The Beleif Of Muslim Children

It is written at the end of the subject about 'disbeliever's marriage' in Durr al-mukhtar, "If a Muslim girl with nikah (marriage contract as prescribed by Islam) does not know Islam when she reaches puberty, her nikah becomes void [she becomes a renegade]. The attributes of Allahu ta'ala must be told to her, and she must repeat them and say, 'I believe these. ' " In explaining this, Ibn 'Abidin (rahimah-ullahu ta'ala) said, "If the girl is little, she belongs in her parents' faith; she is a Muslim. When she reaches puberty, she does not belong to her parents' faith any longer. When she reaches puberty, because of her unawareness of Islam, she becomes a renegade. Unless she learns and believes the six tenets of Islam and believes that it is necessary to live up to Islam, she will not continue to be a Muslim even if she utters the Kalimat at-tawhid, that is, says, 'La ilaha illa'llah Muhammadun Rasulullah. ' She has to believe the six tenets expressed in 'Amantu bi-'llahi . . . ,' and she has to say, 'I accept the commands and prohibitions of Allahu ta'ala. ' " 

   This explanation of Ibn 'Abidin shows that a disbeliever becomes Muslim as soon as he says the Kalimat at-tawhid and believes its meaning. But, like any other Muslim, when he has the chance he has to memorize the following words and learn their meaning precisely: "Amantu bi'llahi wa Mala'ikatihi wa Kutubihi wa Rusulihi wal-yawm-il-akhiri wa bil-qadari khairihi wa sharrihi minallahi ta'ala walba'thu ba'd-al-mawt haqqun ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluhu. "