Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Using name of non-biological father as child’s surname?

Book of Muslim names

Book of Muslim names

My husband and I are expecting a baby. My husband's biological father abandoned him and his mother when he was a baby and when his mother remarried she changed my husband's surname to his step-father's surname.

I know it is a sin to claim lineage that is not your own but my husband does not want to change his surname to his biological fathers' because no one else knows that his step-father is not his real father and he does not want to hurt his mother by revealing her past to others.

Do we name our child with my husband's surname even if it is not his biological name, or do we give the baby my surname? I know usually only babies born of zina are given mother's surname so I don't want to do this but don't know the right thing to do.

- SisterBibi


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6 Responses »

  1. Salaams,

    You said that your husband doesn't want to take his biological father's name because it would reveal to everyone his "mother's past sins", however he could only take his biological father's name if he was a child of their marriage- which is not a sin. If he was a child of her zina, then as you said he would be taking her name and not his biological father's. I am not sure what culture you are in, but I tend to think there would be less flack upon your husband and his mother both if he adopted his mother's surname as his own (assuming her zina is the issue). If his mother and biological father were in fact married, then he should take his father's name as "no one knowing his stepfather isn't his real father" wouldn't be a valid excuse not to.

    Whichever surname your husband takes (his mothers because of being born out of wedlock or his biological fathers because they were married), this then would be the name passed on to your child.

    -Amy Editor

    • Thank you for your reply. I should clarify, I did not say he does not want to reveal "her past sins", but rather neither my husband or Mother in Law want to reveal that she was previously married. Him changing his surname is not an option as he simply won't, and although I know he is wrong I cannot force him.

      So my question remains, does my baby take my husband's surname (which is the name of his step father), or mine?

      • Salaams,

        To be honest, neither is Islamic. In essence, whichever is chosen between those two options would be something you would have to answer directly to Allah for, so that's not something I would advise taking lightly.

        -Amy Editor

  2. Assalam'alykum,

    Indeed your husband, your mother-in-law and your step father-in-law would have to face Allah's punishments and answer Him for the grave sin they've committed together by accepting the name change. It is clearly forbidden in Islam.

    When our Prophet adopted Zayid Ibn Harithah, later on people used to call Zayid as Zayid Ibn Muhammad. Not much later, Allah revealed this verse, " Call them by (the names of) their father: that is juster in the sight of Allah.."(33:5) , after this all the people called Zayid by his real name ' Zayid Ibn Harithah '. (Bukhari)

    The people at that time feared Allah and therfore obeyed His order. It is a grave sin to change the surname of a person and fool people by saying that his real father is his step father when infact its not.

    Narrated Abu Dhar: The Prophet said, "If somebody claims to be the son of any Other than his real father knowingly, he but disbelieves in Allah, and if somebody claims to belong to some folk to whom he does not belong, let such a person take his place in the(Hell) Fire." ( Sahih Bukhari )

    Prophet said: "Whoever claims knowingly to belong to someone other than his father will be denied Paradise." ( Sahih Bukhaari and Muslim)

    Prophet said: "Whoever claims to belong to someone other than his father, will be cursed by Allaah, the angels and all the people, and Allaah will not accept any deeds or excuses from him on the Day of Resurrection." (Sahih Muslim).

    Therefore educate your husband of what he did wrong. Show him the qur'anic verse and these hadiths. Whether he takes heed or not, its between him, his family and Allah. Just do your part in making him aware. Insha'Allah you won't be held accountable. But regarding your question, I cannot answer as the sin has been done and ongoing. Try asking an Imam and pray salat al isthikhara. Insha'Allah you'll be helped.

  3. Me and my husband will start caring for a newborn in December, now the dads surname is unknown and the biological mum does not want the child to be given her surname, what do we do?

  4. I married my old friend now we have son and one daughter from her previous wedding
    She wants to change her last name to mine but i just wants to know if i can really be her father .. ?? Name change or not but i want her to be legally mine ...

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