Mother's testimony alone does not prove child's lineage
Fatwa No: 216922

  • Fatwa Date:25-9-2013 - Thul-Qi'dah 21, 1434
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Years ago, my brother’s Rabiba (Step daughter) was sexually abused by my brother (her step father). When I found out, I contacted her mother (my sister in-law) and told her what had happened, but her mother turned a blind eye to the matter and she (rabiba) was further abused. I wanted to help her (rabiba), so I looked for solutions everywhere and eventually decided to marry her. There was an obviously the attraction, and so we got married. We had been living together, married for almost 4 years. During this time, the local authorities had found my brother guilty of the mentioned accusations and, he was sent to jail for some time. This resulted in family feuds and hatred from my brother’s wife (sister in-law). mother(sister in-law) is now stating that our marriage is not permissible because she (the mother) is claiming that he (my brother) is her biological father, and in Islam that a mother’s testimony of fatherhood is stronger than any evidence we produce. However, my wife has provided a DNA test showing that there is absolutely no relation between herself and her step father, a birth certificate which shows that there is not father on there, a passport of her stepfather which indicates that he was not in the country at the time she was conceived, and two witnesses who performed her parents nikah have also witnessed have testified that her mother was already pregnant before she met him and delivered her 3 months and then Nikkah was performed with her step father. This is plenty of evidence proving that he is not her biological father; however, her family is trying to destroy the marriage whilst using religion as the excuse, when it is clearly a personal vendetta against us. We understand that DNA testing cannot be used to trace linage; however there is plenty of evidence to prove that she is not related to my brother. Can you please advice in the light of Quran and Hadith what should be done if the mother in law is trying to break her daughter marriage.


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.

That woman (your wife) cannot be traced back to your brother by just the claim of his wife. Her statement that the testimony of the woman regarding proving lineage takes precedence over any other evidence is false. Accordingly, you are still in a valid marriage with your wife. Hence, prohibiting your wife to you cannot be proved by such claims.

That is the Islamic ruling regarding your question. As for the legal procedures, then you may refer to the people who are specialized in them.

Allaah Knows best.

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