Raising Christian Children?

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Question

There is a brother I know who is married to a Christian woman. They have three daughters who are being raised Christian against the wishes of the father. What is the ruling for this according to Islamic law?

What are the consequences for the father and the daughters if this is the case, and is divorce prescribed? I must tell you that in this country the mother almost always gets the children so there would still be a great amount of anti-Islamic sentiment and influence from the mother and her family. The mother has sworn that they (the daughters) would be Christian even if it means the destruction of her family. The father feels hopeless as his wife refuses to even consider conversion.

Answered by: Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf

In the name of Allah the Inspirer of truth

This is a very unfortunate situation and obviously many mistakes have been made. The following should be considered.

1. Repent sincerely to Allah for having allowed oneself in such a position. This is the reason why it has been considered strongly disliked to marry the women of the Book, even though there is permissibly. However, one must never forget that Allah is All-forgiving and All-powerful. Do not lose heart in Allah for everything is in His control.

2. There should be no more children with this wife. It would be permissible in this condition to employ certain means of contraception to ensure this.

3. It seems that divorce will only aggravate the matter further. Hence, that should be avoided. Instead remain married to her and attempt in every way possible to bring her over to Islam, or at least change her mind about the future of the children.

May Allah transform the situation to the better.

Wassalam
Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf

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