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Who has the right to keep the name of an illegitimate child? Is the biological father responsible for maintaining the illegitimate child?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by TheMufti.com

Q. My friend committed Zina and her child was born out of wedlock. Her child’s biological father (both of them are Muslim) claims that he has the right to keep the name of the child. He said that he did Aqeeqah for the child with the name he has kept and not the name the mother has kept. So, the child’s name cannot be changed. He even has a court interdict against her for this reason. What is the Islamic ruling in this case? Who has the right to keep the name of the illegitimate child? Is the biological father responsible for maintaining the illegitimate child?


A. Since the general laws and rights of a biological father upon his illegitimate child are not established in Shariah, the biological mother will reserve the right to name the illegitimate child.

Maintenance (Nafaqah) of the illegitimate child is also not established upon the biological father.

Note: The above ruling does not mean that the biological father should treat the illegitimate child as a stranger. Taking good care of the illegitimate child will be greatly rewarded by Allah Ta’ala.

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa

This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.

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