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What Does Islamic Fitra (Primordial Nature) Mean?


In an authentic hadith, the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, says that all infants are born with this Islamic fitra, and then their parents cause them to adopt another faith (or no faith at all).

This hadith means that everyone has the innate potential to become a Muslim. Meaning peace, salvation, and obedience, Islam is the natural religion of all creatures. Since everything obeys God absolutely and functions according to His laws, all creatures are Muslim. Every being’s bodily structure, regardless of religion or lack thereof, whether they are human or jinn, are Muslim, for all bodies operate according to the laws God Almighty determined for them. If an infant led a completely monastic life free of environmental effects, he or she would remain a “natural” Muslim.

This hadith also means that an infant’s mind is like a tape on which anything can be recorded, a lump of dough that can be shaped in any way, a blank paper on which anything can be written. If you could protect yourself against any external thing that would corrupt your mind, you could receive anything related to Islam easily and become a perfect Muslim. But if your mind becomes impure, or you inject into it the tenets, beliefs, and conduct of another religion (or of atheism), you either will adopt another faith or encounter many problems on your way to becoming a good Muslim.

Infants are like seeds that can produce good Muslims, for they are all seeds of future Muslims. Adverse conditions cause these seeds to be deformed or spoiled, and these people eventually adopt another faith or none at all. Therefore, to grow good Muslims, we have to do our best to improve our familial and surrounding social conditions. After children reach puberty, sins are a primary cause of deformed seeds. As every sin has the potential to lean sinners to unbelief, we must protect ourselves against sin. Family, education, and social environment are also of great importance.


This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.