Can Children Have the Surname of Their Mother?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

My friend who is a single mother has children in their teens whom she gave them her mother’s surname.

Does she has to change their surname to that of their father?

Answer: wa alaykum assalam

Taking on the surname of the mother does not constitute a negation of one’s lineage. Therefore, it would be permitted.

Additionally, surnames do no exclusively function as establishing lineage. This is clear from the fact that wives often take on the name of their husbands or their husbands’ family name without this being an indication of denial of lineage.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas 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.