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Adoption in Islam (Hadith No. 2171)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 44, Number 674:
Narrated ‘Urwa bin Az-Zubair:
That he had asked ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) about the meaning of the Statement of Allah: “If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice two or three or four.” (4.3)
She said, “O my nephew! This is about the orphan girl who lives with her guardian and shares his property. Her wealth and beauty may tempt him to marry her without giving her an adequate Mahr (bridal-money) which might have been given by another suitor. So, such guardians were forbidden to marry such orphan girls unless they treated them justly and gave them the most suitable Mahr; otherwise they were ordered to marry any other woman.” ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) further said, “After that verse the people again asked the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) (about the marriage with orphan ‘girls), so Allah revealed the following verses:– ‘They ask your instruction concerning the women. Say: Allah Instructs you about them and about what is recited unto you In the Book, concerning the orphan girls to whom you give not the prescribed portions and yet whom you desire to marry…” (4.127)
What is meant by Allah’s Saying:- ‘And about what is recited unto you is the former verse which goes:- ‘If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice.’ (4.3) ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) said, “Allah’s saying in the other verse:- ‘Yet whom you desire to marry’ (4.127) means the desire of the guardian to marry an orphan girl under his supervision when she has not much property or beauty (in which case he should treat her justly). The guardians were forbidden to marry their orphan girls possessing property and beauty without being just to them, as they generally refrain from marrying them (when they are neither beautiful nor wealthy).”

A common reader might find this weird – how can a guardian marry the orphan girl he’s upbringing? Incest? No. Because this is a case of sponsoring the orphan, that’s allowed in Islam, unlike adoption.

There is a difference between adoption and sponsoring orphans. 

A – Adoption means that a man takes an orphan and makes him like one of his own children, calling him after him, so that the orphan is not allowed to marry one of the man’s daughters, and so the sons of the adoptive father are regarded as brothers of the orphan and his daughters are regarded as his sisters, and his (the father’s) sisters are regarded as his paternal aunts, and so on. This was one of the things that were done during the first Jaahiliyyah, and some of the Sahaabah carried the names of their adoptive fathers, as in the case of al-Miqdaad ibn al-Aswad whose real father’s name was ‘Amr, but he was called ibn (son of) al-Aswad, after the man who had adopted him.

This continued into the early days of Islam, until Allaah forbade that, according to a well-known story. Zayd ibn Haarithah was called Zayd ibn Muhammad, and he was the husband of Zaynab bint Jahsh, then Zayd divorced her. 

It was narrated that Anas said: When Zaynab’s ‘iddah came to an end, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Zayd ibn Haarithah, “Go and tell her about me (that I want to marry her).” So he went to her and found her kneading dough. He said, “O Zaynab, good news. The Messenger of Allaah wants to marry you.” She said, “I will not do anything until I consult with my Lord.” Then she got up and went to her prayer-place, then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came and entered upon her.

 Concerning this, Allaah revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And (remember) when you said to him (Zayd bin Haarithah the freed‑slave of the Prophet) on whom Allaah has bestowed grace (by guiding him to Islam) and you (O Muhammad too) have done favour (by manumitting him): ‘Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allaah.’ But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what Allaah has already made known to you that He will give her to you in marriage) that which Allaah will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e., their saying that Muhammad married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allaah had a better right that you should fear Him. So when Zayd had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them (i.e. they have divorced them). And Allaah’s Command must be fulfilled”

[al-Ahzaab 33:37] 

(Narrated by Muslim, 1428) 

B – Allaah has forbidden adoption because it causes knowledge of people’s lineage to be lost, and we have been commanded to preserve people’s lineage. 

It was narrated from Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no man who knowingly calls himself after someone other than his father but he has committed kufr. Whoever claims to belong to people to whom he has no ties of blood, let him take his place in Hell.” 

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3317; Muslim, 61) 

What is meant by “committed kufr” is that he has done an act of kufr, not that he is beyond the pale of Islam.

This may generate hatred and resentment between the adopted son and the children of the adoptive father, because it will cause them to lose out on something that is rightfully theirs, which will go to this orphan unlawfully who they know is not entitled to it as they are. 

Sponsoring an orphan means that a man brings the orphan to live in his house, or he sponsors him somewhere other than his house, without giving him his name or forbidding that which is permitted or permitting that which is forbidden, as is the case with adoption. Rather the one who sponsors an orphan is doing a generous deed. So there can be no comparison between one who sponsors an orphan and one who adopts a child, because of the great difference between them and because sponsoring orphans is something which is encouraged in Islam. 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“…And they ask you concerning orphans. Say: The best thing is to work honestly in their property, and if you mix your affairs with theirs, then they are your brothers. And Allaah knows him who means mischief (e.g. to swallow their property) from him who means good (e.g. to save their property). And if Allaah had wished, He could have put you into difficulties. Truly, Allaah is All-Mighty, All-Wise”

[al-Baqarah 2:220] 

The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that sponsoring orphans is a means of being together with him in Paradise. 

It was narrated that Sahl ibn Sa’d said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I and the one who sponsors an orphan will be like this in Paradise” – and he gestured with his index and middle fingers, holding them slightly apart. 

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4998) 

But we must point out that when these orphans reach adolescence, they must be separated from the wives and daughters of the sponsor. We should not do good with one hand and do evil with the other. We should also note that the one who is sponsored may be an orphaned girl and she may be beautiful and may become attractive before adolescence, so the sponsor must watch his sons lest they fall into doing haraam things with the orphans, because this could happen and be a means of causing mischief which it will be difficult to put right. 

Taken from IslamQA

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Everyone is Responsible (Hadith No. 2089)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 41, Number 592:
Narrated Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu):
I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Everyone of you is a guardian, and responsible for what is in his custody. The ruler is a guardian of his subjects and responsible for them; a husband is a guardian of his family and is responsible for it; a lady is a guardian of her husband’s house and is responsible for it, and a servant is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it.” I heard that from Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and I think that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) also said, “A man is a guardian of is father’s property and is responsible for it, so all of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and things under your care.”

Friday Khutbah (Sermon) : Everyone Is a Shepherd and Responsible for his Flock
– by Imam Al-Haramain Sheikh Usaamah Khayyat
from the Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah, Rabee ath Thaani 18, 1429 (April 25, 2008)

Oh Muslims, in explaining the obligatory responsibility upon every member of the Muslim community, the role of the man and the woman is mentioned as those whose responsibility that they cannot escape, whether it is for those who are under their care. ‘Abdullah ibn Masud (Radiallahu Anhu) has narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) say “Each one of you is a shepherd. And each of you will be asked about your flock. A ruler also is a shepherd and he will be asked about his flock. And every man is a shepherd to his family. And every woman is the custodian of her husband’s house and his children. Thus each one of you is a shepherd and each one will be asked about his flock.” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

Specifically, a man’s responsibility over his household entails that he provides for the necessary needs of his family and providing them with that which will keep them happy and successful in this world as well as in the hereafter. Thus, not only does he provide them that which is necessary, but he grants them that which is virtuous and prohibits them from engaging in harmful deeds. From the greatest responsibilities which he is entrusted with is he upholds the prayer and is consistant with it.

Allah Ta’ala says: “And enjoin As-Salat on your family, and be patient in offering them. We ask not of you a provision; We provide for you. And the good end is for the Muttaqun.” [Surah Taha : Ayaah 132]

It is only unacceptable to anyone with sound reasoning that a person who ordains prayer as a means of correcting and disciplining his children and his family that he becomes neglectful and ignores the components that will lead them to a life of failure and misery.

Allah says: “Oh you who believe, Protect yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones.” [Surah Tahreem : Ayaah 6]

Allah has put over Jahannam angels who protect it, who do not disobey Him, but rather they obey every command of His.

Every parent ought to be alert and pay attention to these warnings, which if they fail to take heed to they only risk the failure of their children’s future and the threat of their children facing a punishment in the hereafter. Some parents are negligent and leave their children behind closed doors in their rooms not knowing what they are doing, what web sites they are visiting, who they are chatting with in chat rooms or on the phone, or what pictures they are looking at. This is in fact negligence and allowing our children to be exposed to threats and being irresponsible towards them. What is required is that parents provide a balanced and wise approach in safeguarding and monitoring their children’s activities. The one who falls short of fulfilling his responsibility, then he be held responsible with Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and indeed Allah is not unjust with His servants. As far as his role in the community where he is responsible for bringing up upright children who contribute positively to the society and not become a burden in it, he needs to pay attention to raising his children from these angles as well.

As for the woman, she has been entrusted with the responsibilty of the care of her children and the house of her husband. It is necessary that she makes sure that her children are provided with the education and an environment that is needed for children to grow up as upright adults. A mother ought to not cover up and overlook her child’s mistakes and weaknesses, thinking that her actions are beneficial to them. Rather, she is only contributing to their destruction and misguidance. Sometimes parents, especially the mother, resorts to protecting their children from accountability and even if their children fall into something that is clearly wrong and shameful. They fail to see that this action can become monstrous later in their life. Similarly, raising children in a good environment and granting them the neccesary education increases the chances of them becoming productive adults. These children will also in turn supplicate for their parents.

If a parent does raise their children to the best of their ability and spend from their wealth on them, and the children still fall into the path misguidance, then indeed the parents are free. Surely Allah does not hold one accountable for that which we are not able deliver upon. We find great comfort in the story of Nuuh (Alayhi Salaam) when he had warned his people of a great flooding that would befall them, and his son replied by saying that “I will betake myself for refuge to a mountain that shall protect me from the water.”[Surah Huud : Ayaah 43] But Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) sent down the rain, and the flooding overwhelmed them and his son was drowned.

Oh you Believe, do not try to deceive Allah and His Messenger and let them down on the trust that has been bestowed upon you. Oh Muslims, strive to live up to your responsibilities as it has been ordained by Allah and in the Sunnah.

Taken from navedz.com

Further reading: In the Early Hours: Reflections on Spiritual and Self Development (Chapter 6) by Khurram Murad

(Hadith No. 1991)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 37, Number 495 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Whenever a dead man in debt was brought to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) he would ask, “Has he left anything to repay his debt?” If he was informed that he had left something to repay his debts, he would offer his funeral prayer, otherwise he would tell the Muslims to offer their friend’s funeral prayer. When Allah made the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) wealthy through conquests, he said, “I am more rightful than other believers to be the guardian of the believers, so if a Muslim dies while in debt, I am responsible for the repayment of his debt, and whoever leaves wealth (after his death) it will belong to his heirs.”

The first part of this hadith has been covered before. Read it here.

So initially the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) would refuse to offer the funeral prayer of a person who hadn’t left anything to repay his debt(s) with.. but later on, when the Bayt-ul-Maal was sufficiently stocked, he would have their debts repaid from the state treasury, considering himself the guardian of the believers.

And that’s how it should be. If someone dies in debt leaving behind nothing, the state should repay their debts.

Book of Hiwalah [Debt Transfer] ends here.

Guardian Taking from Orphan’s Wealth (Hadith No. 1909)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 414 :
Narrated by Hisham bin ‘Urwa from his father
Who heard Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) saying, “The Holy Verse; ‘Whoever amongst the guardians is rich, he should take no wages (from the property of the orphans) but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labors)’ (4.6), was revealed concerning the guardian of the orphans who looks after them and manages favorably their financial affairs; if the guardian is poor, he could have from it what is just and reasonable, (according to his labors).”

Islam regards taking an orphan’s wealth unlawfully as one of the seven sins that doom one to Hell – as it was narrated by al-Bukhaari (2615) and Muslim (89) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because it is a great trust which many are unable to fulfil. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Abu Dharr, when advising him: “And do not take care of the property of an orphan.” Narrated by Muslim (1826).

Islam commands the one who has orphans under his care to look after them properly and raise them well, and if they have wealth he is to guard it and invest it, and pay zakaah on it. If he is rich then it is better for him to refrain from touching their wealth at all, and if he is poor he may consume some on a reasonable basis; if he invests their money he may take payment equal to that of anyone else doing a similar job. These are the rulings of sharee’ah, and they are most wise and just.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And give not unto the foolish your property which Allaah has made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice. And try orphans (as regards their intelligence) until they reach the age of marriage; if then you find sound judgement in them, release their property to them, but consume it not wastefully and hastily fearing that they should grow up, and whoever (amongst guardians) is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labour). And when you release their property to them, take witness in their presence; and Allaah is All‑Sufficient in taking account.” [al-Nisa’ 4:5, 6]

Ibn Katheer said:

In the words, “consume it not wastefully and hastily fearing that they should grow up”, Allaah forbids consuming orphans’ wealth unnecessarily. “wastefully and hastily” means hastening before they reach puberty. Then Allaah says: “and whoever (amongst guardians) is rich, he should take no wages” meaning, he should not consume anything from it. Al-Sha’bi said: For him it is like dead meat and blood [i.e., forbidden]. “but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labour)”. This was revealed concerning the guardian of an orphan who looks after him and takes care of him, if he needs to take from it. It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: This verse was revealed concerning the guardian of an orphan: “and whoever (amongst guardians) is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labour)”.

The fuqaha’ said: He may take whichever is the lesser amount – the equivalent wages for his work or as much as he needs. They differed as to whether he should repay it if he becomes well off. There are two views, one of which is that he should not, because he took it in return for his work when he was poor. This is the correct view according to the companions of al-Shaafa’i, because the verse allows taking without replacing it later on.

The other view is that yes, he should repay it, because the orphan’s wealth is forbidden, and it was only permitted because of need, so he should repay it just as if he took wealth from someone else when he was in need.

and whoever (amongst guardians) is rich, he should take no wages” means, whoever among guardians. “but if he is poor” also refers to guardians. “let him have for himself what is just and reasonable” means, in the way that is better, just as it says in another verse, “And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he (or she) attains the age of full strength” [al-An’aam 6:152], i.e., do not come near it except with the intention of disposing of it in the best way, and if you need it then use it in a way that is just and reasonable.

Tafseer Ibn Katheer (1/454, 455).

More on it here.

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