What Obligations Does a Person Have Towards His Illegitimate Child?

Question: An individual I know has asked for advice regarding the following situation he is in and has accepted gaining advice from the knowledgable scholars at SeekersGuidance.

Two years ago he made the mistake of having a child outside of wedlock. Please could you outline, if any, obligations that he has to the child outside of wedlock?

Answer:

Assalamu Alaykum

If he had this child with a woman who was not married, he may assert his paternity according to the view of some scholars. The child would then be seen as legitimately the child of the individual in question and would be entitled to all the rights a child is due by his father.

Even if the child is not considered legitimate and has no established lineage to the man in question because he/she was born out of wedlock, if the man knows that this child came into this world as a result of his actions, he should take responsibility for the well-being and proper care of the child as he would a child born in wedlock. This is the moral imperative. The sin of the man does not absolve him of this, and the child in question deserves to have the support of this individual.

[Ustadh] Salman

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas was born and raised in New York and graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in Amman with his wife.