Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Intending to Adopt/Foster a Child as per Islamic Sharee’ah

Muslim Child to foster as per the Sharee'ah

A Muslim Child Holding the Qur'aan


My husband and I are practicing muslims and  professionals,  looking for a child to adopt/foster as per islamic shariah

Thank you

~ Davina

Tagged as: , ,

6 Responses »

  1. That's really nice that you are going to give a child a future and hope it deserves. Me too want to adapt when I'm older. I hope everything goes well.

  2. I am glad you are doing that. Is there a specific question you want to ask about adoption?

  3. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said that a person who cares for an orphaned child will be in Paradise with him, and motioned to show that they would be as close as two fingers of a single hand. An orphan himself, Muhammad paid special attention to the care of children. He himself adopted a former slave and raised him with the same care as if he were his own son.

    However, the Qur'an gives specific rules about the legal relationship between a child and his/her adoptive family. The child's biological family is never hidden; their ties to the child are never severed. The Qur'an specifically reminds adoptive parents that they are not the child's biological parents:

    "...Nor has He made your adopted sons your (biological) sons. Such is (only) your (manner of) speech by your mouths. But Allah tells (you) the Truth, and He shows the (right) Way. Call them by (the names of) their fathers; that is juster in the sight of Allah. But if you know not their father's (names, call them) your brothers in faith, or your trustees. But there is no blame on you if you make a mistake therein. (What counts is) the intention of your hearts. And Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful."

    (Qur'an 33:4-5)

    The guardian/child relationship has specific rules under Islamic law, which render the relationship a bit different than what is common adoption practice today. The Islamic term for what is commonly called adoption is kafala, which comes from a word that means "to feed." In essence, it describes more of a foster-parent relationship. Some of the rules in Islam surrounding this relationship:
    An adopted child retains his or her own biological family name (surname) and does not change his or her name to match that of the adoptive family.
    An adopted child inherits from his or her biological parents, not automatically from the adoptive parents.
    When the child is grown, members of the adoptive family are not considered blood relatives, and are therefore not muhrim to him or her. "Muhrim" refers to a specific legal relationship that regulates marriage and other aspects of life. Essentially, members of the adoptive family would be permissible as possible marriage partners, and rules of modesty exist between the grown child and adoptive family members of the opposite sex.
    If the child is provided with property/wealth from the biological family, adoptive parents are commanded to take care and not intermingle that property/wealth with their own. They serve merely as trustees.

    These Islamic rules emphasize to the adoptive family that they are not taking the place of the biological family -- they are trustees and caretakers of someone else's child. Their role is very clearly defined, but nevertheless very valued and important.

    It is also important to note that in Islam, the extended family network is vast and very strong. It is rare for a child to be completely orphaned, without a single family member to care for him or her. Islam places a great emphasis on the ties of kinship -- a completely abandoned child is practically unheard of. Islamic law would place an emphasis on locating a relative to care for the child, before allowing someone outside of the family, much less the community or country, to adopt and remove the child from his or her familial, cultural, and religious roots. This is especially important during times of war, famine, or economic crisis -- when families may be temporarily uprooted or divided.

    "Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter? And He found you wandering, and He gave you guidance. And He found you in need, and made you independent. Therefore, treat not the orphan with harshness, nor drive away a petitioner (unheard). But the bounty of the Lord - rehearse and proclaim!"

    (Qur'an 93:6-11)

  4. The issue of inheritance may be dealt with briefly. In most American states, an adopted child has the same automatic rights of inheritance as a genetic child. In a few states, as under Islamic law, inheritance is not automatic but needs to be specified in the will. American law recognizes the validity of wills that specify an inheritance distribution based on Islamic law, so this constitutes no objection to adoption by American Muslims.
    God has not made … your adopted sons your sons. Such is (only) your (manner of) speech by your mouths. But God tells (you) the Truth and He shows the (right) Way. Call them by (the names) of their fathers: that is more just in the sight of God but if ye know not their father's (names call them) your Brothers in faith or your Maulâs. But there is no blame on you if ye make a mistake therein: (what counts is) the intention of your hearts: and God is Oft-Returning Most Merciful. The Prophet is closer to the Believers than their own selves and his wives are their mothers. Blood-relations among each other have closer personal ties in the Decree of God than (the Brotherhood of) Believers and Muhajirs: nevertheless do ye what is just to your closest friends: such is the writing in the Decree (of God).
    The wording is very significant here. The text does not ban adoption, but only says that the use of the word "son" with respect to an adoptee is just a phrase and not a blood (or genetic) fact. Nor should it be inferred that it is prohibiting the use of the word son (in a metaphorical sense), since it should then logically follow that the term brother (explicitly approved in the text) would also have to be prohibited for the same reasons. Our adopted sons are not our genetic sons any more than our brothers in faith are our genetic brothers. The purpose of the verse is clearly to prevent drawing legal restrictions from the metaphorical use of the word "son" in describing a foster relationship. Thus one might marry the ex-wife of one's foster son (as one might marry the ex-wife of a blood brother), but one can no more marry a daughter than one could marry a sister.

    Analogy to blood relations is not the only relevant issue here. Islamic law forbids a man to marry a woman who had been suckled by the same wet nurse as the man, regardless of whether either was adopted by the wet nurse. Here, too, we see that the issue is not adoption, but how social relationships bear on the question of marriageability.

  5. Davina, that's a wonderful thing to do, ma-sha-Allah. There are some Muslim countries that are war-torn or poverty stricken, and that have many orphans they cannot care for properly. Maybe you could adopt one of them.

    Wael Editor

Leave a Response