Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Public schools vs. Islamic (private) schools in the USA

Assalam O Alaikum,

I see many people have these discussions about which is better to raise the kids:

1) Public school and try to teach them Islam at home and weekend school?

2) Private Islamic schools?

Please let me know your opinions (whether you were a student your self, or your kids are) with Pros and Cons.  Jazakom ALLAH khair.


Just a Man.

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13 Responses »

  1. salam alaikum
    i stay in india so i hav joined my child to a public school where there r all religion children frm my point of view if u stay in secular country like india u u can join ur children to public school where they vill learn brotherhood among all religions n i teach my child daily at home by myself islamic culture n preachings
    since sheis jst 3 years iam not sending her to any islamic class bt frm next year inshallah i vill send her every evenig to islamic classes

  2. I live in a California city with a population of about 700,000. There is only one Islamic school here. It is underfunded and underattended. In most classes, students of two or three grades are combined into a single classroom, because there are not enough students. Teachers are not required to be credentialed by the state.

    In spite of all this, when my daughter is old enough for first grade, I plan to enroll her there Insha'Allah. It's more important to me than anything that she be around Muslims, that she receive classes in Islamic studies, Arabic language and Quran; that she see older girls wearing hijab, that she stand in line beside other children and pray.

    I am not sacrificing her academic education. The teachers at the school are committed. They are there not just for the salaries, but because they believe in the school. This school is important for this community. Until parents are willing to commit and place their children there, it will never be able to grow.

    I don't want my daughter to grow around kids who talk about (or engage in) sex and drugs. I don't want her participating in the revelry around Halloween and Christmas that goes on in public schools. I don't want her to be alienated from her own religion and her own people.

    Given a choice between public school and Islamic school, I will always choose the Islamic school for my children, as long as it is well run, and provides a good education.

    Wael Editor

  3. just a man.

    you ask is islamic private school better or state kuffaar school

    it depends on what methodology and creed that islamic school instills within the children, and what the teachers are upon.

    many islamic schools have been taped teaching muslim children things which they were not supposed to.

    ven if your child was to go to public school, you can take them to long qur'aan/ahadeeth lessons on weekends in the masjid, and while at home at night. you should talk 90% of the time about the religion and its people, and hardly anything else.

    because you are the one as a father who determines what his child will turn out to be, no matter what the outside is like, the inside affects children most, and earlier.

    when you are at home with you child, you say

    "son, do you know who the great imaam sa'eed ibn-Al mussayyab/sufyaan ath-thawri,hasanul basri, wakee' ibn jarraah, al awzaa'ee ibn abee shaybah, ibn taymiyyah is/are? and you tell him about sa'eed/wakee',hasan,sufyaan [rahmatullaahi 'alayhi rahmatan waasi'aa]
    and then you ask him the next day who sa'eed is, and he will tell you.
    "how many ahadeeth are in bukhaari, muslim, abu dawuud etc

    teach him poems like the haa'iyyah of imaam Abu bakr 'Abdullaah ibn sulaymaan abu dawuub as-sijistaani.
    you tell him about the lives of the prophets [sa] sahaabah[ra] and taabi'een[ra] and those after them.
    so long as you keep going like this, and keep an eye on who your children befriend, and interogate them about it, your child will never go astray inshaallaah.

    inform your children of who to get involved with and what type of people to avoid in school.

    brother, wallaahi im telling you, you can do better than any islamic school if you pay lots of attention to your children, and dont be like those fathers who are overwhelmed and too busy with their work.

  4. Walikum assalaam,

    Unfortunately I didnt attend an Islamic school however, it is something I dream for my daughter. Why would I choose the secular state school over a school that presents Islam as their way of life to them? The only arguments that I have heard people present for them preferring state school over Islamic is: their belief that in an Islamic school their children are somehow going to be "cocooned" and kept away from the real world and what it's about and, two, that they want their children to attend state school so that they are open to people of all religions.

    My answer to that is, one, by sending your child to an Islamic school , they are not going to be kept away from all evil and not realise what the world is with the corruption that exists; in order to know all this, they dont need to be at a platform where its physically happening all around them by their peers and they risk falling into. How can one possibly "protect" their child to that extent in a non muslim land anyway? Even if they were to attend an Islamic school, they would naturally be exposed to some evil by living in the land where its taking place day in day out. That I believe is MORE than enough exposure to evil for the child not to turn out too inexperienced, naive, or blind to the corruption of the world.
    Second point with regards to letting your child be mixed with the other religions - It is not as though the Islamic school will teach them to disrespect or be intolerant towards people of other faiths. So I find this argument baseless really.
    If you live in a non muslim country, again, your child will come across non muslims and realise that there are chritians, jews, hindus , sikhs, and people of all religions and regarless of religion you treat them like a human being. This is best thought to a child through being an example to them - take for example interacting nicely with your next door neighbour who is a non muslim. Your child will see that the lady next door is not a Muslim, wears a mini skirt, doesn't seem too religious or anything much "like us" yet you are respecting them as a fellow human being. A child does not need to spend half his waking hours with non muslims, being preached their mentality and what they deem as acceptable/wrong in order for them to peacefully co-exist with people of different faiths.
    If its anything that would help and perfect their attitude towards those of other faiths - its the correct Islamic guildelines and teachings itself. Whereas without that, the child is at risk of losing their islamic identity and following in the footstep and ways of disbelievers. For example, deeming it okay to celebrate christmas or any other non Islamic festival, and all this for the effort of making the child so called "open to other faiths and cultures." I dont think so!

    Having been to a secular state school myself, I am fully aware of the evil that goes on in there and as time goes on, its only getting worse. Children are brainwashed with wrong principles and morals.

    Safeguarding our children's deen comes before their secular knowledge with all that it has to offer, and I urge all Muslims to be cautious of this inshallah. If they are fortunate enough to be able to send their child to an Islamic establishment instead of a secular one, the choice should be clear to them.

    Allaho alim.

    Was salaam

  5. Salam,

    Normally I would recommend Islamic school without doubt. But I have to say you MUST choose a good Islamic school with good teachers.

    When I was little (grade 1), I went to public school. I had Islamic school 1 day a week in the afternoon. This was because my parents wanted me to make better friends, be around muslims, learn quran... all good intentions. But I disliked that school very much. I would cry and beg my parents not to take me there. Most of the teachers were mean, and they yelled if you made a mistake.

    I had no friends there, especially because I was very shy. I often saw older girls not wearing hijab and saying how much they hated islam and sharing music CDs.

    And the worst part was that I was EXTREMELY discriminated against because I was Shia and the others were Sunni. Now I don't want to start a Shia-Sunni fight so I won't go into any more detail.

    But my point is, Islamic schools are great, if the teachers can effectively teach Islam there.

    The solution to this was that my mom met one of the nicer teachers and they became friends. This teacher gave us (me, my sister, and brother) private lessons in her home. I loved going there. She was patient and she would take turns teaching each of us. Whenever I made a mistake (very often, especially pronounciation as I'm not Arabic), she would continue to help me learn.
    And while it was my sister or brothers turn, I would play with her daughter and bond with Islam.

    I hope this helps you decide.

  6. I attended mixed UK gender public school.

    The school that I attended, there were non-muslim girls and boys. And yes, there were muslim boys and girls too. There were good non-muslim girls/ boys and there were good muslim boys/ girls as well. Similalry, there were bad non-muslim boys/ girls as well as bad muslim girls and boys.

    Boyfriend and girlfriend did exist in the school (both between non-muslims and muslims).
    Some students behaviour/manners were really rude and horrible towards teachers and to their fellow students. Teachers without shadow of doubt did try their utmost to teach subjects as well as additional good behaviour to students.

    Alhamdulillah, I was amongst the good batch- no boyfriends and no male friends I had. I was respected both by muslims as well as non-muslims. I used to hang around with girls. My school reports was always good and positive.

    Then I attended a mixed college. Again in there one could find good and bad students. And again, I minglesd with good girls- those who were not into boyfriends or loose/shallow talks.

    And then I eventually I attended university. There again there were good and bad batch. I consider my unversity years as one of the best years coz I started to do my namaaz- obviously not full-time but for sure my state of emaan increased 🙂 . I purposely chose to hang around with practising muslim sisters. MashaAllah, they were ever so friendly and never treated me like an outsider even though I never used to wear hijab or practise Islam properly. They always encouraged me towards Islam but never pressurised me. I used to attend most of the Islamic talks with them- even though there were times I felt lazy to attend but with my friends encouragment I always felt so glad that I attended the talk afterwards!!! I will never forget my good friend Sadeeqa!!!- and her good-sweet sisters!!!- (they also attended public but girls only school). I hope to get in touch with her very soon again- after good few years!!!. I guess she would be please to see in Hijab now 🙂

    Anyways, after university, I found job and started working and I started to become lazy with my prayers which internally, I always felt so down about it 🙁 every job I used to join, I always made dua that at least one of my work colleague to be muslim. And Alhamdulillah, I was always blessed with a muslim work colleague- with that I always felt a bit secured lol and then eventually, I got another new job and I did not and do not have muslim work-colleagues in this job of mine 🙁 oh gosh, that used to bother me so much!!! I started to feel that I am lacking islam in me that I requested from my manager that if I could use one of the meeting rooms for my daily prayers and she happily said "yes"!!! I was so happy!!! so now I keep up with my prayers and started to wear hijab... inshaAllah, I am hoping to take on salah/prayer classes, tajweed classes and Islamic studies classes but for this I need to make my job part-time inshaAllah!!!

    so coming to the point of public or Islamic school, I would probably send them to public school. I guess, it all comes down to how a child is brought up in the family. Kids most often learns first from home and then school environment.

    At home I was always told what I can and can't do or what is halal and haram. They always taught me to stay away from boys and explained the reaosns why- which made sense to me and helped me greatly. They- my family always made it clear that education is important and if I ever fail to get the expected grades I used to get told off but never shouted at to make studies less interesting for me.

    Living in the west, most employers prefers candidates who is able to mix, i.e. get along with other faiths/people. So if one's CV purely shows Islamic schooling then I think that will have a negative affect on their future's employment. Work is like family- we cannot chose who our parents, brother and sisters to be, likewise when we go to job interview we tend to see and talk with manager for half and an hour or so and if we end up getting the job, then we will have to accept whoever be our co-workers. That is why employers really look out for a candidate who can mix in and to employers CV is the first thing they see of a candidate then eventually the candidate.

    So, if a child's home environment is good then InshaAllah they will be raised good (if Allah wills). But being said that, if I think I wont be able to provide Islam and manners for my kids from home (i.e. evening clasess, weekend classes, etc) first then I will difinitly try my utmost to send them to Islamic school-- provided that I am financially capable!!! I would love my kids to have so much more Islamic access than I did but still Alhamdulillah I am greatful the way my family/parents raised me. If lack Islam right now, it is not because my family never tried they did try to their level. oh gosh, so much talking about kids!!!- I need to find a husband lol

    anyways, good thread- enjoyed writing away 😀


  7. Asalaamalaikum,

    I have joint legal custody with a non-muslim parent who was practicing Islam...but he's not now...and totally against sending our child to an Islamic school. This person is very unreasonable with this regard. How am I going to convince him that I want our child to attend an Islamic school. I am so broken over this and have been ever since he left the deen. Weekend schools I cannot do because I was told our child could not attend Sunday classes if he is not there every Sunday. Insha-Allah please advise me on this.


    • Sakinah, please log in and write your question as a separate post, and give us more information about the child custody issue.

      Wael Editor

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