Farrah Marfatia is a Policy and Program Specialist in Schools and Institutions at Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), a former Vice-Principal at Safa and Marwa Islamic School and a former Principal at Maingate Academy in Mississauga, Ontario.
In 2015 Farrah Marfatia, authored a guide entitled “How To Talk To Your Muslim Child” which provided Muslim parents with advice and tools to cope with topics in the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Health Education Curriculum (2015) also known as the sex-ed curriculum.
The 1st Edition of the guide was edited by Sheikh Zahir Bacchus, Sheikh Omar Subedar, Imam Belal Ahmad, B.Ed., OCT, Omar Zia, B.Sc., B.Ed., M.Ed., OCT, Bushra Tobah, Ph.D. (candidate), M.Sc., B.Sc. And Rizwan Wadhera, B.Ed., B.A, OCT.
As an Islamic school principal, private schools are not required to cover the curriculum. But there are a lot of Muslim kids in the public school system…And I was thinking about those parents — how do I help public school parents who have no other choice to understand the curriculum from their religious point of view? I reached out to guidance counsellors and teachers in the public system, and they reviewed it and gave it their stamp of approval. And then, from a religious perspective, I consulted with three imams. One of the imams is also a certified teacher. We had a number of meetings, and they gave me their views from a religious perspective. Overall, about 20 people reviewed it… I am so proud of our community leaders because they have backed it up, and see value in it.
The following are excerpts from the Farrah Marfatia’s guide “How To Talk To Your Muslim Child”:
Children are encouraged to avoid shows, cartoons, movies, and advertisements that allude, even subtly, to mixed gender relationships…
Dating and Liking the Opposite Sex
As an Ummah, we must begin rethinking the notion that children need to grow up, finish school, obtain multiple degrees, have an excellent job and then get married. By that point, our youth have probably succumbed to a number of temptations given our pornographic society. Parents should consider getting their children married earlier which will ease this pressure. Youth will not have to stop their studies to do this. Remember, as a parent you will also be partly responsible if your son or daughter wanted to marry, you stopped them and they ended up having sex outside of marriage…
Sex and Reproduction
Sex is a beautiful, pleasurable, and permissible act only for those who are married.
Abstinence and Consent
From a religious point of view it is important that you begin talking to your child about abstaining from dating relationships and intercourse…
In terms of Homosexuality, it is considered to be a sin in all major monotheistic religions including Islam. The Prophet [Mohammad] ﷺ told us that homosexuals are cursed by Allah as are the men who imitate or dress up like women. This must be communicated to your child in a way that is age appropriate bearing in mind that the rights of homosexuals are protected by law just as our rights to freedom of religion are as well.
For Grade 7 and 8 it can be discussed as follows:
In Islam only a man can marry a woman and only a woman can marry a man–we are not allowed to marry people of the same gender. When people engage in same-sex relationships they go against the natural disposition (fitrah) of human beings and are unable to reproduce.
Intersex and Transgender
Islam accepts intersex individuals because Allah created them anatomically that way and there is no sin on them for being this way…
Being transgender is not permissible in Islam because choosing to imitate the opposite sex in movements and speech is not permissible in Islam according to saheeh hadeeths [reliable narrations attributed to Mohammad]… for them there is no sin in Islam to be Intersex and there are clear rules and regulations to help them choose their correct sex. Islam accepts them.
However, all other members of the LGBTQ community make a choice to ‘feel’ that way despite the fact that Allah did not create them that way. This is why it is not permissible…
Sexual activity such as anal sex is not allowed for Muslims even after marriage, it can lead to sicknesses such as higher incidences of STDs and is also displeasing to Allah. In the Quran, Allah shares a story of a people who did not follows His guidance. These people wanted to have relationships with their same gender and were also engaging in anal sex. Allah sent Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) to warn these people that these relationships were not pleasing to Allah because he wanted the best for His creation. These people did not listen to Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) and did not want to follow Allah’s guidance so they were punished for their disobedience with a shower of stones.