Illegitimate child may use biological father's name to avoid embarrassment
Fatwa No: 285166

  • Fatwa Date:9-4-2015 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 20, 1436
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Salam alaykum My question is I am a revert and after I become muslim I had a child out of zina i am a single mother and am very well supported by my non muslim mother father. My question is can my son inherit off my family it's all the family he knows and can I we are both muslim my son and I but my family are Catholic? .. my second question is my son's father and his brother want to be their for my son is this permission and also leave a inheritance for him? My son has their last name but I am not married due to my son's father is psychologically unstable .. my son has his last name to not burden him with my sin or shame .. jazzak Allah khair Jazzak Allah khair


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, we congratulate you on the blessing of embracing Islam and we ask Allaah to make us and you firm on the Truth until we die.

A child born out of wedlock bears the name of his mother. She inherits from him and he inherits from her, but he has no relation to the father or to his children from another woman, and they do not inherit from each other. Please refer to Fatwa 85430.

Nonetheless, some scholars are of the view that if the father claims the lineage of the child, and the woman was not married at the time, then the child bears his name. Ibn Qudaamah said: “The child born out of Zina does not bear the name of the fornicator according to the view of the majority of the scholars, but Al-Hasan and Ibn Seereen said: "He bears the name of the fornicator if the Hadd (i.e. punishment determined by the Islamic Law) is applied on him (the fornicator), and he inherits from him."

Also, people from different religions do not inherit from each other; a Muslim does not inherit from a non-Muslim and vice versa. But some scholars made Ijtihaad regarding the cases when a Muslim may inherit from a non-Muslim, as discussed in Fatwa 189195.

Hence, according to the view of the majority of the scholars that the child born out of Zina does not bear the name of the father, then the mere bearing of the name, in your case, in order to avoid embarrassment is permissible; but this should not result in any legal prescriptions associated with lineage, so he does not inherit from him, as he is not his legitimate child, as we previously mentioned. Nonetheless, according to the view of the scholars who said it is permissible for a child born out of Zina to bear the name of the father, then he inherits from him as reported above (from Al-Hasan and Ibn Seereen).

Our advice to you is to seek to get married. You should seek the help of trustworthy Muslims concerning this. It is permissible for a woman to look for a pious husband as we clarified in Fatwa 82471. We also advise you to supplicate Allaah to guide your parents to the Truth, and to endeavor to guide them in a gentle and suitable manner. You can benefit from some of the Fataawa on our website which clarify that Islam is the right religion by which Allaah abrogated all previous religions, and that Allaah does not accept any other religion than Islam. In this regard, you may refer to the following Fataawa 81979 and 88906, 88051.

Also, there are some Fataawa which clarify the falsehood of Christianity and the contradictions between the Bibles, namely Fataawa 8210, 10326 and 90449.

Allaah Knows best.

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