No Western Style Adoption Allowed In Islam 

In Western societies, a child born out of wedlock may well be put up for adoption.  But not so in Muslim countries.  Calling those born out of wedlock as illegitimate children, the Grand Mufti of Dubai says that such adoption is “a major sin in Islam”.  But it is acceptable for Muslims to sponsor abandoned children as this is akin to “an act of charity”.

No Legal Adoption Of Illegitimate Children …

Dr Sheikh Ahmed Al Haddad, the Grand Mufti of Dubai, said recently: “No man is entitled to adopt an illegitimate child and make him or her his own. It is a major sin in Islam”.

According to the Quran, it is not possible to become a person’s real son merely by virtue of a declaration.  Under Sharia law, it is haram to legally adopt a son or a daughter if the adopter is not the biological father of that child.  If a Muslim man persists in going ahead to adopt an illegitimate child, then under Sharia law, the adopted person will not have the status or rights of a biological son or daughter.

…But Abandoned Children Can Be Fostered

An abandoned child is regarded as an orphan and such a child can be fostered (or sponsored).  Grand Mufti Dr Sheikh Ahmed Al Haddad said: “Fostering a child and raising him or her is a highly praised act, as it contributes to the survival of a human soul”.

But what is involved in this fostering of an abandoned child?  Grand Mufti Dr Sheikh Ahmed Al Haddad explains: “Fostering or sponsoring a child means providing for his or her feeding, clothing, education and health care.   It also means showing the child kindness and tenderness to make up for his or her parents’ love and kindness.”

Again, fostering (or sponsoring) an abandoned child confers no rights as those reserved for the sponsor’s natural children.  The abandoned children cannot take a new family name and do not inherit in the same way but are treated similarly to biological children.

Think About It

Why is it a “major sin in Islam” for a Muslim to adopt an illegitimate child?  Has this got anything to do with the need to preserve people’s lineage? If so, does such adoption cause knowledge of the adopted’s lineage to be lost? What if it is possible to preserve the adopted child’s lineage, will it still be a “major sin” to adopt that child?  If so, then what will happen to illegitimate children?


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