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Multi faith children

(17 Posts)
loversrock Wed 24-May-17 18:51:00

Is there any parents who have got experience in raising their child/children multi faith such as Islam and Christianity? Or even Muslim but also celebrating Christmas and Easter etc as well as Eid for example..? Just wondering how it works with two parents with different religions or even one practising Islam for example and one non religious..? Thank you smile

Brokenbiscuit Wed 24-May-17 18:55:15

We celebrate festivals from more than one religion, but neither dh nor I are actually religious - we're both agnostic but dd is definitely atheist!grin

The festivals are more cultural than religious for us, but she has visited both places of worship on numerous occasions.

alteredimages Wed 24-May-17 18:59:28

We're raising our children Muslim (DH Muslim, I'm a convert but not a very religious one, more just to have a shared blueprint). We fast during Ramadan and pray but also celebrate Christmas, Easter, Pancake Day, or whatever other festivals we can find to celebrate.

I am not sure we're really role models though because I'm pretty sure that given the choice DCs would both choose to be Christian for Christmas and Easter celebrations. I think our DCs are pretty confused about religion generally, which isn't good, but I wanted to be careful not to send DD in particular to anyone who will feed her political or sexist views alongside Arabic or Qur'an.

For us it works fine because DH, who is very religious, knows that we are Muslim and the other festivals are to participate fully in family life with my parents and my siblings and have no religious meaning.

I expect things will become much more complicated as DCs get older and start making choices that DH doesn't like, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

I'm not sure exactly what your question was, but I hope that this sort of answers it. smile

alteredimages Wed 24-May-17 19:00:43

DD has asked to be baptised because she saw her cousin being baptised and she also quite likes that Ancient Egyptian gods and Aphrodite, so I think it gives children quite an interesting and flexible approach to religion generally.

BeeMyBaby Wed 24-May-17 21:58:20

Technically if they are properly practicing Muslim then they are not allowed to celebrate anything other than the two Eids. Obviously in the U.K. it can be difficult to follow through with that as the children wonder why other children get presents etc and they don't. My family is Christian where as DH and my DCs are Muslim. When they were being told at mosque that they weren't allowed to celebrate Christmas I simply told them they weren't celebrating it, however their grandparents and cousins etc were Christian, so if they chose to get them presents then they was up to my family, my DCs weren't giving presents (obviously I do) so basically they just happen to get things, if that makes sense. I do not get them much myself from 'santa', DH is always saying it is not real etc anyway to them, last year they just got 1 toy each and some sweets and quite a few things from my family. However for Eid I will buy them a few gifts each, so overall per year they probably get as many presents as other children, but less at Christmas as it depends on relatives mostly. Hope that makes sense. My mother also buys them a couple of Easter eggs which is plenty.

loversrock Thu 25-May-17 17:49:12

Thanks for your replies. Really interested as we're expecting a baby OH is Muslim and I'm not really religious although I'm christened. I want them to celebrate Christmas etc not for religious reasons but because it is a part of me and how I have grown up I want to share that with my children and my family on the other hand we will celebrate Eid etc too but I don't want them be confused. Ideally I would like them to decide when they are old enough with no pressure and not be tied and forced into religion from birth.
Does DH celebrate Christmas etc with you @alteredimages with him being Muslim or do you do it alone? @BeeMyBaby

alteredimages Thu 25-May-17 18:30:03

I spent an especially unpleasant year under Muslim Brotherhood rule so have very little truck with people who like to tell you there's only one way to be a Muslim. This myth of orthodoxy in the practice of Islam is just not true. Many very observant Muslims still give Christmas presents or sweets to Christian neighbours, attend funerals, weddings and baptisms. I know that there is a Hadith saying that there are only two Eids and you can't celebrate anything else, but if you take that (or pretty much any religious ruling from any religion ever) to its logical conclusion then you end up being mental, and in this case unable even to let you kids go to another child's birthday party. Sadly some people do that.

All I'm saying is that there is more than one way to skin a cat and more than one way to be a 'proper' Muslim.

My DH does celebrate Christmas with my family but most of my family aren't religious and we don't attend church. We would go to church for funerals, weddings and baptisms and not do the praying bits. DH is not from the UK though I am, so at first he was a bit hmm about Christmas, family drinking alcohol around him but has relaxed a lot especially since he sees how much DC enjoy being with my family.

I don't know whether your DH is British or not, or whether he is very religious. If he comes from a Muslim country it may be that the child's religion is recorded on birth certificate and passport. Usually the rule is that if the father is Muslim then the child is too and it would probably be nigh on impossible for child to change their recorded religion especially if from Islam to another religion.

If he is religion then your DH might also be a bit weirded out by the idea that the DCs choose a religion when they're older since most Muslims think that the Father's religion determines that of the child. I would really recommend making a decision on this together before DCs are born.

In our case I think DH is willing to be much more open because he knows that DCs are Muslim and I'm not doing any conversion on the sly.

BeeMyBaby Thu 25-May-17 19:26:03

@loversrock it doesn't sound that your DH is very religious then if he wouldn't mind your children not being brought up as Muslim and therefore it doesn't sound like much of an issue to celebrate Christmas etc. DH was with us for the first couple of christmases but was a real grinch and sucked the joy out of it by complaining that he didn't want the DC celebrating it, then the third Christmas we went to his home country and I was not allowed to mention the existence of Christmas, so for the last 3 christmases I have encouraged him to go to his home country whilst I'm off work anyway so can look after the children whilst he visits his family. It is much less stressful this way and the children are able to join in at school singing carols etc.

pinkmagic1 Fri 26-May-17 06:19:45

Totally agree Altered Images. Like you say, there are many ways to be a 'proper Muslim', just as there are many ways to be a 'proper Christian'. From the strict Catholic to the happy, clappy Pentecostal for instance. They are all Christian, but have different routes to God, none less or more valid than the other.
I think your dh is from the same country as mine, Altered and people there do get involved in one another's celebrations. DH's devout Muslim grandmother for instance would sit and help her Christian neighbours make crosses for palm Sunday. This is the true nature of Christianity and Islam I think, it should not be about us and them, that is when the trouble starts.
Dh had to go and speak to another dad at Ds's school just the other week. This other family are of Pakistani origin and the father started with all the we Muslims are all brothers and should stick together stuff. My Dh replied that all people are brothers regardless of their religion. Couldn't agree more!

loversrock Sat 27-May-17 16:09:32

He is British Pakistani Muslim and I know DD will be muslim too however I still want her to grow up quite open and be able to celebrate Christmas (not for religious reasons, more cultural) join in with things at school and things like that even though I know he wouldn't participate! OH isn't extremely religious however he does not drink or smoke only eats halal goes to mosque most Fridays.... @alteredimages @BeeMyBaby @pinkmagic1
X

alteredimages Sun 28-May-17 19:06:53

@loversrock I totally understand where you're coming from. How religious someone is can be quite subjective, and can also change over time, so for me the important thing is to be in agreement on basic principles and have good communication to discuss any unforeseen points of difference. Then there's always the fun stuff like when my relatives took one of our DCs out for a bacon roll so they wouldn't miss out. hmm

Good luck and congratulations on your pregnancy!

Dede124 Mon 29-May-17 15:49:26

Ohh... I bet that went down well @alteredimages lol! Yeah I'm sure things will work out over time and probably find a solution when certain situations come up! Thanks for your advice smile X

Thedifferant1 Sat 24-Jun-17 10:16:31

These are natural questiones, that crosses the mind of every first time mum.. that's how to raise her kid.. these " worries" will be much less, with the second child😊.. go for the 2nd !🤔😂. Both my husband I are immigrant muslims from different countries, hence different culture, we are not at the same level of practising Islam, and funny enough, we hardly talk about it. we got 2 girls 10,14. Now.. I agree on previous points: "proper" Muslim is insane idea. So basically teach your children what you feel right for them to live happy and be active member of the British society. One tip is , labelling helps society to stereotype the child. Meanwhile, some parents feel they peer pressured to show off the faith they belong too.. the child will always resist being different. And it s a continupus parenting struggle. The most difficult part to deal with is Peer pressure from other parents who identify you as " like them" but actually you are not . One good tip .. keep the basics as blue print between you and husband. Even if he s not bothered now, he ll be subjected to same peer pressure.. and sometimes they behave differently when they become fathers ..keep an eye on solid ground of deep hearted values in the house .. children need to be given a sort of identity until they find their own.. allow this finding job to take place as they grow older. I think it s more healthy to tell the child something about him to describe himself , to let him know what is he s allowed and what's not is important , then allow open discussion as much as their brain can take it.

loversrock Sat 01-Jul-17 09:04:27

Thank you for the advice @Thedifferant1 you're right it's such a worry for me being a first time mum Iv been worrying about this a lotgrin

Foniks Thu 06-Jul-17 23:42:02

I grew up with both. I loved being so involved and close to two different faiths. Plus double celebrations of course haha.
It can definitely work, as long as both parents work together, are both open to other faiths and try to adapt to each other.

Now, I'm raising my DD (and any future DC) the same way.
I think it also helps them to be more open minded and accepting of others as they grow up. Obviously kids will accept others easily anyway, but some can become less accepting as they grow up.

revolution909 Thu 06-Jul-17 23:51:52

Not much help, but my daughter is being raised an agnostic with a Jewish flair, we integrate cultural Judaism (festivals) but none of the religious stuff (although we do say the blessings as way of being grateful with life). It works smile

annandale Thu 06-Jul-17 23:52:35

Hardest thing about multifaith for me was circumcision, then the fluctuating nature of dh's religious observance. My view is, don't do ANYTHING that you are not 100% happy with, but keep discussing it until they lose interest

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