Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
My Mother got a divorce from my father when I was very little. I
dont remember him or had any contact with him since their divorce. My mother
was remarried and my stepfather adopted me, who later died. I dont knew who my
biological father is, or even he is alive or not. Now that I am an adult, do I
have any duty to find him out and take care of him? I know that he wasnt from
a very well off family, so if he is alive, I am assuming that he might be in
hardship. What are my duties towards him? I would like to do the right thing.
Please provide me some guidelines.
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In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Your Question: What are my duties towards him?
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Bani Israel verses 23-24: Your Lord has enjoined the following: You should not worship anyone but Him Alone! Treat your parents with great kindness; if either or both of them attain old age, do not even say uff to them; nor rebuke them; but speak to them kind words. Treat them with humility and tenderness, and pray, O our Lord, be merciful to them, just as they brought me up with kindness and affection in my childhood.
Although it is not obligatory upon you to find him, it would indeed be considered righteousness and a great good deed in the sight of the Lord if you strove to the best of your ability to locate him; and when you do locate him to serve him. That would be the absolute best and right thing to do, and a deed that will Insha Allah earn you a great reward in the Presence of the Merciful Lord.
And even if after your best efforts, you are unable to locate him; your sincere intentions to locate him and serve him will in itself be a good righteous deed worthy of earning huge rewards from Allah Subhanah on the Day of Judgment.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1.1 Narrated by Umar bin Al Khattab
I heard Allah's Messenger (saws) saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.
Whether you are successful in locating him or not, what you and every child must always do, regardless if their parents are alive or dead, is constantly and earnestly supplicate the Merciful Lord on their behalf; and one of the best supplications is the one that is taught by none other than the Most Merciful to His believing slaves:
O our Lord, be merciful to them (our parents), just as they brought me up with kindness and affection in my childhood. (Quran 17:24)
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,