Naming a child whose father’s identity is unknown
Fatwa No: 102092

  • Fatwa Date:29-11-2007 - Thul-Qi'dah 20, 1428
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Question

A muslim child whose father's identity is unknown, and the unmarried mother has also abandoned the child who is taken care by another couple, what second name will the child be given when the father's name is not known.? Is there any evidence of such incident in Quran & Sunnah? Leave aside the inherital rights but what about psycological and moral right of the innocent child who has to go without knowing who is the father or what is the name throughout life.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

The mother of the child born out of Zina (fornication or adultery) is responsible for his guardianship, and if she is negligent without a valid reason, she is sinful in addition to the sin of Zina.

According to the Muslim scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them this child – either a boy or a girl – should be given a second name (a virtual father’s name) which corresponds to his/her circumstance, like Abdullaah or Abdur-Rahman which means in Arabic the slave of Allaah or the slave of the Most Merciful etc. such names are attributes (i.e. being a slave of Allaah) that apply to all people and are not peculiar to any of them. That is because all people are actually slaves of Allaah even if they are disbelievers.

This child should not be traced back to a particular family or a given man suggesting that he is his father while in fact he is not. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 98961.

In case the mother of this child disappeared, then it is the Muslim community who should take care of him, and this is a great act of worship by which one gets closer to Allaah. He should be raised on faith and good moral conduct. One should not be resentful to him and despise him because he was born as a result of an illegitimate relationship simply because he had nothing to do with the sin of Zina.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 89082, 83408 and 84303

Allaah Knows best.

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