I would like to inquire about a situation relating to naming a baby. It is simply to find out if using a hyphenated last name with the father’s last name, followed by the mother’s last name, is haram. The father and mother were married but they got divorced shortly after being married. The father was not around fir the entire pregnancy and only showed up after the baby was born. The mother, who is Muslim, ensured the child is a Muslim, did the relevant rituals and named the child using her last name, since the father was not around. The Father is not a Muslim and carries a Hindu last name. He never converted to Islam. The mother took Shahadah and is trying to live a decent life as a more devoted Muslim. She understands that a child must carry his father’s last name based on her research, but because she wants the child not to feel awkward in growing up around Muslims, she wants his last name to be hyphenated with the father’s last name followed by the mother’s last name. Please tell me if this is haram or not. The last name will indeed include the father’s last name. But is it forbidden for the child to also carry the mother’s last name?
The guidance of Islam in this matter is that a child must always be attributed to his real father. He must not be called the son of a certain person if that person is not his real father. Regardless of the name which the child has, it must always be known by the child, family members and others, that he (the child) is the son of such a person (who is the real father). As such, in all legal documents etc. whenever it is asked about the fathers’ name, the child or parent must put the name of the father. The child must not be attributed to any other person instead of his real father.
Once this principle is maintained, then it will not be unlawful or impermissible for you to do what you have asked about in the question. The father’s last name which will be included will also be a means of recognition as to which family the child belongs to, and will identify the child as the son of such and such person. It is not forbidden to also carry the mother’s last name.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.