How does Islam regard adoptions?

Assalaam walaikum,

Can a Muslim adopt (be a foster parent to) a non-Muslim child? And how does one rear such a child?

If an infant is adopted and the child has no name what is the ruling? Child born in hospital; father unknown; mother gives it up for adoption… what do we do Islamically?

Am I correct in understanding that the issue of adoption stems from inheritance laws?

Need response by yesterday!

Islam strongly encourages fostering orphans. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “I, and the foster of an orphan, are in Paradise like these (and he held up his second and third fingers tightly together).” Narrated by Abu-Hurayra and reported by Muslim who rated it authentic.

What Islam forbids is giving the child the last name of the foster parent, which is what normally happens in adoptions. The reason is inheritance and marriage laws. These laws are structured around blood relations. A son inherits but a foster son does not, though he may be given a bequest. A man cannot marry the divorced or widowed wife of his son, but can marry the divorced or widowed wife of his foster child.

The Prophet (PBUH) adopted his servant Zayd, before Zayd’s father became known. People started calling the boy Zayd ibn Muhammad! Zayd was overjoyed by that name. Then, after verse 33:5 was revealed, the Prophet (PBUH) sent out for folks who are gifted in telling paternity from looks, voice and mannerism. They asserted that Zayd’s father was Haaritha ibn Shuraaheel (RA). The Prophet (PBUH) was very delighted that the father was now known. Zayd, however, was not that happy! He would never again be called Zayd ibn Muhammad.

Then, a most surprising consolation prize came from God to Zayd. God mentions his name in verse 33:37, the only companion of the Prophet (PBUH) to get this honor!

What to call a foster child? Any decent name, as long as the last name is not the same as the foster father’s name.

How to raise the foster child? Just like one would raise his own child.

There is no difference between Islamic perspective on fostering a child and the common perspective on adoptions except in that one issue: legally regarding the child a son (or daughter) of the foster parents. That is not allowed in Islam, for the reasons of inheritance and marriage laws as I mentioned above.

what happens is you decide to become a foster parent to a child that is practicing a faith other than Islam. You gain custody after they have professed a faith. What is a Muslim parent to do.

I await a response.

What is the main responsibility of a Muslim toward his or her fellow human being? It’s to call him or her to God. For a stranger, this may be done by preaching or by being a good example. For a close person under one’s care, it is by raising him or her to be a good Muslim. If the foster child rejects that, they cannot be forced to become Muslim. Recall that Prophet Noah, peace be upon him, could not force his son to ride with him in the Ark even after the flood started!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.