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What if mother remarries, and father doesn’t want responsibility of his children?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I know that when a woman gets remarried she gives up her custody rights to her children, but what if a woman remarries and the father and his family who are Arab/Muslims, does not want to financially support or want to raise his children, but yet wants to see them. If I make the children go to live with their father, he is an alcoholic, and his mother only cares for money, and is far from Islam so I?m afraid of their upbringing. What do I do in this situation? Will Allah, being the family is not following Islam, punish me for giving them up? Or is this my responsibility to raise them, even though I remarried? And if I do have to keep them, do I have the right to keep them away from their father? I want to do what is right by Allah


According to our understanding, you are the mother of the children. In principle, if the child is a boy, the mother has the rights of custody till the age of seven. In the case of a girl, till the age of nine. Thereafter, the father has the rights of custody.

The father is responsible to maintain his children at all times, whether the children are by him or not. If he does not fulfil his rights, he will be sinful in the sight of Allah. Furthermore, he should remember, his children will grow up soon to be adults. He will have to face them too.

Both the parents have visitation rights if either of them do not have custody. The visitations rights must be agreed by mutual consent. If the father is unfit for custody, and the father’s bad habits are harmful to children, then he loses his rights of custody. The children’s interest is taken into consideration. Kindly find attached the sequence of the rights of custody of children. If no one is prepared or suitable to take care of your children, we advise you sacrifice your life for them. Do not deprive the father from visiting his children due to him not maintaining them, as that will be an added loss to the children. It is possible, he will realise his responsibilities in the future and contribute to their upbringing. If you do not have any recourse, then you may also use the legal machinery to extract the rights of your children for him.

May Allah Ta’ala grant you strength and courage and may He reward you abundantly, Aameen.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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