An Illegitimate son may lead prayer and bury his mother
Fatwa No: 192241

Question

I am a son born out of wedlock my parents never married & i was raised by my mother I had never met my father & recently learnt than he had passed away my concern is as a muslim & being illegitimate i know that i cannot lead any Namaaz/Salaah i want to know should my mother die will i be able to lay her down in her Qabr & can i be maghram to a daughter my mother had from her marriage

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.

First of all, you should know that being born out of wedlock does not prevent a man from leading people in prayer, as there is no evidence which prevents him from doing so; rather, the general evidence proves that he is permitted to lead people in prayer. Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his book Al-Mughni: “Chapter: A son born out of wedlock is not disliked to lead the prayer provided his religion is sound; ‘Aataa’ said: “He may lead the prayer if he is pleasing in his religion…” We have the evidence of the saying of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: "The one who is most knowledgeable in reciting the Book of Allaah should lead the people in prayer.” Besides, ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her   said: “He [i.e. the person born out of wedlock] does not bear any sin from the sin of his parents,” as Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {…and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.}[Quran 6:164] Allaah also Says (what means): {Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allaah is the most righteous of you.}[Quran 49:13]” [End of quote]

Of course, there are some scholars who are of the view that it is disliked for a person born out of wedlock to lead the prayer, but some scholars are of the opinion that it is permissible for him to lead the prayer without any dislike in this matter. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 88469.

On the other hand, a person born out of wedlock should be traced back to his mother, and his relationship with her is the same as the relationship of any legitimate child with his mother. He is not traced back to the fornicator/adulterer according to the view of the majority of the jurists  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them as clarified in Fatwa 89082.

Some scholars are of the view that if the fornicator/adulterer claims this child born out of wedlock, then he is traced back to him, as clarified in Fatwa 84788. Also, he is a brother to the children whom his mother gave birth to, and her sisters (i.e. his mother’s sisters) are his maternal aunts; in this context he does not differ from any other child who has a legitimate father. Allaah Says (what means): {Prohibited to you [for marriage] are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters.}[Quran 4:23] The verse is evidence that the sisters are among the female Mahrams (non-marriageable female relatives).

Finally, it is permissible for you [as a person born out of wedlock] to carry out the burial of your mother when she dies; the Kuwaiti Fiqh Encyclopedia reads: “The most suitable persons to place the corpse of a woman in her grave are her male Mahaarim (plural of Mahram, i.e. an unmarriageable relative); the closest to her in relationship comes first in priority, and they are the male relatives who were permitted to look at her while she was alive and who were permitted to travel with her.

Allaah Knows best.

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