Searched the site and found answers helping but not completely answering this question. The woman wants to convert to Islam and will try to bring up her young child (age 5) up with Islamic teachings. The child was born from a christian marriage from which she is now divorced. 1) What are the rights and responsibilities that the Muslim husband would have over the child? Should he be brought up as if it was his own? 2) What rights/responsibilities does the childs biological christian father have over the child? What if he does not approve of his son being brought up as a Muslim? 3) Are there any duas that would be wise to make before making this specific type of decision for marriage (besides Istikhara)? Any other advice or suggestions you may offer on this matter? Jazzakallah for your help.
1. The rights and responsibilities that the Muslim husband would have over this child is the same as it would have been if it was his own child. Nabi [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] is reported to have said, ?None from amongst you can be a complete Mu?min until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.? He should therefore bear in mind that because this is not his child, he will not inherit, etc. directly from him.
2. The child’s biological father will have the same rights/responsibilities over the child that any parents / father has, as long as the parent does not ask the child to contradict the Shari?ah. If he does not approve of his son brought up as a Muslim, there is nothing he can do to prevent it. The child will follow the parent who is on the better religion. In this case, the Islam of the mother.
3. You can continuously make this Du’aa ?Rabbana hab lana min azwaajina wa dhurriyatinaa qurrata a?ayunin waj alnaa minal muttaqeena imaama? (O Our lord, bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes and make us leaders for the pious). (S25 V74)
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai