Question: Where I live, I have a number of schools that I could send my young child to: an Islamic school, a public school and a Catholic school. I could even do homeschooling. Which should I choose?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
I completely understand your predicament. Many Muslims in the West face this same issue.
You really just have to rule out that which is unquestionably haram, weigh up the pros and cons, ask others who have done the same thing, and be an active part of your children’s lives.
Allowing one’s children to be active in religious activities of other religions is categorically forbidden, and therefore untenable. This does not completely rule out Christian or Jewish faith schools, however, since it is possible to avoid these things with the cooperation of parents and staff.
Another error would be to look solely at the expected academic results, be it in Math, English, or even memorizing the Qur’an. The priority is education (leading children down a good path). In our paradigm that is a holistic path that includes the Next Life, love of Allah and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), morals, social skills, academic achievements, and ultimately to be able to function proactively in this world as a religious Muslim. Being the winning the spelling bee, or being a hafidh for that matter, does not necessarily mean you fit this paradigm.
The default would of course be to send our children to Islamic schools. But some Islamic schools are far from ideal, and other faith schools are sometimes safer. Some parents have also found homeschooling a possible third option. But it does have its pros and cons.
I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language