Stepfather is a Mahram for wife's illegitimate daughter
Fatwa No: 237556

  • Fatwa Date:4-2-2014 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 4, 1435
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Question

Assalamu alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh. I have read a lot of fatwa and from shariah law about illegitimate child but none of them can relate to my situation. I hope you can help enlighten me. I was a christian when i got pregnant from my boyfriend and we never got married. I am taking care of my daughter and on legal paper she has no father. Her name is under my (last) name. Now i am married to a muslim and hamdullah i have converted to islam. Question is, can my daughter live with me and my husband? i want to raise her in islamic way as she is now 9 yrs old. Can she have inheritance from me or my husband later on? please advise. jazakallahu khair

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.

Embracing Islam is a great blessing bestowed upon a person by means of which he is likely to attain happiness in this worldly life and the Hereafter. Therefore, you should rejoice at such a blessing and we implore Allaah, The Exalted, to bless you and all of us with steadfastness on the straight path until death. We advise you to turn to Allaah, The Exalted, in supplication often and ask Him for steadfastness. You should also keenly purify and rectify your soul by means of seeking beneficial knowledge, attending religious circles, and keeping the company of pious righteous women. For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 83931 and 85275 about the way for a Muslim to be righteous and how to draw closer to Allaah, The Exalted.

Perhaps you have already read some Fataawa underlining the impermissibility of attributing the illegitimate child to the biological father and that it should be attributed to its mother only; as in Fatwa 84788. However, your daughter is your husband's stepdaughter and he is considered one of her Mahram men; she should interact with him accordingly. Therefore, there is no harm for her (after reaching puberty) to take off her Hijab in his presence as highlighted in Fatwa 85449. Also, there is no harm for her to live with him in the same house. But he is not obliged to provide for her needs; if he willingly provides for her, then he has done an act of kindness towards her and Allaah, The Exalted, does not let people's acts of kindness go unrewarded. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 86141.

On the other hand, your daughter is not entitled to inherit from your husband, yet she is entitled to inherit from you and you are entitled to inherit from her.

It is commendable that you are determined to raise your daughter according to the Islamic morals and ethical values; we ask Allaah, The Exalted, to help you accomplish this objective. We advise you to turn to Allaah in earnest supplication, repeating the appeal mentioned in the verse that reads (what means): {..."Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous."}[Quran 25:74]

We also advise you and your husband to be a role model for your daughter, for this is one of the most effective techniques in the process of raising children. This is why Allaah, The Exalted, rendered the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, a role model for the Muslim nation; He says (what means): {There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allaah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allaah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allaah often.}[Quran 33:21]

Allaah Knows best.

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