Husband Abroad For 3 Years and Once He Arrived Wife Had Baby
Fatwa No: 406384

  • Fatwa Date:30-10-2019 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 2, 1441
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Question

A Muslim got a very lucrative job in a kuffar country. He was in this land for 3 years and 8 months. When he came back home his wife had just born a baby, yet they did not had any contact during the time he worked in the kuffar country except by phone. Can he deny his paternity or is this haram for him since his wife refers to the Sacred Law and says that he cannot deny paternity?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and messenger.

The basic principle is that the child that the wife gives birth to is attributed to her husband because he is the owner of the bed. It was authentically narrated on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The child is to be attributed to one on whose bed he is born, and for an adulterer there is stoning.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

The husband's paternity to the child is not cancelled unless he denies it through Li’aan (a case when a husband accuses his wife of adultery and each of them makes an oath that he/she is truthful in his claim and then asks Allah to curse the one who is lying).

If the husband becomes certain that the child is not his, it is incumbent on him to hasten to deny paternity through the prescribed Li‘aan, in the manner delineated in Soorat An-Noor [Quran 24].

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Any woman who falsely attributes her child to a people to whom he does not belong, she has no relation to (the religion of) Allah.” [Abu Daawood and An-Nasaa’i]

Although the wording of the Hadeeth is about women, the ruling applies to men as well. If the husband becomes certain that this woman has committed adultery and falsely attributed her illegitimate child to him and he refrains from denying the paternity of the child, then he would be falsely attributing to himself a child that is not his. Accordingly, he becomes subject to the warning stated in the Hadeeth. This is in addition to the consequences of not denying the paternity of the illegitimate child with regard to rights as he would unjustly take part of his legitimate children’s rights.

If he is not certain that the child is not his, then it is to be attributed to him as we have already stated above.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 200749 and 238174.

Allah Knows best.

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