Her husband rejects his daughter to be traced back to him
Fatwa No: 91248


I have known my husband five years and we have been married four. After two years of marriage in the US he went home to Tunisia. The US would not let him return for ten years because of overstay of visa. I went to Tunisia and fought for his return. In this period I became pregnant. It took 15 months of hard work but in short his case was approved. He returned and stayed without work for 6 months and had work for 1 and a half months and left. Now he is saying our daughter Khadeejah is not his daughter and he has even taken his last name from her. He will not take a test to prove that she is his and he will not help me in anyway with her. I am Muslim and have only been for three years. I have much to learn. But I would have never thought that a Muslim man would do this. But he says he is standing behind Islam in his choice. Where would I find this in the Quran? I have read he must bring four witnesses. In the Islamic way what can I do? I already know what I can do here in the western world. But I am looking for the way of Islam.


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 is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.


First of all, it should be noted that in principle a Muslim is innocent and it is not permissible to accuse him/her of a dishonour [with something immoral] without evidence, especially in matters of dignity, and mainly between the husband and his wife. Allaah Says (what means): {O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin.}[Quran 49:12]. If a man accuses his wife of having committed adultery, then he should bring four witnesses for his claim, or they should perform Li'aan (which is when each of them makes an oath he is truthful in his claim and then asks Allaah to curse the one who is lying) otherwise, he should be whipped for accusing a chaste woman of committing adultery.

If a married woman is pregnant and gave birth to a child, the child is traced back to her husband and it is not permissible for him to deny the child from his lineage, and he is not permitted to do so except if he performs Li'aan with his wife in which case the child will be traced back to her. It is confirmed that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "The baby belongs to the owner of the bed (i.e. the husband)." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Therefore, it is an obligation to advise this husband, if it is confirmed that he is accusing you of adultery, as he should not accuse you of having committed adultery without evidence, or reject his daughter to be traced back to him. He should be reminded about the religious view on this matter as we discussed. If he still persists on accusing you of adultery, and refuses to accept the daughter as his, then you may take the matter to an Islamic court or to an institution which usually attends to personal matters in non-Muslim countries like Islamic centres and the like.

It should be noted that it is not permissible to resort to man-made laws (i.e. civil courts) without a necessity. Also, refusing lineage is not decided by sperm test, as in principle the family lineage is confirmed, and the evidence is the above narration in which the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "The baby belongs to the owner of the bed." So, this principle should not be neglected because of a suspicion which is subject to many deficiencies. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 88510.

Finally, we advise you to be patient and wise, while invoking Allaah to relieve your grief and make a way out to your difficulty. You should know that Allaah will be with you if you are really wronged, and He will make the truth overcome. Furthermore, you should know that Islam protects your rights more than any other religion or law, and Islam is disowns the behaviour of this man, if he is as you mentioned.

Allaah Knows best.

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