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In the Name of God بسم الله

How do Shia-Sunni couples raise their children?

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Well, I've been thinking about this a little bit. Shia-Sunni relations aren't the best right now, but on the other hand, Shia-Sunni marriages aren't uncommon either in places like Iraq and Lebanon. I've been talking to a sunni girl and we're really getting along well together, to the point of seriously discussing marriage. But one topic I haven't been willing to discuss a lot is the issue of how to raise the children, which I feel is a bit touchy subject.

Considering I'm shia and she's sunni, I don't feel comfortable raising the children completely either way. Ideally, I'd like for my children to experience and learn both sunni and shia, and then let them decide themselves. But, what have your experiences been? How does shia-sunni couples in Iraq and Lebanon raise their children?

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  • Haji 2003 changed the title to How do Shia-Sunni couples raise their children?
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My father is Arab and Shi’a, my mother is Asian and Sunni. Tbh, both of them are not that religious, so my life wasn’t that hard. 

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I don't have any Muslim friends but if I was to be arranged to marry by a father in my own town, the woman would most likely be a Sunni and initially I feel like I'd be fine with that. When kids come into the picture, I don't know but I see the whole Sunni-Shia thing a lot differently than a lot of people do. I see us both as fundamentally Muslims and thus brothers and sisters, we just disagree on some points of the faith. I see it a lot like being the difference between Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox churches, but is oftentimes turned into a level of disagreement that leads to ethnic conflicts and killing, and it's sad because that simply shouldn't prevent Muslims for marrying and befriending one another. We're all on the same team at the end of the day. I don't know, maybe I look at it like this because I'm a revert and don't have any of the ethnic stuff attached to either side of the debate, but I'm Shia because I simply cannot believe that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) did not appoint a successor from his own household in the event of Ghadir Khumm. There are other things that I believe about it as well: I see Shiism as being more in line with "Orthodox" Islam of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and that Sunnism is largely a product of human ambition.

If I had children, I would want them to be raised in the Shia tradition but if my wife insisted that they learn Sunnism, I would be willing to compromise that they be taught both traditions and then when they reach the age of reason, they can choose which path that they're going to follow.

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