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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Converting to Islam

13 Comments

  1. You’ll notice that children born from zinaa are simply referred to in the article as “children born out of wedlock”, which is a straightforward description of the facts. They are NOT described as “illegitimate” as is often done in the West. No human being is illegitimate. We are all creatures of Allah, beings of free will, made to worship and excel. No child carries the sin of his parents. No human being is illegitimate.

  2. I am a non Muslim women living in the united state. When I was 18 years of age I had relations with a Muslim man as 18 yrs. We attended high school together and continued our relationship. I then becam pregnant a month later. During this notion of pregnancy we were both aware and excited. Then came the day jawad came to say he was leaving to afghanistan to return home. I was left alone and pregnant… Our daughter 16yes of age has never met nor seen a picture of jawad. Is it sinful on his part to denie his own daughter? Regradless if he has married and has children. Does he break any Muslim laws??

    Please! Reply.. I would love for our daughter to met him just once to fill the void of emptiness and denial.
    Thank you kindly
    Michelle

  3. My husband committed adultry and says he fathered a child out of wedlock, what is his responsibility and what is mine.

  4. as salaamu alikom brothers and sisters.alhamdulilah i have found this website.inshaAllah i hope that i get any answer since i have sort of a similar situation as the sister above.i have been married to my husband for ever 5 years and have 3 young children together.he is egyptian so we live in egypt.we have had a rough marriage and for the past 11 months, we have been seperated keeping contact because of our children.at the beging of the seperation,we began the process in the family courts that i would not return to his home and he wrote a contract that he would divorce me in less than a month,but never did.since it was my desision to leave his home due to X reasons,i have let the children stay with him through out the week while i work to survive and then i take them on the weekends. My point is,that i made the horrific mistake of living alone,and got into a haraam relationship for a few months.i became pregnant as a result.the man turned out to be abusive and would leave me for weeks at a time and then return literally twisting my arm forcing marriage with me,and if i didnt comply he would go to my work and accuse me with being with many men.in those times that he would leave me,(since he was practicly living in my home) in desperation and after consulting with some friends whom i thought were knowledgable,told me it was fine to find a husband fast since techniqly i was not with my husband anymore.I met some 3 men in public that had wanted to marry me and knew my entire situation.it never felt right and in all of this time,i couldnt bring my self to make a single salah let alone istikhara since i thought i was too sinful.alhamdulilah,they all showed their true colors very soon and i realized none of them wanted a seriouse marriage with me.I researched on line a month and a half ago to find fatwahs concerning my situation and thought if i make tawbah and begin a clean slate perhaps the father of my unborn baby might be the right one for me and i told him my new improved thinking and he agreed that we would do it together.not one week passed and he was forcfully trying to get back into my apartment.i hesitated but i failed and Allah swt put this test to see if i was sincere about my repentance.I FAILED.i told him i never wanted to see him again and told him to leave the next morning.in this one last night he was with me,he stole all my numbers out of my mobile and later i found out he interviewed the 3 men that i had talked to about marriage.he became so jelouse that he even called my girl friends and coworkers and my (ex)husband and sent msg’s on my jobs website to exposse me as a whore that played with many men.i ended up telling my (ex)husband everything in detail and told him that i would give him the legal custody of our children and i remade my tawbah that day.I told him that i was ready for any punishment in this dunya from him since legaly he had right and that my life was so in ruin that i didnt know what to do.i forgave me and said that this man i had an affair with had to leave the picture,and that in due time,he would deal with him.in this past month i lost my job and this man harassed me some more by giving out my number to many unknown men that stopped in a week. i realized the great man that my (ex)husband is and have began feeling love for him like i never did in our marriage time.i didnt appreciate or respect him enough to see how merciful he is and that he might love me.i have prayed that he would take me back,but he has made it clear that he will stand by me (still being seperate) until the baby is born and prtect me away from this man.to his islamic knowledge we have concluded that the baby will take his name and that i will be able to keep the child with me at all times and that we must never tell our children that this baby doesnt belong to him rather that they are all siblings and where produced by me and him.I feel desperate since it is a great help that he has sided with me when all the world has felt to be tummbleing on me,but i still feel so afraid.i want to be married,being under the complete protection of a man in his home for the spritual,emotional and economical support.i am in my 6th 1/2th of pregnancy and have no income,no husband,no friends, and i have no idea of what to do next.i fear that this man since i am not from this country,will pay off the hospitals since he know the due date and will try to take the baby away,he also told me that he would take me to court if i interfeared in his life to accuse him of having a child with him and he will say that i slept and lured him to my bed so that they will give him the baby.my biggest fear as i have mentioned is of being alone as a muslim woman in a forigen country.please tell me what i should do next. Jazakallahu khairun

  5. While it is true under certain situations the child would be called illegitimate or even an orphan, and may not be able to inhereit from the father, it is also true that the father has already accepted the children as his own, so they should inhereit from him. In Texas the law to establish the father as a parent follows:

    Family Code. Texas Constition. Sec.A160.302. “EXECUTION OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PATERNITY.
    (a) An acknowledgment of paternity must:
    (1) be in a record;
    (2) be signed, or otherwise authenticated, under
    penalty of perjury by the mother and the man seeking to establish
    paternity;
    (3) state that the child whose paternity is being
    acknowledged:
    (A) does not have a presumed father or has a
    presumed father whose full name is stated; and
    7
    (B) does not have another acknowledged or
    adjudicated father;
    (4) state whether there has been genetic testing and,
    if so, that the acknowledging man ’s claim of paternity is
    consistent with the results of the testing; and
    (5) state that the signatories understand that the
    acknowledgment is the equivalent of a judicial adjudication of the
    paternity of the child and that a challenge to the acknowledgment is
    permitted only under limited circumstances.
    (b) An acknowledgment of paternity is void if it:
    (1) states that another man is a presumed father of the
    child, unless a denial of paternity signed or otherwise
    authenticated by the presumed father is filed with the bureau of
    vital statistics;
    (2) states that another man is an acknowledged or
    adjudicated father of the child; or
    (3) falsely denies the existence of a presumed,
    acknowledged, or adjudicated father of the child.
    (c) A presumed father may sign or otherwise authenticate an
    acknowledgment of paternity.
    Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14,
    2001. Amended by: Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1221″

    In regard to the father, it does not seem he is very loving to his children if he tells them they are orphans when they clearly have a loving mother who wants them back, in which case he should allow the mother to show her care for them straight away and give her full custody. To repent his sin, if he is sorrowful, he should file an Acknowledgement of Parentage at the County Clerk’s office straight away. If he establishes a trust with the QTIP election he could provide for these children in his will. However there are other options available to him to guarantee their inheritance. In Texas, if he dies intestate, the wife would keep one half of the community property, while his half would be distributed equally among ALL his children, not just between the children between him and his wife.

    A person should not be judged by whether they call onto Jesus or onto Mohammed since both are acknowledged prophets according to Muslims. Besides, Jesus led a more righteous and pious life than Mohammed did, and was a forgiving leader. By accepting Islam does not mean a person is pious or righteous. I can testify I have met Muslims who pray everyday and commit a new sin the same day, or even the same sin from yesterday. A person’s salvation should be measured by their actions within their means and the degree of love they show to others. I also can testify that I have met a good Muslim who teaches me. I do not feel that a person’s character should be judged by who they call unto when they pray, but just that they do pray and try to be and do better each new day.

    May knowledge pour unto your heart and mind and also onto mine.
    Inshallah

    • On editing the above note, the County Clerk is where a will would be filed. The Bureau of Vital Statistics is where the Acknowledgement of Paternity is filed. Also, the more important excerpt of information to include follows:
      Sec.160.204.PRESUMPTION OF PATERNITY.
      (a) A man is presumed to be the father of a child if:
      (1) he is married to the mother of the child and the
      child is born during the marriage;
      (2) he is married to the mother of the child and the
      child is born before the 301st day after the date the marriage is
      terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or
      divorce;
      (3) he married the mother of the child before the birth
      of the child in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted
      marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born
      during the invalid marriage or before the 301st day after the date
      the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of
      invalidity, or divorce;
      (4) he married the mother of the child after the birth
      of the child in apparent compliance with law, regardless of whether
      the marriage is or could be declared invalid, he voluntarily
      asserted his paternity of the child, and:
      (A) the assertion is in a record filed with the
      bureau of vital statistics;
      6
      (B) he is voluntarily named as the child ’s father
      on the child ’s birth certificate; or
      (C) he promised in a record to support the child
      as his own; or
      (5) during the first two years of the child ’s life, he
      continuously resided in the household in which the child resided
      and he represented to others that the child was his own.

      Getting better already
      Peace be with you

  6. Slm I would like proper honest quran advice / answers

    Is it true that the couple who conceived a baby out of wedlock aren’t classified as the father or mother of the child in Islam even though the mother gave birth to the child or it was his sperm. ????
    That the parents of the couple has more say over the baby an becomes there responsibly???

    Does both parents of the child break the child wudu, mother will break son’s wudu & father the daughter’s wudu of the parents who conceived the child whether they get married afterwards or not?

    Is it true that the reason why couples rush to get married before there is a movement of the baby or before the heart beats of the baby in the mother’s belly an if there is already a movement or heartbeat an they get married that the man will be marrying both the girl & baby an should rather wait till she is done giving birth if there is already a heartbeat??

    An these baby’s are not allowed to becomes imaan’s or mu-aliema’s?????

    Kindly advise In-sha-allah
    Jazakulah khair

    • Nawaal, NONE of these things are true. SubhanAllah, sister, instead of relying on uninformed people or rumors to learn your deen, you should begin learning from proper sources.

      1. The parents are the parents, even if the child is born out of wedlock. The only exception here is if the child is born out of wedlock and the father denies paternity – in that case he cannot be considered the father, and he would not be a mahrem to the child. Presumably that’s because paternity cannot be proven, and it would not be fair to label someone as the father if he is not. Though in this day of DNA testing, I wonder if even this rule should still apply.

      2. Parents do not break a child’s wudu.

      3. A man does not marry the mother and the unborn child, no matter the circumstances. Pardon me for saying so, but this is ridiculous.

      4. A baby born out of wedlock is not at fault for what his parents did. He is blameless. He can become an Imam, an Aalim, or any other job in the world.

      Wael
      Zawaj.com Editor

  7. Jazakulahu Khair for responding an putting my mind at ease.. U know so many learnered people have there own way of seeing things but I just needed clarity (may allah protect me from falling pregnant before wedlock Amien) I’m from south africa (cape town) if u can advise which Imaan or school I can go to so that I can learn proper gaq of Islam an not be misguided this way in-sha-allah
    I get so confused an sometimes when I ask different learnered people on a issue they all have different things to say. (May allah guide me with the gaq of knowledge so that I also don’t spread incorrect msg across to muslims Amien.

    Jazakulahu khair once again

    • Nawaal, I’m glad that my comment helped you. I don’t know much about Cape Town or the schools or scholars there. There are some good online resources for learning more about Islam. I’ll see if I can put together a list Insha’Allah. Also, if you have not visited our sister site – IslamicAnswers.com – please do so.

      Wael
      Zawaj.com Editor

  8. hi, I am a single mother and a filipino.My son’s father is an egyptian his name is ahmed,i got pregnant after 8 mos relationship with ahmed.We had a written contract with two witnesses that we are married,but it is not yet official.I thought before that it is already official because ahmed told me thats how it was done(marriage) in egypt.Our witnesses is one dubai uae arab friend and my brother..Now my son is already 3yrs and 5mos old and we are living in the philippines without ahmed and without his child support.My son was acknowledge by him signing papers for my son’s birth certificate,ahmed also gave my son his chosen name..Before he promises to help me financially for my son but he is not doing it..He communicates with me a month ago telling me he was married and had a another child but it lasted only for 6mos and he divorced her.He promise to help me..but he stop communicating with me.the last time i talked to him from the phone he said he lost his job and he is miserable doesnt have money…I know he doesnt want to help me financially….I have no work only my brother is helping me financially for my son but now my brother is having financial problem and ahmed knows that..

    I would like to know if my son have the right to ask for child support legally? May i know an egyptian legal attorney that can help me regarding my present situation?Ahmed always gave me promises,all promises but he is not doing anything to help me support my child…
    Im hoping someone read this and advice me of what to do,or any legal action?

    Sincerely,
    charm( philippines)

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