Child from a doubtful marriage belongs to the father
Fatwa No: 231757

Question

Esselamu aleikum, My husband committed zina when he was 21, and that girl stayed pregnant. Her family forced him through threats (they threaten to hurt or kill him or his family) to marry her. They both did not want to marry, but had to do that because of her family. They married around 5 months before the child was born. He had a silent deal with her to get divorced 7 days after the wedding, and she accepted, but after the marriage she rejected to divorce. The just had a civil not religious wedding. I am not sure did they repent before doing this wedding. Finally he managed to divorced her a few years after the wedding, because she and her family finally let him go, and signed the divorce papers. They did not live together, not practice marriage. My question is, was that marriage valid according to Islam, and is this child his? I really sincerely hope that it is not, because I really dislike his past. He is now a good Muslim, and a good husband to me. May Allah bless you for this answer.

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His Slave and Messenger.

If this marriage was civil as you mentioned then it is not a legitimate Islamic marriage because the conditions for the validity of an Islamic marriage must be met, among which is the presence and consent of the guardian and the presence of two witnesses. The civil marriage – as far as we know – is not so, because some of these conditions are not met, like the consent of the guardian and the two witnesses. For benefit on the conditions for the validity of marriage, please refer to Fatwa 83629.

However, this child belongs to the father due to lack of certainty. For more benefit, kindly refer to Fatwa 92478.

We would like to point out to the two following matters:

1.  Super marital relations are a great danger as they are a cause  of corruption and indecency.

2.  There is a difference of opinion among Fiqh scholars on whether a marriage is valid if the man and woman who committed Zina (fornication or adultery) have not yet repented. We have already clarified in Fatwa 83176.

Allaah Knows best.

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