- Zaid took an abandoned baby girl from hospital to foster. The only thing he knows about her identity is her mother’s name and surname which he learnt from the social workers. Can he give her his surname?
- Zaid married a woman who has a child from another man. Whilst not denying who the biological father is, can Zaid give this child his surname?
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an: “ nor did He make your adopted sons, your sons. These are just utterances from your mouths. And Allah tells the truth, and He directs to the path. Call them (adopted sons) after their fathers. That is more just by Allah. So, if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brethren in religion and your friends. And there is no sin on you if you err in the matter, but yes, that what your hearts purposely design. And Allah is Gracious, All Forgiving.” (Surah Ahzaab, Verses 4-5)
It is Haraam to attribute oneself to other than his/her biological father let alone attributing someone else to other than his/her real parents. Many Ahaadith have been narrated against such people, hence in both the cases (question 1 and 2) it will not be permissible for Zaid to give the child his surname (which plays a great role in ones identity), be the child adopted, fostered or a step child. However in the first case (question 1) as the father’s name is unknown the child should be attributed to her mother. (Aapke Masaail aur Unkaa Hal, Vol. 8, Page 294, Fataawaa Mahmoodiyah, Vol. 14, Page 418, Vol. 13, Page 450)
And Allah Ta’ala knows best,
Qasim bin Hashim Limbada
Attested to as correct by:
Mufti Muhammad Ashraf
06 March 2004
14 Muharram 1425