Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Husband returned to Catholicism & is signing the cross over our children

Mosque and Church

I am in a dilemma now. My husband and I have been married for 8 years. We have 2 beautiful daughters. He converted from Catholicism to Islam when we married. However, he has never felt like a Muslim in his heart.

He had tried fasting (managed to finish his month long fast really well), does not eat pork, but does occasionally drinks alcohol (only at dinners etc). He does not perform salat. I pray 5 times a day, am a moderate Muslim myself and tried teaching him duas and prayers but he just isn't interested. So I thought I'd give him some time, when he is ready, he will accept Islam full heartedly.

However, things changed when our first daughter was born with complications. She almost died. My husband was lost. He wanted to pray so he prayed what he knows best - the Catholic way. So he started praying to mother Mary and Jesus with the rosary and going to Church to pray for our little girl. I can't stop him, how could I? It is what he is comfortable with. He isn't lost any more. And our daughter survived and is healthy now. He is back into Catholism and prays daily with the rosary. I encourage him. How could I force him to be a Muslim when he isn't happy being one? Islam does not force people to convert,  no religion does that.

Now the issue I have is with our children. Before this happened, our children of course would be raised as Muslims. But since he got back to his religion, he has been encouraging our eldest to follow him to Church, pray the rosary. She has started learning  the Quran as she is 6 years old. But I feel my husband is confusing her. My husband and I teach our child to know and understand all religions. We even brought her to visit a Church, Hindu temple, Buddist temple and Mosque. She understands the different methods of prayers for all religions. Reason we did this as to not have her grow up to be naive of religions and close minded.

I'm afraid my husband puts holy water on both my children to bless them. He even puts the sign of the cross in them in front of me, and sometimes behind my back. I should say something but what? My heart is heavy. I know I should talk to him about this. But hope that it'll go away once my eldest goes off to Primary school next year where there is Islamic religious studies. She follows her father all the time because she looks up on him. What little girl wouldn't?

I explained to her that she must understand all religions but Islam is her religion and she told me a number of time that she wants to grow up as a Muslim because she doesn't want to be a Catholic because they eat pork? Cute.  She is young and still learning. When I was 6 I even did the sign of the cross after my bismillah before I slept! I was confused too until I went to school. My family is a mix of Christian and Muslim.

What do I do? Should I talk to my husband about this act of signing crosses our Muslim children?  I'm afraid that he may want them to be raised a Catholics! He did not mention this but his acts show it.

Also another question I have - is circumcision necessary in Islam? I was but my children aren't. My husband and I felt I wasn't necessary as it is a cultural thing more than religion. What makes my children Muslims? The azan was recited to their ears when they were born. Please advise.

Thank you, Salaam mualaikum.

- Melissa

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7 Responses »

  1. Salaam,

    May Allah give your the strength to get through this difficult phase.

    Firstly I would to say that this is the reason, the main reason why Muslim women are not allowed to marry non-muslim men. We can see almost how powerless this woman is in the face of this very difficult problem.

    Islam says you can only marry a Muslim man, if someone recites and believes in the Kalimah, they are accepting Islam, it doesn't mean that you can go back to practising some of the key features of other religions.

    It appears as if this man recited the Kalimah accepted it for a while, but did not truly believe in what he is reciting. I am not expert, you would need a scholar's view in this matter, but does this mean he is a Muslim?

    Either way you must end the relationship with this man, if you are in the west you will get custody of the children no matter what, in which case you will be able to raise them Islamically.

    I cannot state things which I have no knowledge on, but what we all have knowledge on is that Islam, the true faith comes before everything, it comes before your husband and your children. You must not allow compassion or any other feelings pollute your mind.

    May Allah guide you and May Allah help your Husband to see the true faith again. Ameen.

    • "this is the reason, the main reason why Muslim women are not allowed to marry non-muslim men. We can see almost how powerless this woman is in the face of this very difficult problem."

      Mohammed is right. This is like a case study in why Muslim women must not marry non-Muslims. And why Muslim men should avoid marrying non-Muslims whenever possible.

      Sister, you have kept silent all along in order to appease your husband. You failed to stand up for your religion or your beliefs, and now you are reaping the results. When your daughter was born with difficulties and your husband wanted to pray the Catholic way, you kept silent, when you should have said, "You are a Muslim now, we must pray together in the Islamic way."

      Now he is trying to turn the children away from their fitrah and make them Catholics - na'oothu billah - and still you have stayed silent, not even speaking a word to him.

      When will you take a stand for your religion and your children? When they begin praying to Mary and signing the cross?

      If there is any hope for your children in this situation, you must affirm your faith in Allah and Islam, and speak up for it. You must call your husband back to Islam, and make it clear that the children will be raised on the path of Islam. Do it before it's too late.

      To answer your final question, female children must not be circumcised. Although it is done in some Arab countries it is a cultural practice not an Islamic one, and all health experts consider it damaging and dangerous. It is a form of mutilation.

      Boys should be circumcised as it is the Sunnah, part of the fitrah, and it is good for their health as well. For example many studies have shown that male circumcision helps to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  2. 1. What do I do? Should I talk to my husband about this act of signing crosses our Muslim children? I'm afraid that he may want them to be raised a Catholics! He did not mention this but his acts show it.

    A.1 When the spouse commits Kufr (rejection) or Shirk (polytheism) then the first duty of the Muslim spouse is to educate and counsel him/her with verses of the Qur'an and reason with the person that Jesus never claimed divinity, the trinity is a fabrication and sonship is not divine. Proofs for refuting these mainstream catholic beliefs are also in the Bible.

    If your Da'wah efforts do not bear fruit, i.e. your husband remains a staunch catholic and you remain firm in your beliefs as a Muslim, then Allah will separate you two by Himself, as he separated the unbelieving spouses of Prophets Noah and Lot and the believing wife of the Pharoah. We read in Qur'an (sura 2:223) and (sura 60:10) that marital relations with Kufaar (rejecters of Islam) and Mushrikeen (polytheists) are not permissible.

    We have examples in the Qur'an whereby Muslims had unbeliever spouses and theiy were given Dawah. Non response resulted in Allah separating the two.

    This is the law of the Qur'an. If either of the spouses commit Kufr, then automatically divisions distance is created between them. Nevertheless it may be that your husband has till date not been given proper proofs and evidences about the truthfulness of Islam and the falsity of catholic beliefs. Therefore first of all you should give him Da'wah. But you can't do this unless you are educated yourself about these issues. So learn, and then try to educate your husband. The late Shaikh Ahmed Deedat's videos and booklets on the subject are a good resource to arm yourself with knowledge about combating Christian beliefs. Learn from them and give Dawah (invitation) to your husband. Who knows, maybe Allah will bring any betterment in the process.

    2. Also another question I have - is circumcision necessary in Islam? I was but my children aren't. My husband and I felt I wasn't necessary as it is a cultural thing more than religion. What makes my children Muslims? The azan was recited to their ears when they were born. Please advise.

    A.2 Male & female circumcision is a traditional practice prevailing in many world cultures, including Arabic culture. There is no injunction which makes it mandatory to be circumcised, We read in the Qur'an:

    "Surely We created man of the best of the moulds." 95:4

    As man has been created in Ahsan at Taqweem (best of moulds) therefore we are not committing any sin by not changing His creation.

    • Kashif, you are mistaken on point #2. So-called "female circumcision" is an abominable practice that was never a part of the Sunnah and is damaging to the girl. It should be abolished.

      However, male circumcision is Sunnah and a part of fitrah.

      Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "Five are the acts quite akin to fitrah: Circumcision, clipping or shaving the pubes, cutting the nails, plucking or shaving the hair under the armpits and clipping (or shaving) the moustache." (Reported in Bukhari & Muslim)

      Allah ordered Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to follow the religion of Ibrahim (peace be upon him). When Allah says:

      "Then We inspired you: 'Follow the religion of Ibrahim, the upright in Faith'."

      (Qur'an 16:123)

      And part of the religion of Ibrahim is circumcision.

      The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The Prophet Ibrahim circumcised himself when he was eighty years old and he circumcised himself with an axe." (Related by Bukhari, Muslim & Ahmad.)

      Most Fuqaha' (Islamic Jurists) say that circumcision is obligatory upon the men and this is the opinion of Jumhur (the majority of the scholars). If it were not obligatory, then Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) would not have troubled himself at such a later stage of his life.

      The Time for Circumcision:

      During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) circumcision was done for boys at the time of their Aqiqah (a traditional celebration for the birth of a child). That's the short answer as reported in al-Bayhaq.

      Other Ahadith mention it being done later. The details here are not important but it goes without saying that this minor operation is easier on a baby than it is on an older boy. If it is essential, circumcision can be delayed for practical reasons, but it would be sensible to perform circumcision before the boy starts praying regularly due to practical purposes of simplifying Taharah, or being clean.

      Abdullah Ibn Jabir (r.a.) and Aisha (r.a.) said:

      "The Prophet (peace be upon him) performed the Aqiqah of al-Hasan and al-Hussein (the prophets grandsons) and circumcised them on the 7th. Day." (Related in al-Bayhaq & Tabarani)

      Imam Nawawi says:

      "Circumcision is recommended to be performed on the seventh day of infancy-the day of Aqiqah". (Al-Majmu 1/303)

  3. Masha'Allah brother Wael!

  4. well sister Ive got to say just don't wait and watch what your husband is doing. your children are an amaanai which one day you have to answer about them. guide them to right path. just dont be quiet and be your husband in catholic try to show the right path for the ones you love before their time ends and you knw what will happen after that. the time is now not later.

  5. Some things are easier said then done......... be strong sister, for the sake of yourself, your hereafter and your children, you NEED, NEED to gather all the strength you've got, put your trust in Allah swt and stand up for your right as a Muslimah and your children. InshaAllah through your strength, and courage you will find yourself in everylasting bliss.. Ameen. Be strong ya ukhti! InshaAllah!

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