A biological father as a guardian of marriage
Fatwa No: 143587

  • Fatwa Date:25-11-2010 - Thul-Hijjah 19, 1431
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Assalamualaikum I asked a girl to marry me who is muslim. Alhamdulillah she has said yes. But then she told me that she was born out of wedlock, her father married her mother after she was born. I have 2 questions which i have tried to find answers for. 1) During the marriage contract, can she put her fathers name? In my country, we announce our intention to marry each other publicly in front of guests and we say our name and fathers name. I have read in many places that the father has no right. But i fear that it would embarass my wife to be (inshAllah) to publicly admit that she was an illegitimate child. She should not bear the shame of her parents sins. 2) Can her father be her wali? I have looked for the answers to ensure my nikah will be valid in the eyes of Allah SWT. Please help me.


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.

A child born out of Zina (fornication and/or adultery) should be traced back to his/her mother and he/she has nothing to do with the man who committed Zina (fornication or adultery) with his/her mother, as we clarified in Fatwa 89082.

This is the ruling that we adopt here in Islamweb and it is the view of the majority of the jurists  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them. However, some scholars are of the view that if the fornicator [or adulterer] demands that the child be traced back to him, then he is traced back to him. According to this opinion, it is permissible for this girl to be traced back to that man.

Nonetheless, it is possible for this girl to choose any general surname, like calling herself daughter of ‘Abdullaah, or daughter of ‘Abdur-Rahmaan and so forth in order to avoid being embarrassed, without mentioning that she was born out of wedlock. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 134703.

Besides, if a woman does not have a guardian, she may appoint a righteous Muslim man to be her guardian. Imaam Ahmad  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “If a woman appoints a righteous Muslim man to represent her in such a case, then it is permissible.” Therefore, if that man is a Muslim, she may appoint him to be her guardian in the marriage contract. However, if he is a non-Muslim, then she should appoint someone else because being a Muslim is a condition for someone to be a guardian of a Muslim woman.

Allaah Knows best.

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