contradicts Islamic teachings?

He doesn’t agree with me at all even when I told him of some examples where i have seen children in a school setting being taught and exposed to things which are un Islamic.

Could you please highlight what the shariah ruling is on education for our children and advise me on what I should do! Are my views valid Islamically? I feel so strongly about this I have even thought about maybe telling him that I don’t think we’re a suitable match – am I making a rash decision? I would really appreciate the help and especially some insight on the Islamic viewpoint.

Answer:

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

It is certainly true that, sending children to mixed secular Schools may have an effect on them in terms of their conduct, behaviour and character. Thus, one should most definitely think properly before sending children to such schools. The consequences of mixing freely and informally with the opposite sex (even in young boys and girls) can be very dangerous and harmful, as explained in a detailed earlier post.

It would certainly be superior to send children to same-sex or Islamic schools, where the likelihood of them becoming corrupt in their character and manner is relatively less. Thus, your understanding and viewpoint of the situation is by no means inappropriate.

The brother, whom you are considering for marriage, may be concerned about the child’s education, in that if the child is sent to a private Islamic School, he may suffer in his studies and not receive good education, due to the school not being up to modern standards.

If that is the case, then he needs to be assured that, the child will be sent to an Islamic School that lives up to the modern standards, and that all the essential subjects that are taught in secular Schools will also be taught. There are many such Islamic Schools and they are gradually increasing.

Another option could be to involve the child in Islamic activities. The company of a pious Shaykh is also very beneficial. If the child has a good Islamic upbringing and remains in the company of the pious and knowledgeable, the forces of evil can not have much effect on him. Therefore, along with secular education, it is of utmost importance to have a spiritual upbringing of the child.

With regards to you getting married with this brother, I am not really in a position to say whether you should get married or otherwise, for I am unaware of the people involved. Thus, this will be your decision. If you think that, things can be worked out in a gentle manner and that he has respect for Islamic values, then there is no bar in getting married to him.

However, if you think that he, in general, is Islamically not that sound, and holds un-Islamic values above Islam, then you should avoid getting married to him. This should be general thing, and don’t just decide on this one aspect.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:

“A woman is married for four reasons, for her wealth, lineage, status and Deen. Choose the one who is religious.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

The same is true in relation to a man.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Question #: 5636
Published: 08/03/2004