Why Does the Father Not Have Any Responsibility for an Illegitimate Child (Walad al-Zina)

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


An illegitimate child (walad al-zina), is only attributed to the mother, not the father. Even if we can establish paternity through proof, why does the father have no responsibility while the woman is made to take care of it? I’m asking in case a child was born from lust and in case it was born from rape.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

If a child is born out of wedlock, Islamically, it is not the “legal child” of the biological father. However, with human and Islamic decency, the child should be loved, supported, and brought up just like any other child.

All Children Are Equal Before Allah, Most High

No child be treated or considered as less equal, illegitimate, or in any way worse than a child born in wedlock. This goes against Allah’s clear command in Sura al-An`am that no one shall bear the burdens of another. [Quran, 6:164]

Indeed, it is said that A`isha (Allah be pleased with her), when asked about a child of adultery, responded that the child has nothing of the sin of the parents and cited this verse as her proof. [Tafsir al-Quran al-Adhim, Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi]

Therefore, it should be treated as a normal and precious human being. It should be free from any of the stigma attached.  There is absolutely no Islamic basis for anyone to extend any type of anger to the child.

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I pray this helps with your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.