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Adolescent boy who has not been baptised

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sdaignau View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 July 2008 at 11:21pm

I live in a rural part of South Jersey in the US.  It is a very small community where most people are well acquainted with one another.  It is nearly all Christian, though there are some Jews.  I don't think there are any Muslims, but there could be.  Atlantic City is the closest 'large' town (less than 30 miles away).

Forgive me for writing this detail....  A single mom lives near me with her 11 year old son.  She did not marry the father and he no longer lives in the area.  The mother is herself the product of a confused home with her own father being a Jew and her own mother a Christian.  She is the fifth of five children who suffered the most from her parents' spiritual confusion and apathy in that she was not baptised nor taken to Church or the Synagogue as a child.  She was somewhat of a trouble maker in high school and had resentment for any type of faith.  She became pregnant in 11th grade and gave birth to her son 11 years ago.  Like herself, she did not have the boy baptised and never took him to a Church of any faith.  I am not specifically friends with either the Mom or the boy, but I say hello when I walk past - which is often enough in a small town.
 
Yesterday, I saw the boy was crying and I asked him what was wrong.  He told me he was a bastard and a heathen and that he would go to Hell.  I told him not to be silly, God would never punish him for things he could not control.  Plus, I told him he could be baptised if he was concerned about being a heathen.  I also told him that my mother didn't marry my father which meant I was a bastard, too.  The boy said his mother wouldn't let him be baptised.  The boy was still upset, so I mentioned to him that Islam would consider him a Muslim - so, he wasn't exactly a heathen just because he wasn't baptised.  He didn't believe me, so I told him to look it up with google or wikipedia.  After dinner, he came running over to me to say that he had looked it up and I was right - he was a Muslim.  He was very pleased with the idea that he belonged to a faith, but he was afraid to tell his mother.  He asked me if I would take him to Atlantic City where he could find an Islamic place of worship.  I told him we'd have to ask his mother - I couldn't just take him somewhere.  I also mentioned that I wasn't Muslim and I didn't really know what I was talking about.  This didn't really dampen his spirit, though he doesn't want to tell his mother anything about it.
 
So, I've really put my foot in my mouth.  I don't know anything about Islam.  I just remembered reading it somewhere and I felt bad about him being upset.  I'm not sure what I should say to his mother (I'm sure he will tell her sooner than later) or him, tomorrow.  I don't want to make something up and I couldn't find anything specific on the internet for something like this.  I mean, if Islam could bring him some peace, then I'll take him to Atlantic City so he can go to a Muslim temple and ask more questions.  If that is a bad idea for an 11 year old in this situation, then I'll tell him that he has to wait until he's older.  Either way, his mother is going to be furious with me.  I just want to do right by the boy now that I've said what I said.  He's thrilled to death to think he might actually belong to a faith.
 
Thank you in advance for the suggestions and advice.
 
Regards,
Steve
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sdaignau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sdaignau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 July 2008 at 6:38am
... I'm a little discouraged..  I noticed the informed, ongoing discussion in several other posts and I thought there would be some feedback for me.  Is there no advice or even insight to offer?
 
Regards,
Steve
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Hayfa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hayfa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 July 2008 at 1:56pm
Hello,
 
Welcome to the Forum
 
Sorry for missing this..
 
What a tricky situation. Did you talk to the boy's mom? What did she have to say about it?  You could not take the boy with out the parent's permission.
 
What did she say? How is the young man?
 
Hayfa 
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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sdaignau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sdaignau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 July 2008 at 2:36pm
Hayfa:
 
Hi.  Thank you for asking.  She was aggressive with me wanting to know what I was trying to accomplish.  It was mostly bluster as we are not complete strangers.  I live several houses away and we cross paths at least 2 or 3 times a week.  She pointed out that I should know she doesn't go for any of that religious stuff (whichever religion - doesn't matter).  I told her that I saw her son crying and she mentioned that he had said the same and he also showed her a couple things online.  I had told him that I was going to try to find out more, but that I hadn't been able to, yet.
 
I had expected more hostility from her.  The conversation didn't really conclude - she "had to go".  I thought her combination of interest and disinterest was a little odd.  But, then I realized something.  She might be curious for her own reasons.  As I mentioned previously, her family was quite apathetic about religion by the time she was born and she makes it a point to wear her lack of faith as a badge.  She will often comment that she and Andy (her son) don't belong to any religion - that they've both never been baptised or ever gone to any church....  It may be meaningful to her in some way just like it was to her son.  I was a little paranoid about it for a bit - not sure what she was going to do when she found out what I had said to Andy.  It ended up being more of a non-issue.  She didn't ask me to let her know if I find anything out, but she also didn't tell me to stop talking to her son.
 
Regards,
Steve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote minuteman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 July 2008 at 8:06pm
 
 Very complicated situation brought about by self confession. It is sure that the mother is not at fault about her own birth. But she is at fault for the birth of the illegitimate son. Similarly, the son is not at fault.
 
 So in the present circumstances, it is better to take the son to some senior educated Muslim for counselling. The mother should allow it because she had been the cause of the son's predicament. She should freely allow the son to do some soul searching.
 
 I would suggest that she should go along with the son and the good gentleman when they go to Atlanta city. The mother also needs some lessons in spiritualism. She has no faith. She must have seen the results of the Judaism and christianity. Now let her see the teachings of Islam if those suit her.
 
 At the least, the friend should take the young boy to Atlanta City. That is definite, good move. I am a muslim. I don't know what other muslim friends here will say about it. I also do not know what is the (Islamic) legal position about it.


Edited by minuteman - 07 July 2008 at 8:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sdaignau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 July 2008 at 10:08pm
Minuteman:
 
Hi.  Thank you for the suggestion.  This is also my instinct (take the boy or both he and his mother to... a Mosque?).  It is actually Atlantic City, NJ.  I found one called Masjid Muhammad in the phone book.  My only concern is that they wouldn't be "accepted" or "acceptable" under these circumstances.  I don't know why that might be the case.  I think I will call them to ask their opinion, too.
 
Regards,
Steve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote minuteman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2008 at 2:57am
 
 Yes, try to speak on the phpne and if the matter is not acceptable to mosque people then do not go near them. You can try to locate some good people on the net. It is better to contact some honorable peaceful learned educated person. That may guide you to some good people.
 
 Look for love and no hatred.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nur_Ilahi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 July 2008 at 7:11am
I am so sorry to miss this thread too.
 
I appreciate your concern towards the boy. It shows you do have love towards another human being.
 
In Islam, when a child - any child, be it a Muslim or a non-Muslim) under the age of puberty dies, his or her place is guaranteed Jannah or Paradise. The reason is because the intellectual ability has not fully developed yet to choose right from wrong. This is a sign of Allah - Our Creator's - Mercy and Compassion.
 
Perhaps you should inform the child that this whole wide world had been created by One God. That God is Most Merciful and Most Forgiving. The Accepter of Repentance, The All-Knowing and Most Loving. Allah said, if one of my servant take a step towards me, I will run to him. In other words, never ever give up on God's Mercy. As long as we believe in the Oneness of God and accepting Muhammad as the best example of a human being, InshaAllah (God Willing) Allah will guide us to the True Path.
 
The Masjid (I prefer to call Masjid than mosque) is the House of Allah. It is not owned by any individual. So as long as you respect the Owner of the House that is Allah Himself, by being humble and respectful while being there, Insha Allah, your attendance will be most welcome by the inhabitants of the Masjid.
 
May Allah shower His blessings on you, the boy and his mum.
 
 
 
 
 
Ilahi Anta Maksudi, Wa Redhaka Mathlubi - Oh Allah, You are my destination, Your Pleasure is my Intention.
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