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Future Generations; Continuing to Believe…

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How do Muslims make sure that their children [future generations] continue to believe in what they believe in?

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Thank you for your question.

Muslims make sure that their children believe in what they believe in, in the same way that Christians or others do. By teaching their children and, if they really care about their religion, by living it. Also the close ties in Muslim families discourage the rebelliousness that is so common among children in Western societies.

But Muslims also have the added advantage that they can show their children that Islam is logical, that the Qur’an has not changed over the centuries, that Islam is permanent in its principles yet flexible enough to change with the times. All of these are strong reasons for one to remain in the religion. Even those Muslims who don’t practice would rarely declare themselves to belong to any other religion.

There are, of course, families whose children do not remain Muslim, or who at least do not practice Islam when they grow up. There is no one answer for why this happens. I suspect that it is for one of these reasons:

    (1) The parents don’t practice Islam well, so the children have no role model to follow.

 

    (2) The parents don’t know much about the religion, so they do not teach their children well.

 

    (3) The parents focus on all the prohibited things so that children think that Islam is just a bunch of “don’ts” and they never learn the beautiful side of it.

 

    (4) The parents are too strict in raising their children so that the children rebel.

I strongly suspect that there are relatively few people who grow up as Muslims and who know their religion who convert to anything else. In all my years as a Muslim, I’ve only met one who did so—and I never heard her story or knew how much she knew about Islam—but I’ve met many former Christians and former atheists.

Muslims are not much different from other people in how they raise their children and pass on their beliefs. The only real difference, I think, is in the beliefs themselves.

Thank you again for your question and please keep in touch.

Salaam (Peace).

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