Converting to Islam rss

Rights of Children Born Out of Wedlock

Baby sleeping in a shoe

Okay, the photo is not directly related to the article, I just thought it was very funny, this baby who fell asleep on a shoe. - Zawaj.com Editor

Date: 05/Aug/2003

Name of Mufti: Group of Muftis

Topic: Rights of Children Born out of Wedlock

Name of Questioner: A Muslim from USA

Question: Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. I am a Muslim male convert from USA. I have two children from before I accepted Islam and they were both born out of wedlock in an unlawful relationship before I met my wife.

Since accepting Islam I gained custodial rights over them but not custody. They live with me and my wife who also have two children and of course I care for and maintain them. I call them son (6) and daughter (5) and they call me father. My wife calls them step-son and daughter and they call her step-mother.

I have learned that in Islam, children of zina are not ascribed to the father and that there is no parent/child rights between them. They are considered orphans and there is no term as step-parent. Having said all of this back ground info., my question is what are the relations between us according to Shari`ah? Should I allow them to know they are orphans? If their birth mother wants them back though she refuses acceptance of Islam should I allow them to leave my home to live with her? If I am not considered their father than what is our duty to them and them to us? Jazakum Allah khayran.

Answer:

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, we commend your pursuit of knowledge and your keenness to seek what is lawful and avoid what is not. We earnestly implore Allah to bless your efforts in this honorable way.

First of all, it is to be stated that adultery and producing a child out of wedlock is indeed an enormous sin in Islam. However, a non-Muslim who embraces Islam should be assured of the promise of the Messenger of Allah who said,“Islam wipes out all of one’s past sins.” In other words, on becoming a Muslim every single sin you had committed in the past, no matter how enormous and ugly they were, will be blotted out, and thus once again you will become like a new born baby, and hence free of all sins. Furthermore, Allah’s infinite compassion is such that while, upon embracing Islam, you are absolved of all of your past sins, you carry over to Islam all of the good deeds you ever happened to do in the past: It is indeed a double mercy.

Secondly, as for the child born out of wedlock, like every other child, he or she is born sinless; it does not carry the stigma of the sin of the father or mother or both. A basic principle in Islamic justice is that no one bears the blame for another’s fault. A child born as a result of an illegitimate relationship suffers no adverse discrimination on account of his parents’ sin.

Responding to the question in point,Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states:

“The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that Islam removes the sins of the past. Since you accepted Islam, Inshaa’Allah you will receive the forgiveness for your past sins.

Since you acknowledge that those children are yours, you are their father and they are your children. They are not orphans as long as you are alive. If you want to take care of them, then you should do that, but if their mother wants them, that is acceptable.

Most importantly, try to raise them as Muslims. Because this thing happened before Islam, these children will inherit from you if they are Muslims, but if they do not accept Islam, then they will not have the rights of inheritance from you. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that a Muslim doesn’t inherit from a non-Muslim and a non-Muslim doesn’t inherit from a Muslim. However, you are allowed to give them a share from your will, which should not be more than 1/3 of your assets.”

In this respect, the prominent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, Imam of Calgary Mosque, Alberta, Canada, and Former Professor at King Saud University, Riyad, Saudi Arabia, adds:

“The children born out of wedlock deserve all the care they need as children; thus you should provide them with all the requirements and elements to make them succeed in this life.

They are not responsible for the past deeds of their parents. However, the attribution of the child’s name to the father is based on the acceptance of the father. If he approves of it, then he/she can be named after him.”

- IslamOnline.net

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Our Daughter Insists on Marrying a New Convert!

Imam Suhaib Webb, Imam Siraj Wahhaj ("America's Imam), and Cha Cha Jaan Shamin.

Imam Suhaib Webb, Imam Siraj Wahhaj ("America's Imam), and Cha Cha Jaan Shamin. Just because someone committed sins in the Jahiliyyah before he converted, is not a reason to doubt his sincerity or question his character. The shahadah purifies the soul and wipes away everything that came before.

Reprinted from IslamOnline.net, Ask the Scholar

Date: 17/August/2005

Name of Mufti: Ahmad Kutty

Topic: Our Daughter Insists on Marrying a New Convert!

Name of Questioner: Hamad from Canada

Question: Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. What should parents do when their daughter wishes to contract marriage with a man recently converted to Islam whom the parents suspect, because of his previous behavior, may be simply trying to exploit their immature and impressionable daughter?

Should they give their blessings to her or make her choose between them or this man?

They also fear that by acceding to their daughter’s wishes this may give a signal to the siblings and other relatives that they condone dating and choosing one’s own spouse. Jazakum Allah khayran.

Answer:

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

Young women have always been subject to the desires of the ill-hearted and evil opportunists. Islam recognizes the independence of the woman but also decrees measures to maintain her rights and deter those who have ill aims and desires.

Therefore, Islam gives great importance to the approval of the woman’s guardian in a manner that reflects the significance of the marriage contract. Islam’s insistence on the guardian’s involvement in the selection process is to ensure that the woman exercises her choice correctly.

The responsibility of the guardian in marriage is to help the woman in selecting her husband. Usually, a woman can hardly dig into essential information about a man, so the guardian does his best for the interest and welfare of that woman. Thus, it is the job of the wali (guardian) to act in the best interest of the woman according to the standards established by Islam.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

The parents’ right to exercise guardianship over their children is conditional on their exercising it in order to safeguard and protect the interests of children themselves. In other words, parents are not allowed to exercise their right to guardianship to the detriment of the interests of the children or for the purpose of taking away their legitimate Islamic right and freedom to choose their own marriage partners or run their own lives as long as they do not harm the interests of the parents.

Parents in Islam, therefore, have no right to interfere in children’s choice of marriage partners unless they are certain that the children are exercising their choice to harm themselves. That would be the case if someone were to choose for marriage a person who is utterly incompatible and therefore unsuitable for marriage: for instance, if the man is a non-Muslim or a Muslim who is lacking in religious and moral integrity, or someone who, in spite of meeting the requisite religious requirements, is unable to provide financial support. In such cases, parents definitely have the right to refuse to consent to such marriages, and if the children still went ahead without their parent’s consent such marriages will be invalid.

If, however, the above is not the case, and the parents are simply refusing to give consent for material considerations, other than compatibility of religion or ability to support, then they are certainly unjustified in such behavior, for by doing so they are clearly overstepping their authority as guardians.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If a person of religious and moral integrity comes forward proposing for your daughter, offer her in marriage (if she chooses him); otherwise, you are paving the way for rampant corruption!”

Based on this, you should consider carefully: If this person is trustworthy and sincere in his Islamic commitment and he has the ability to support your daughter in marriage, then you should not stop them from marrying, if they have chosen each other freely. If on the other hand, you have reasonable grounds for suspecting that this person is not trustworthy or that he cannot support her, then you are justified in withholding your consent.

In the last mentioned scenario, if, in spite of your refusal to give consent, they were to go ahead and get married, such a marriage is considered invalid in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “If a woman were to get married without the consent of her guardian, such a marriage shall be deemed as invalid.”

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Converting to Islam for Marriage

18th century Chinese brass incense burner with the Islamic shahadah (testimony of faith) engraved

An 18th century Chinese brass incense burner with the Islamic shahadah (testimony of faith) engraved. Priceless objects of Chinese Islamic art were lost by the thousands to the Communist Cultural Revolution and the "Great Leap Forward".

At Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com we often get questions from readers about the issue of someone converting to Islam in order to marry a Muslim. Here is some advice on this issue by a group of Islamic researchers associated with IslamOnline.net’s Ask the Scholar feature:

Date: 11/Jun/2007

Name of Counsellor: A Group of Islamic Researchers

Topic: Converting to Islam for Marriage

Name of Questioner: Farid from United Kingdom

Question: Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. Can a person convert to Islam for the purpose of marriage and he might think of growing into the faith later if he’s convinced? Jazakum Allahu khayran.

Answer:

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

A person must never embrace Islam solely for the purpose of getting married to a Muslim. Islam does not sanction such conversions. However, if anyone says the Shahadah, then we accept his or her conversion even though his or her intention might be impure.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Muhammad Nur Abdullah, president of ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) and member of the Fiqh Council of North America, states the following:

First of all, a person cannot put a condition for his or her conversion, i.e., that he or she is embracing Islam just to get married to so-and-so. This is not accepted when stipulated and clearly stated. However, if anyone says the Shahadah, then we accept his or her conversion even though his or her intention might be impure, as we are supposed to deal with people based on what they show us and Allah takes care of their real intentions that they hide inside themselves.

Even if someone converted and he or she was not fully convinced in the beginning, but later on we explained Islam and helped him or her to become a better Muslim and the person showed better behavior and faith, then it is accepted. We know that when Hamzah (may Allah be pleased with him) converted, he in anger said to Abu Jahl, “How can you hit him (Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) when I am following his religion!” [He said so when he had not yet declared his Islam and he was angry because his cousin Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was hit by Abu Jahl]. Then after that he thought about Islam and he later became one of the best Muslims in history.

Therefore, we should not question people’s faith in Allah. Rather, we deal with them as they say and behave, and if they hide insincere intention, then it is Allah Who will take care of them.

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