Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari & Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: I have a daughter who is almost two years old. I have been with my partner for several years, but he is Muslim and I’m not. I have begged him to tell his family about his daughter but he always seems to have an excuse. I know we had a child out of wedlock, but why should our daughter be punished for our mistakes?
Answer by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari:
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Thank you for writing to us with your question.
It’s best to approach this situation with the utmost delicacy.
Given that your (Muslim) partner is loathe to introduce your daughter to his family, you have to consider other options:
-Either accept that your daughter will likely not have a relationship with her father’s family, unless she chooses to seek them out when she is an adult.
-Or–and this is what I would probably do–write a letter to them introducing yourself and your daughter. Acknowledge in the letter that they will likely be uncomfortable with the situation, but that this is your reality. You can say that you don’t want your daughter to miss out on getting to know her father’s family, but you will let them dictate those terms. If they respond positively, set up a brief meeting in a neutral setting and bring small gifts for them. If they don’t respond positively, still thank them for the consideration and pray that Allah opens their hearts to the possibility of meeting this innocent child in the near future. If they don’t respond at all, then don’t despair. The important thing is that you tried.
-In the meantime, it sounds like you’ve been in a long-term relationship with this man. You have a daughter together. Why not make your relationship licit by getting married? If he values his Islam at all, he ought to honor you (and himself and your daughter) by marrying you.
I pray this has been helpful.
Answer by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil:
I hope this finds you well. Thank you for reaching out to us, and please forgive me for the delay.
I am so sorry to hear that your partner has hidden your daughter from his family. She is innocent, and no less worthy of love and belonging.
Look carefully at your options. Are you willing to jeopardise your relationship with your partner by reaching out to his family against his wishes? He is likely to respond negatively. This decision can only be made by you.
Before you reach out to them, ask yourself what are you hoping to achieve. Hope for the best outcome, but be prepared for the worst.
I pray that his family will respond to your daughter with love and compassion. If they don’t, then perhaps the passage of time will help them come around. Children have a way of softening hearts. However, If your partner’s family ends up causing more harm than benefit, then please remove your daughter from their influence.
Whatever you decide, please seek out a culturally-aware local counsellor to help you cope.
Please refer to the following link:
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani