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Islam Permits Marrying Adopted Children

From Turkey’s Aksam newspaper, via Memri:

Orphaned Muslim girls.

Shocking Messages About Child Adoption In Book Published By Turkish Diyanet

Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), a government office, recently published a book on family and youth that shocked adoptive parents who regard their adopted children as their very own. Rather than encouraging child adoption, the book says the following:

– When couples are unable to have children by natural means or artificial insemination, they can choose to adopt children. But to register those children under their names, making them beneficiaries of their inheritance is against religion (Islam).

When the adopted children reach puberty – and as they are of no blood relation to the parents – marrying with them becomes lawful according to Islam. Therefore, according to Islam it is not permissible for the mother to be alone with a male adopted child, and for the father to be alone with the female adopted child in any place, at any time.

– Infertility may be the result of some disorder and to seek medical remedy and cure is the couple’s duty. When this does not help, in vitro fertilization becomes permissible – but only when the sperm and the egg of the couple is used. Using donor sperm or egg is forbidden in Islam. If they cannot succeed in fertilization with their own (sperm and egg) the couple must accept the divine providence and live without children, in obedience to their faith.

What a noble and generous doctrine.

And in case anyone doubts the authority of this fatwa, the Diyanet is the highest Islamic authority in Turkey.

From Wikipedia:

Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı

The Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı (en: Presidency of Religious Affairs) is an institution of the Turkish government and represents the highest, Islamic religious authority in the country. It was established in 1924 after the abolition of the caliphate, as a successor to Shaikh al-Islam. It is normally known simply as the Diyanet.

The duty of the Diyanet is “to execute the works concerning the beliefs, worship, and ethics of Islam, enlighten the public about their religion, and administer the sacred worshipping places” The Diyanet had an allocated budget of 1,308,187,000 YTL or USD $0.9 Billion for the year 2006.

Of course this should not really be any news, since it has been standard Islamic doctrine all along.

From About.com:

Islamic legal rulings about foster parenting and adoption

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said that a person who cares for an orphaned child will be in Paradise with him, and motioned to show that they would be as close as two fingers of a single hand. An orphan himself, Muhammad paid special attention to the care of children. He himself adopted a former slave and raised him with the same care as if he were his own son.

However, the Qur’an gives specific rules about the legal relationship between a child and his/her adoptive family. The child’s biological family is never hidden; their ties to the child are never severed. The Qur’an specifically reminds adoptive parents that they are not the child’s biological parents:

“…Nor has He made your adopted sons your (biological) sons. Such is (only) your (manner of) speech by your mouths. But Allah tells (you) the Truth, and He shows the (right) Way. Call them by (the names of) their fathers; that is juster in the sight of Allah. But if you know not their father’s (names, call them) your brothers in faith, or your trustees. But there is no blame on you if you make a mistake therein. (What counts is) the intention of your hearts. And Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.”

(Qur’an 33:4-5)

The guardian/child relationship has specific rules under Islamic law, which render the relationship a bit different than what is common adoption practice today. The Islamic term for what is commonly called adoption is kafala, which comes from a word that means “to feed.”  In essence, it describes more of a foster-parent relationship. Some of the rules in Islam surrounding this relationship: 

– An adopted child retains his or her own biological family name (surname) and does not change his or her name to match that of the adoptive family.
– An adopted child inherits from his or her biological parents, not automatically from the adoptive parents.
When the child is grown, members of the adoptive family are not considered blood relatives, and are therefore not muhrim to him or her. “Muhrim” refers to a specific legal relationship that regulates marriage and other aspects of life. Essentially, members of the adoptive family would be permissible as possible marriage partners, and rules of modesty exist between the grown child and adoptive family members of the opposite sex.
– If the child is provided with property/wealth from the biological family, adoptive parents are commanded to take care and not intermingle that property/wealth with their own. They serve merely as trustees.

These Islamic rules emphasize to the adoptive family that they are not taking the place of the biological family — they are trustees and caretakers of someone else’s child. Their role is very clearly defined, but nevertheless very valued and important.

It is also important to note that in Islam, the extended family network is vast and very strong. It is rare for a child to be completely orphaned, without a single family member to care for him or her. Islam places a great emphasis on the ties of kinship — a completely abandoned child is practically unheard of. Islamic law would place an emphasis on locating a relative to care for the child, before allowing someone outside of the family, much less the community or country, to adopt and remove the child from his or her familial, cultural, and religious roots. This is especially important during times of war, famine, or economic crisis — when families may be temporarily uprooted or divided.

“Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter?  And He found you wandering, and He gave you guidance. And He found you in need, and made you independent. Therefore, treat not the orphan with harshness, nor drive away a petitioner (unheard). But the bounty of the Lord – rehearse and proclaim!”

(Qur’an 93:6-11)

In effect, all adoption is forbidden under Islam. All that is really allowed is a weird kind of “foster care.”

But that’s okay, since we are assured on all sides that Muslim orphans are practically unheard of anywhere in the world.

But should one ever turn up, Allah forbid that they should be adopted by infidels.

From a site calling itself Mere Islam:

Muslim Children Given to Christians for Adoption

Below is a link to an incredibly heart wrenching story, especially for Muslim parents. It’s rather scary that in a country where most, if not all, states have laws that require respect for the culture and religious beliefs of a child’s family when adoption is necessary that such a grave injustice could take place—but it seems that justice, dignity and common sense often go out the window when it comes to dealing with Muslims in the so-called “Land of the Free”.

On top of the general feeling of disgust that I felt while reading this article, one detail that really annoyed me was the use of the term “birth father”, when really what they’re saying is “father” since children only have one father. Oddly enough, this isn’t just an Islamic position and value, since the Bible’s Ten Commandments say to “Honor thy father and thy mother”. By “father” and “mother”, it’s safe to say that “biological father” (another oxymoron) is primarily intended.

It should come as no surprise that these antinomian Protestants wouldn’t let a legal injunction like the Ten Commandments get in the way of their cowardly drive to take advantage of some innocent children, since in order to become Pentecostal Christians in the first place that had to turn a blind eye (and heart) to the “First and Greatest Commandment” of the Bible as well! Now they’ve gone and turned three formerly Muslim children into idolatrous Jesus-worshippers in stark contradiction to the way of Abraham and all of God’s prophets—may He bless them all.

We can seek solace in the knowledge that Almighty God will give the people responsible for this grave injustice what they deserve. Please try to remember both these unfortunate parents and their more unfortunate children in your du’a—and Almighty God guides whom He will…

Yes, Islam is the perfect guide to life.

How can anyone doubt it?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, October 28th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Islam Permits Marrying Adopted Children”

  1. Khader says:

    In short,

    This article is using “correct” information for a bad purpose;

    This article is speaking about how the religious institutions in Turkey are wrong on some things, on a fundamental basis according to the proper teachings of Islam.

    However, the article is not honest by failing to distinguish between the wrongness of many of these jurisdictions and the original just teachings of Islam, or even main stream Muslims and their schools of thoughts.

    Taking what that religious committee in Turkey is doing and over generalizing it as what Islam is teaching, while Islam is practiced way before Turkey or Ottomans as states even existed, is simply wrong. Dangerously wrong and a distorting-of-truth propaganda.

    I this this article as a thoughtful act of hatred that is coated with some intelligence to give it some bright of ‘sophistication of thought’

    This trick didn’t work on me, neither it will work on many others.

  2. fatema modarres says:

    As Khader noted, the jurisconsults are more or less different in their views. For example the great Ayatollah Khomeini permits I.V.F for a couple who are not fertile.


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