Islamic adoptional jurisprudence

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This is a sub-article to the articles Islamic marital jurisprudence and Adoption.

Islamic views on adoption are generally distinct from practices and customs of adoption in other non-Muslim parts of the world like Western or East Asian societies.

Raising a child who is not one's genetic child is allowed and, in the case of an orphan, even encouraged. But, according to the Islamic view, the child does not become a true child of the "adoptive" parents. For example, the child is named after the biological, not adoptive, father. The child is also a non-Mahram to members of the adoptive family.[1] Thus many Muslims say that it is forbidden by Islamic law to adopt a child (in the common sense of the word), but permissible to take care of another child, which is translated into Arabic as Arabic: kafala‎. The adoptive child can become a mahram to his adopted family, if he or she is breast-fed by the adoptive mother before the age of two (see milk kinship).[2] There can also be confusion between a child that has been orphaned and one who has been abandoned but is presumed to have living parents.[3]

A hadith involving Aisha and Abu-Hudhayfah ibn Utbah's adoptive son Salim mawla Abu Hudaifa states:

Abu Hudhaifa, one of those who fought the battle of Badr, with Allah's Apostle adopted Salim as his son and married his niece Hind bint Al-Wahd bin 'Utba to him' and Salim was a freed slave of an Ansari woman. Allah's Apostle also adopted Zaid as his son. In the Pre-lslamic period of ignorance the custom was that, if one adopted a son, the people would call him by the name of the adopted-father whom he would inherit as well, till Allah revealed: "Call them (adopted sons) By (the names of) their fathers." (33.5)[4]

Muhammad himself had adopted a child, and was fed by an adoptive mother during the first two years of his life. Relevant issues include the marriage between Zayd ibn Harithah's ex-wife and Muhammad.

Discussion[edit]

There is now some discussion about reconsidering some of the rules about Islamic adoptions. A groundbreaking study was done by the Muslim Women's Shura Council in August 2011 titled, "Adoption and the Care of Orphan Children: Islam and the Best Interests of the Child" [PDF]. This report examined Islamic sources and concluded "adoption can be acceptable under Islamic law and its principle objectives, as long as important ethical guidelines are followed." The study represents a form of independent reasoning (ijtihad) and may raise some awareness and contribute toward shaping a future consensus (ijma) on the issue.[5]

Islamic law scholar Faisal Kutty argues that this report and a number of other developments in the area provide for some optimism that we may be at the cusp of a sea change in this area.[6]

See also[edit]

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Pétition[edit]