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ireallywannaknow

Should we have kids if we live in the West?

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Bismillah

I was just listening to an Islamic lecture and the sheikh made an interesting/ scary point. He said that (like everyone knows) Islam is the fastest growing religion. However he said in the west, statistics show that people are abandoning Islam at the same rate as people are entering. So it got me thinking... that must mean that it is mostly people who are raised Muslim that are going away from Islam. And all around me I am seeing people with good Islamic upbringings turning from Islam and it is really scaring me. So I feel like the chances that children raised in the West will grow up to be practicing Muslims is very slim. So what do you think? Should we think twice about bringing children into this world when the odds are so against us? Will we be held accountable when we know that this is a toxic environment? 

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1. Yes always think beforehand you bring kids into this world in any enviorment

2. There are good / bad things in all environments, its upto parents to guide and inform their kids towards the right path and make them understand why things are good/bad. Good parenting trumps all environments and challenges

3. We are believes of Al-e-muhammad s.w and Allah swt , so use knowledge and ilm to present your arguments and reasoning to kids instead of force and they will never try to rebel against logic and reasoning.  

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I can't speak for Europe, but the number of Muslims in the United States has grown from 2.35 million to 3.45 million in less than 10 years.

Some of this is from immigration, but there are converts (reverts) as well. So I don't things are dire yet--I think other religions have a much bigger problem than Islam right now.

My concerns would be

1. Sunni mosques / groups are more common, more visible, and engage in more outreach than Shia. This means that there are far fewer convert to Shia Islam, people in the west know less about it, etc.

2. The consequences of pragmatic political and ideological alliances with groups that hold values which are contrary to Islam, and who follow objectionable and degenerate lifestyles. This is more of an issue among the Sunni, but everyone should be careful about cooperating with people who could be a "bad influence". The Pew Research Center says that in 2011, 39% of Muslims were accepting of homosexuality and gay marriage. That number is now 52%. This was the way it went with the Christians, and we see what is happening there. Today it is homosexuality and transgenderism, tomorrow it is pederasty and who knows what else? Muslims and Christians alike need to turn off the MTV and stay away from Hollywood movies.

3. Muslims need to be careful with the public schools in the west. Atheism is promoted behind closed doors, and 3rd wave feminism is like another religion there. I recommend homeschooling the children if possible (we do).

This is a test of faith

 

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perhaps the better discussion would be to ask

A) why are thiests becoming athiests

B) why are athiests becoming theists.

C) if the rate at both are exchanging their ideologies is relatively the same, then there should be no worries.

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Many kids growing up in the west made them more religious, that goes for the family as well! Allah brought you to a place with safety, we should thank him, and continue to live. Stop fearing things that can't harm you, cause Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى is with you, always! May Allah grant every person what they want! He is the best provider!

Ya Allah, Ya Rahim.

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While I agree with some of what Jaffer Ladak says, I worry that "activism" quickly becomes cynical pragmatism and the elevation of worldly things over the spiritual (Islamic).

Look at what happened to the Christians in the US when churches and congregations became embroiled in political and social initiatives. Worse yet, look what happened when they delved into identity politics and ethnic discord. There were some who sought to declare Christianity a "white man's religion", or to use the Bible as a justification for things like slavery. It was all absurd and self-serving.

Groups like BLM in the states are downright awful--they engage in vicious identity politics, violence, and civil discord. They are as bad as Antifa, and Muslims should not be apologizing for them, or advocating for them. Don't stoop down to their level.

Yes, one should stay politically engaged to some degree, but should also stay away from radicalism 

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47 minutes ago, ireallywannaknow said:

all around me I am seeing people with good Islamic upbringings turning from Islam and it is really scaring me.

Where do you live that you are seeing this ?

48 minutes ago, ireallywannaknow said:

So I feel like the chances that children raised in the West will grow up to be practicing Muslims is very slim.

Born and raised in the U.S. here (my Parents immigrated here from India in the early '70s) My children were born and raised here (12 year old boy and a 9 year old girl). I have a brother who has a son. I have over 20 first cousins in the U.S. who were born here who have children of various ages. I have extended family here as well with children of various ages as well. Not one of us has left Islam. Some have married Sunni but overall all are practicing Shia.

In my community here in Chicago (which is quite sizable...however there are communities in North America which are larger...i.e. Toronto, NY/NJ area, Houston) I still see the people that I grew up with attending the various events at our Masjid. In fact, they are all married and bringing their kids and their elderly parents (as well as having taken on leadership roles in the community and Masjids) so MashAllah our community is growing even more. Add to this new migrants and Reverts so the number is increasing every year exponentially.

So based on that...I think what you stated as Children who grow up in the West growing up to be practicing Muslims as being slim to be completely and unequivocally wrong. I'm sure there will be other people that have grown up in the West posting on here who will agree with me.

Its all about the Parenting. If you raise your kids with proper Shia ideals and morals then them straying will be next to 0. 

55 minutes ago, ireallywannaknow said:

Should we think twice about bringing children into this world when the odds are so against us?

If you do your job properly as a Parent then the odds should be just fine.

56 minutes ago, ireallywannaknow said:

Will we be held accountable when we know that this is a toxic environment? 

All generations that have come before are accountable for the actions of someone. If I sin my ancestors are held accountable.

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17 hours ago, Akbar673 said:

Where do you live that you are seeing this ?

 

I see it a lot within the 'indigenous' Shia community, meaning the second and third generation Muslims born from converts to Islam. Maybe that has to do with it, that we don't have Islamic culture passed down from our ancestors and interwoven in to our very beings...? I don't know. But my siblings have gone away, my cousins, family friends, etc. And it seems to just be getting worse and worse. Maybe it's an identity crisis. I'm not sure what it is but it's definitely happening. 

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It is true that in America, according to Pew, 23% of people raised Muslims leave Islam. This does not include the people who identify as Muslim but do not practice, or practice very nominally.

There are a few factors that need to be considered though. These numbers do not take conversion into account, which a recent study suggests that converts actually replace apostates in number.

Another factor: a lot of Muslim immigrants to the West are not all that religious, and come for economic or educational reasons. So it's no surprise that someone of nominal Muslim background leaves the religion. Parents remain the biggest influence in the lives of their children, and so if you create a religious atmosphere at home, it is very likely that your children will remain on that religion.

Apostasy may also be higher in certain diasporas than others, and it may be higher in certain parts of America than others. It would be interesting if there were any demographic details here. Keep in mind that there are many Muslim cultures where Islam is nominally practiced - Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, etc. You'll still find some practicing Muslims in those countries, but they are no where near the majority. There are many other countries where the level of religiosity differs greatly from family to family.

Still, no doubt that apostasy is far more common in the West than in the Middle East (for example). So extra precautions need to be taken. Most importantly, make sure that you and your partner are living by Islam day-to-day. Then, make sure that the kids are well-immersed in the community and have a lot of Muslim friends and connections. Then, there are things like Islamic schools (which are slowly improving), religious classes, camps, clubs, conventions, etc. Make sure the religion is fun for them, that their questions or doubts are answered intelligently, that they can get married at a good time, and that they make gradual improvements in their religious development.

So I don't think the istiHbab of marriage changes in our situation. It was no easier being a Muslim in Medina in the Prophet's midst either. But it's true that if you let them go or hold them far too tightly here in the West that there is a danger. So just do what you can (truly) and Allah will reward you for that.

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1 hour ago, ireallywannaknow said:

I see it a lot within the 'indigenous' Shia community, meaning the second and third generation Muslims born from converts to Islam. Maybe that has to do with it, that we don't have Islamic culture passed down from our ancestors and interwoven in to our very beings...? I don't know. But my siblings have gone away, my cousins, family friends, etc. And it seems to just be getting worse and worse. Maybe it's an identity crisis. I'm not sure what it is but it's definitely happening. 

I think this is a natural phenomena that will occur when Muslims are raised in an environment where there is no background of coercion or the threat of death/ostracization.

I read somewhere that there is no compulsion in religion in the Quran. However this is not the case in large part for Muslim majority countries.

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23 hours ago, Akbar673 said:

Its all about the Parenting. If you raise your kids with proper Shia ideals and morals then them straying will be next to 0. 

This is a bias statement from a parent. If a person were to revert, while their parents were non-muslim, would you then claim it was great upbringing from non-thiestic parents?. The story would then change to claim it to be fitrah. Reversion or non is based on motive, desire and perhaps to some extend an intellectual drive for a way out.

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Hello brother,

Depends on what you want I dont know if you'll like my opinion but here it goes. As a person who lives in the West all his life among youth and is neutral about religion (like I'm no degenerate but also no Imam) I've seen a dramatic decrease in religious activities in the west among youth and all religions, I've seen degeneracy and Atheism on a sharp rise compared to around 2006 when is the last time I've seen religion taken serious. The west is amazing to live in no doubt, good living standards and the simplest of worries but if you brother want your future kids to stay religious then my answer to this topic is a flat out no you should get what you need in your western country and then move to a Muslim country.

Salam hope things work out well for you

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28 minutes ago, Forgottenthinker said:

you brother want your future kids to stay religious then my answer to this topic is a flat out no you should get what you need in your western country and then move to a Muslim country.

Don't know if I agree with this, in Muslim countries people pretend to be religious but I think a lot of stuff happens underground. I don't think there is a perfect place on earth. In many ways it can be worse in the Muslim world, because people's curiosity makes them even more rebellious. This may sound morbid but I really question why people even have kids, such an ugly world to bring them into, we're destroying each other and the planet with it too. 

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When I lived in east, I often read or heard stories like: Prophet (A.S.) came to a person's dream and He looked very sad, And He said 'today 10000 Muslims passed away and only 200 of them had Iman'. The point is it's very hard to remain Muslim and very few people have Iman when they die. I am confused about this new idea that hundreds of millions of Muslims living in east are all perfect Muslims and there's something seriously wrong with the few million people living in west. In east, people commit murders, rape, beat their wives for many years and commit all kinds of sins. I have seen many people in my parents' generation who stopped praying/ fasting for 20, 25 years. It was because they had so many responsibilities or they were probably dealing with very hard tests and they lost faith. But they couldn't express their lack of faith because apostates can get killed in eastern countries. Now these people are old and they have become very religious. So people in west may also become religious in old age or whenever their lives get easier. I was most religious in my 20s when I was living in west. I became less religious not because of west but because of hypocrisy of religious people and all those religious people are always telling me that I am apostate, and a sinner. I pray, fast, wear hijab, go to majlis,  I really don't understand why are people so worried about my faith. Can we please stop pretending that hundreds of millions of Muslims living in east are all perfect Muslims and they are all going to heaven? 

Edited by rkazmi33

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1 minute ago, Mohamed1993 said:

Don't know if I agree with this, in Muslim countries people pretend to be religious but I think a lot of stuff happens underground. I don't think there is a perfect place on earth. In many ways it can be worse in the Muslim world, because people's curiosity makes them even more rebellious. 

Well brother, the west is a huge place made of different countries and each of these countries different regions, my opinion is formed on what I experience in daily life for you its differently.

2 minutes ago, Mohamed1993 said:

This may sound morbid but I really question why people even have kids, such an ugly world to bring them into, we're destroying each other and the planet with it too.

I completely agree there are many orphans in Iraq and Syria I would take care of them before having more kids.

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Overtime minorities tend to assimilate unless they are isolated from the rest of the population. Take jews for example, in Europe and the US most of them do not practice their religion at all and are just like non-jews. Jews are in fact the most irreligious religious group. The groups that are religious typically isolated themselves from the rest of society as to not assimilate and they still survive till now. But there there is a big difference with jews, jews are primarily an ethnicity (in practice) than a religious group although they are an ethno-religious group. If they lose their religion they retain their identity as jews. But Islam is not judaism. The reality is that it seems overtime in the west more and more Muslims will leave Islam. I wonder if the decline of religiosity is tied to the culture or simply because western nations are modern industrial nations. If it is a latter obviously this spells disaster for all Muslim countries as well.

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59 minutes ago, Shi3i_jadeed said:

I wonder if the decline of religiosity is tied to the culture or simply because western nations are modern industrial nations. If it is a latter obviously this spells disaster for all Muslim countries as well.

Industrialization and using technology should not cause somebody to abandon faith, whether it's Islam or some other religion. I think it's mostly a cultural issue if anything else.

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10 minutes ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

Industrialization and using technology should not cause somebody to abandon faith, whether it's Islam or some other religion. I think it's mostly a cultural issue if anything else.

Obviously it shouldn't but does it? It seems to move the world towards more of a mono-culture, a secular mono-culture. I don't think you can separate technology and culture as culture is formed by the technology that is in use to a certain degree. There is also the reality that the culture with industrial development has power and influence. The west also had this influence through colonialism I mean why do you think Muslims abolished slavery or gave up some other practices? 

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Things people do not know goes on:

1. A lot of Shia men and women date. Thanks to social media, phones, and ease of communication this has become much easier. I have extensive contacts and i know what goes on , and  people who are heads of events, people who are presidents of Absocs, people who are 'so pious mashAllah' are all victim to this. 

2. Sayed Hadi Qazwini mentioned the culture of women and male celebrities. This goes on a lot actually, and many do this, and make particularly crude and inappropriate comments, and the ones you think are 'so pious mashAllah'. It is rampant and frequent to the extent people also make comments like that about spouses of their friends. Some of the things said privately is actually just pure filth. Just underlines the fact deep down we are all animals, and it is Islam and our higher sense of morality that elevates us. Even the so-called 'so pious mashAllah' types.

3. Religion to Shias these days tends to be the Muharram act, but then the same Shias cake on faces full of make up, flirt with guys, listen to music frequently, and this is all common. 

4. A lack of connection towards scholars. Many scholars don't seem to address direct problems of the youth today, such as the fact age of marriage is now in mid to late 20s, and men and women are expected to live totally halal lives until then. That is only asking for trouble and i'd say one of the underlying root causes of a lot of the Fitnah. People don't think religion is a legitimate and practical element , so they look towards other forms sadly.

Of course, this is not to generalise everybody, but it is common enough to raise alarm.

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6 hours ago, Shi3i_jadeed said:

Obviously it shouldn't but does it? It seems to move the world towards more of a mono-culture, a secular mono-culture. I don't think you can separate technology and culture as culture is formed by the technology that is in use to a certain degree. There is also the reality that the culture with industrial development has power and influence. The west also had this influence through colonialism I mean why do you think Muslims abolished slavery or gave up some other practices? 

Hmm, I disagree, from what I've observed, even if technology seems to be pushing towards a mono-culture, the way we use technology is coloured by our cultural differences. It will be a very, very long time before the concept of culture is truly extinguished.

As for the boldened part, you do realize that the same colonial powers that you want to say ended slavery in the Islamic world, upheld and even tried sustain slavery in parts of Africa, just ask the Congolese what kind of atrocities they suffered under Belgian rule. Raped, beaten and shot for rubber.

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This is a hard question, however good your parenting is, the environment will affect your children to some degree, this is the truth.

If you are not actively working to establish and further Islam in a non islamic environment, then I find it hard to motivate not moving.

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On 2018-02-08 at 4:32 PM, ireallywannaknow said:

Bismillah

I was just listening to an Islamic lecture and the sheikh made an interesting/ scary point. He said that (like everyone knows) Islam is the fastest growing religion. However he said in the west, statistics show that people are abandoning Islam at the same rate as people are entering. So it got me thinking... that must mean that it is mostly people who are raised Muslim that are going away from Islam. And all around me I am seeing people with good Islamic upbringings turning from Islam and it is really scaring me. So I feel like the chances that children raised in the West will grow up to be practicing Muslims is very slim. So what do you think? Should we think twice about bringing children into this world when the odds are so against us? Will we be held accountable when we know that this is a toxic environment? 

If you are good parents and teach your children proper values than there is no issue raising your children here while  instilling the values and practices of Islam. 

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