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Birth by fornication and the child’s mahram

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed

If a woman gives birth to a child, but doesn’t know who the real father is, because of her promiscuity, do the children of all the men become forbidden (unmarriageable) to the child?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

You should know that a child born out of fornication, whether it is male or female is not given lineage to his paternal side, because the sperm that he was created from has no prohibition connected to it, so he only has lineage to his maternal side if she is not married.

If she is married, but her husband did not have intercourse with her, or he had intercourse with her, but she gave birth to the child before completing six months of pregnancy from the time that he slept with her, or over four years of pregnancy, then the child only has lineage to her [s. and not to her husband].

But if she slept with her legal husband, and she gave birth to a child at six months of pregnancy or more, or less than four years from the time that they slept together, then the child has lineage to her husband because of the probability that he is the father. A minimum pregnancy is six months and the maximum is four years, according to Imam al-Shafi’I, may Allah be well pleased with him and have mercy on him, and it is has been established in rigorously authenticated hadith that he said, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, “The child is attributed to one on whose bed it is born, and stoning is for a fornicator.” [Related by Bukhari and Muslim; Munawi said that it is a mass-transmitted (mutawatir) hadith, as it was transmitted by over twenty different Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)—Munawi, as quoted by Ajluni in Kashf al-Khafa’ (2.451)]

So one should know, after what has been said, that there is no prohibition between a child born of fornication- whether it is male or female- and the children of the men that fornicated with the mother of that child, so they may marry eachother. It is also not permissible that a female and male among them be alone in isolation, and it is obligatory to cover the nakedness, according to what is established of a girl’s nakedness, in front of non-mahram men which is her whole body.

And Allah alone gives success.

Amjad Rasheed

السؤال : في حالِ أنجبتْ امرأةٌ طفلاً ولم تعرفْ من هو الأبُ الحقيقيُ لهذا الطفل لكونها على علاقة بأكثر من رجل ، هل يُصبِحُ أولادُ أولئك الرجال مُحَرَّمين على ولد تلك المرأة ؟

الجواب : اعلم أن الولدَ المخلوق من الزنا سواء كان ذكراً أو أنثى لا يُنسب إلى الزاني ؛ لأن الماء المخلوق منه لا حرمةَ له ، وإنما تكون نسبته لأمه إن لم تكن مزوجة ، وكذلك إن كانت مزوجةً ولم يطأها زوجُها ، أو وطئها وأتت له بولد لدون ستة أشهر من وطئه إياها أو لفوق أربع سنين من ذلك فينسب الولد لها .
أما إن وطئها الزوجُ الشرعيُّ فأتت بولدٍ لستةِِ شهور أو فوق ذلك لكن بأقل من أربع سنين من زمن وطء زوجها لها فهذا الولدُ منسوبٌ لزوجها لاحتمال أنه من وطئه ؛ إذ أقلُّ الحمل ستةُ أشهر وأكثرُه أربعُ سنين عند إمامنا الشافعي رضي الله عنه ورحمه ؛ وقد ثبت في الصحيح من قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم :” الولد للفراش وللعاهر الحجر “.
ويُعلم مما تقدم أنه لا حرمةَ بين الولد المخلوق من الزنا – سواء كان ذكراً أو أنثى – وبين أولاد الرجال الذي زنوا بأمِّ ذلك الولد ، فيجوز تزوجهم ببعض ، ولا يجوز إن تقع بين الذكر والأنثى منهم خلوة ، ويجب ستر العورة بحسب المقرر في عورة المرأة على الأجنبي وهو جميع بدنها .

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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