Why the illegitimate child is not traced back to the adulterer
Fatwa No: 124459


ASA, my question is about children that are born outside of marriage with a non muslim partner. it chocks me to read your advice that the (innocent) child is seen as a bastard (although one of the parents is Muslim) and the muslim parent should stay away from it. Shouldnt it be a incentive for the muslim parent who made a grave sin, to repent and try and make amends for the childs sake and do their utmost to make sure this child will have a muslim upbringing? Can you please give me hadith or quranic verses where this course of action is mentioned? Jazakum Allah kheiran


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, is His Slave and Messenger.


It is not true that we said that the child born out of wedlock should be abandoned by his Muslim parent. The Fatwa that we always give is that the illegitimate child is not traced back to the adulterer, but he should be attributed to his mother. We support our Fatwa with the Hadeeth of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, where he said: “A child is traced to the owner of the bed (i.e. the legitimate husband).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Since there is no marriage here, so the child is attributed to his mother, who must look after him and support him financially, and she inherits him and he inherits her. This ruling applies to the Muslim mother as well.

On the other hand, it is not correct to say that attributing the child to the adulterer is an incentive for him to amend what he ruined. Rather, this may be considered as encouraging corruption because when the adulterer knows that the child may be attributed to him, this may lead to the prevalence of adultery, so both the man and the woman will easily commit it.

Moreover, it should be noted that we talk here about attributing the child to the adulterer, but it is permissible for the adulterer to look after the child and do good to him, as we previously clarified in Fatwa 83408.

Allaah Knows best.

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