The year when adoption was forbidden
Fatwa No: 139996

Question

When was adoption forbidden?

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, is His slave and Messenger.

Adoption was forbidden in the fifth year A.H. It has also been said that this was in the fourth year A.H. This year witnessed the Battle of Al-Ahzaab and the marriage of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to Zaynab bint Jahsh  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her. When, he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, married her  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her people said, "Muhammad has married his daughter-in-law!"

In response to that accusation, Allaah, the Exalted, revealed the verses that state the prohibition of adoption in Islam. Allaah, the Exalted, says (what means):

•        {Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allaah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allaah, of all things, Knowing.} [Quran 33:40]

•        {...So when Zayd had no longer any need for her, We married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them. And ever is the command of Allaah accomplished.} [Quran 33:37]

•        {Call them by [the names of] their fathers; it is more just in the sight of Allaah. But if you do not know their fathers—then they are [still] your brothers in religion and those entrusted to you. And there is no blame upon you for that in which you have erred but [only for] what your hearts intended. And ever is Allaah Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 33.:5]

Al-Baghawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him commented on the verse that reads (what means): {And He has not made your adopted sons your [true] sons.} [Quran 33:4] saying:

When the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, married Zaynab bint Jahsh  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her and she had previously been married to Zayd ibn Haarithah (the adopted son of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him the hypocrites said, "Muhammad married his daughter-in-law, but forbids people to do so!" Therefore, Allaah, the Exalted, revealed this verse and banned adoption.

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "According to the famous scholarly opinion, the Battle of Al-Ahzaab took place during the fifth year, and it has also been said that it happened during the fourth year." [As-Seerah An-Nabawiyyah]

Ibn ‘Ashoor  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, in his commentary on the chapter of Al-Ahzaab (Quran: 33):

"According to the opinion of Abu Is-haaq  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him it was revealed late in the fifth year after Hijrah. This is the opinion adopted by Ibn Rushd  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him in his book Al-Bayan wa At-Tahseel. Ibn Wahb and Ibn Al-Qaasim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them reported on the authority of Maalik  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him that this happened during the fourth year, when the Battle of Al-Ahzaab took place."

Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him confirmed that it was in the fifth year.

Allaah Knows best.

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