Neglected by Her Father and Abused by Her Husband and Wants to Change Her Family Name
Fatwa No: 430834

  • Fatwa Date:27-10-2020 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 11, 1442
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Question

Assalaamualaykum. Dear scholar, I met a person who went through very difficult circumstances since her childhood. Her father neglected since she is small her and till now will barely pay any attention to her. She was married at an early age and her husband has been abusive. Because she did not achieve much academically, she is not given due consideration by the society and not even her own family members. Her in-laws recognise her sufferings but does mot say much. She wants to separate from her husband but is financially not able to do so and hence she against her will lives with someone she does not love. She has developped a disgust for her family name, particularly that her husband has continuously been mocking of her family name. She wants to know if it is allowed for her to change that family name officially even if she does not disowm herself from her lineage. Jazaakumullah khayran.

Answer

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

If changing the family name results in attributing a person to someone other than his real father, then it is prohibited, given the reported stern warning in this regard. It was narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “One of the worst lies is for a man to claim falsely to be the son of someone other than his real father.” [Al-Bukhari] The Hadeeth mentioned the word ‘father’ as a general term that includes the immediate (biological) father and the male ascendants up to all levels. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {[It is] the religion of your father, Ibraaheem...} [Quran 22:78] Allah, The Exalted, called Prophet Ibraaheem (Abraham)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention our ‘father’ despite the long line of descent.

The woman in reference should strive to forget these matters that cause her anxiety and tension, move on with her life, and preoccupy herself with what benefits her with regard to her religion and worldly life. Having a relationship with a non-Mahram man is a serious evildoing, especially when she is married. Such sins are a reason for maximizing her distress, so it is incumbent on her to hasten to repent sincerely, give up the sin, regret what she did in the past, and resolve not to commit such a sin in the future.

If her husband mistreats her, he is violating the divine directive in the verse reading (what means): {…And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.} [Quran 4:19] She has the right to request divorce or Khul’ (divorce at the instance of the wife in return for compensation payable by her) if she is harmed by this situation. If she cannot obtain divorce or Khul’, she should fear Allah, The Exalted, and adhere to patience. She may seek the mediation of righteous people to reconcile between her and her husband and remind him that he should live with her in kindness or divorce her with kindness.

Allah Knows best.

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