Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I am seriously considering marrying a divorced man who has a 5 year old daughter. He comes from a good family Mashallah and I am content with the level of deen that I understand he practices and how I see his Akhlaq.
I have never been married before nor have any children. My question and concern is what responsibility would I have towards the child?
Due to divorce laws in the States, he is able to see his daughter every two weeks during the weekend, but otherwise she lives with her Mom. This condition will be revisited when she is 9.
Also, I would greatly appreciate if you could recommend any helpful Islamic resources with this situation.
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
Responsibility towards stepdaughter
You will be the child’s stepmother, and your responsibility is to treat her with mercy and good character. Open your heart to her, and give yourselves time to form a relationship. Because she is still young, if her temperament is an easy one, then it will be easier for you to bond. If is a more challenging child – parental divorce is difficult even on the easiest children – then please be patient with her, and do not take her big feelings personally. Do everything in your power to be kind and a safe haven for her.
When you start to have your own children, please continue to make an effort to nourish your relationship with your stepdaughter. Her future half-siblings are mahram to her, and it is important that she feels included and loved, even if she does not live with all of you.
I pray that with an open heart, you will be able to embrace her as if she were your own flesh and blood.
Blended family resources
May Allah bless your upcoming marriage. The ummah needs more women like you. Please keep in touch.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.