A father of a two-year-old baby girl living with her divorced mother wants to know what rights he has over the child and what rights the child has. We are living in a Hindu-influenced society that prevails in Pakistan. What does Islam say about the visitation rights; is there a cap on frequency visiting given that I am only allowed to see my daughter once a month. What rights does my daughter have insofar as her father is concerned. Presently, I have no say in any affair regarding my daughter, and this might prevail even after she grows up. I married another woman after the first divorce that I gave my wife because she left my house telling my father that she did not want to live with me anymore. Afterwards, she denied that. She was pregnant at the time of divorce. Now, 2.5 years have passed; I was allowed to see my daughter for the first time when she was 1.5 years old. I am seeing her once every month. I tried to fix things and remarry my ex-wife, but she refused saying that she would have done so had I not married another woman. (Remember that we only divorced once.) I need a reply on how to convince my ex-wife that I will take care of her and my daughter and that I have not sinned by marrying again. I have very limited access to my daughter because I only see her three hours per month. I financially support my daughter and send her twice as much as the court would make me pay. I belong to a middle class family.
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 ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
Your daughter is entitled to all the rights of children over their father. You are obliged to provide for her, maintain ties with her, take care of her, tend to her needs, and provide her with the needed advice and direction. On the other hand, you are entitled to visit her and see her every day if you wish. The Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Fiqh reads, “The Hanafis maintain that a parent should not be prevented from visiting and tending to the needs of the child who is in the custody of the other parent. Also, neither of the parents should be forced to send the child to the house of the other parent; rather, the parent who has the custody of the child should allow the child to go to a place where he or she can see and meet the other parent every day...”
The fact that your were denied the visitation rights until your daughter became two and one-half years old and that you were only allowed to visit her once every month is absolutely unfair and unacceptable in Islam. For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 86053.
You and your ex-wife should try to reach an understanding in this regard, and you both should not let your daughter be the victim of your disputes. Seek the mediation and help of wise relatives and friends or others to try to convince your ex-wife to accept the restoration of your marriage bond or to reach an understanding about your daughter's situation. If this solution did not materialize and you could not work out the disputes with one another, then the matter should be decided by the judge in the sharee'ah court.
Allaah knows best.
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