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Illegitimate Sister

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askmufti.co.za

Q: I have a sister who was conceived out of wedlock and my father is still not married to her mother. My father is still married to my mother though. What I’d like know is my sister Haraam for me? Can I marry her off one day? Can I be her Mahram? What can and can’t my father be to her? She also has her mother’s surname. How does Allah excepts children/adults that are conceived out of wedlock?

A: * You are not allowed to marry a girl that was fathered by your dad, even though it was out of wedlock.

* As an act of kindness, you can make arrangements for her marriage and marry her off to someone else. She can choose you as a Wali for her marriage. But such a choice is hers entirely; you cannot impose this on her or make arrangements contrary to her wishes.

* You cannot serve as a Mahram for her on a journey.

* She will not inherit from your father and nor will he inherit from her; but she will inherit from her mother only (Raddul Muhtaar V29 P480).

* If he wishes, he can make a bequest (Wasiyyat) for her which has to be a third of the estate or less

* It is no fault of the child to be born out of wedlock. Acceptance by Allah is based on Imaan and Taqwa. If she is a good and righteous Muslim then she is in no way inferior to a legitimate child in the Sight of Allah Ta’aala. In fact, she might even surpass a legitimate child through her Imaan and Taqwa.

Allah Ta’aala knows best.

Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked by: Mufti Siraj Desai

This answer was collected from AskMufti.co.za, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Siraj Desai of Darul-Uloom Abubakr, South Africa.

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