Legal issues of step children.
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
I have a question regarding my husband's children who were
born out of his marriage with a non muslim. tho she prayed the nikah out of
pressure from my husband from day one she did not follow islam. they had two
children from this relationship. after thirteen years she took divorce and took
the two children , one girl and one boy with her. my husband continues to
maintain relationship with the children.
My husband married me thereafter and we have a son now. i
want to know the following:
the status of the children with respect to the father. are
they considered legitimate? they do not follow islam from any aspect other than
having muslim names. girl is 13 and boy is 8 status of my relationship
status of my son's relationship with them their inheritance rights
Please reply to the questions carefully and as soon as
possible as many lives are involved. may Allah grant you a great reward for
your effort. ameen
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Legal issues of step
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 none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear
witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His
Your Question: …the status of the children with respect to the
father. are they considered legitimate?
Regardless of whatever the intentions might have been in
her heart, as long as the non-muslim sister declared the ‘shahaadah’ before her
‘nikaah’ with your husband, the marriage itself will be considered absolutely
legal, lawful and valid in the Sight of Shariah Law….and any children resulting
from that marriage will also be considered absolutely lawful and legitimate.
The children resulting from that marriage will be known and
recognized by the name of their father, their father will inherit from them,
they will inherit from their father, the ‘mehram’ relations amongst them will
be honored, etc….basically every single right that is due in a
father-off-spring relationship in Shariah will be accorded to them in full.
Your Question: ….they do not follow islam from any aspect other
than having muslim names. girl is 13 and boy is 8
Not following the deen of Islam is one thing; verbally
declaring apostasy from Islam is altogether another! If the off-spring of your husband do not
follow Islam as their way of life, they do not legally become non-muslims in
the Sight of Shariah Law, and none of their rights as believers would be
effected in the least….but if Allah forbid, they were to openly or verbally
declare apostasy from Islam, every right that is due to them because they were
born of a believing father will be honored and accorded to them, except that
they as disbelievers will not legally inherit from their father….for Shariah Law
dictates that a disbeliever can never inherit from a believer.
Your Question: status of my relationship with them
Because you are married to their father, you will be
considered a step-mother to the children of your husband from another marriage;
and they will be considered your step-children…and a ‘mehram’ relationship will
be established between you and them.
Your Question: …status of my son's relationship with them
The children resulting from the first marriage of your
husband will be considered step or half brothers and sisters of your son…and
because they share a common father, a ‘mehram’ relationship will be established
between them in the Sight of Shariah Law.
Your Question: ….their inheritance rights
We reiterate again that if the children of your husband
merely do not follow Islam, they do not become disbelievers or apostates….and
every single right that is due to an off-spring in Shariah will be accorded to
them in full, including inheritance from their father.
But if Allah forbid, the children were to openly or
verbally declare their apostasy from Islam, they would cease their right in
Shariah to inherit from their believing father.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only
due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me
alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is
the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and
well wisher in Islam,