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Should I Support Financially the Illegitimate Child of My Deceased Father?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

My father has passed away. I came to know that he fathered an illegitimate child with another woman.

Should I inform my family of the situation? Is there any financial obligation on me towards this woman and her child?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

May God have mercy on your father and keep your family together.

Financial Obligations to this Family

The son is not legally considered your father’s son, in that he is not attributed to him for purposes of inheritance and marriage. It follows that you do not have any legal obligation of financial support towards him, or his mother.

Beyond strictly legal obligations, however, it would remain a praiseworthy act to provide financial support if you are able to, especially if your father had been doing so, as cutting off a person’s livelihood is blameworthy.

It is reported that Abu Bakr took an oath to cut off the support he had previously provided for Mistah, a companion who he understood to have participated in spreading rumours about his daughter, ‘Aisha (may Allah be be pleased with them). However, he understood the verse that was subsequently revealed, “Those who have been graced with bounty and plenty should not swear that they will no longer give to kinsmen, the poor, those who emigrated in God’s way; let them pardon and forgive. Do you not wish that God should forgive you? God is most forgiving and merciful [Qur’an; 24.22], as enjoining him to keep up the financial support, despite the transgression.

Moreover, one does not know the reason for the many ways in which God provides for a person. It may be that the reason that God continues to bless you financially because of the support you offer this family. This is the advice that the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave to a man who used to work to support both himself and his unemployed brother [Tirmidhi].

Finally, even though this family isn’t legally recognized for specific purposes, many people still consider there to be some qualitative affinity or relationship between the two families. This can afford you, or others in similar circumstances, to continue to provide assistance if able to do so.

Exposing the Misdeeds of another Person

You are not obligated to inform anyone about your father’s affair, unless there are foreseeable ramifications arising out of this that directly involve others. One needs to assess their family and social and legal circumstances to ascertain whether informing others is necessary.

Generally speaking, if one is not required to, exposing another’s faults is blameworthy. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, “Whoever covers up the faults of another, God will cover up his faults on the Day of Resurrection” [Bukhari, Muslim].

Shuaib Ally

Should I Tell My Spouse About My Relationships Before I Got Married?

Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: Assalaamu alaikum, My doubts are as follows:
1) Before marriage, I had a relationship with a Christian boy. Finding it, my parents forced me to marry a Muslim which I did. Later I repented for having a relationship with the
Christian boy. Although before marriage itself, I told my husband that I love a Christian, I didn’t give all the details. Should i reveal all my past to my husband? Kindly note that I have only been with my husband. But, details like love letters & he touching my hand,face etc., I am hiding. Will Allah punish me? After marraige, I have never allowed any other man in my life other than my husband.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I hope you are doing well inshaAllah. The Messenger (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said, “The one who [sincerely] repents from sin is like the one who has no sin.”  Since you have repented from your sin and stopped all contact with the person, you do not need to worry about being punished inshaAllah. Please look at these answers on repentance and sin:

Regarding disclosure of this previous relationship to your husband, it is not necessary — it is actually prohibited. It is sinful to speak about sins, including one’s own, unless there is a shari`a countenanced reason.

Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said, ” All my community will be excused except those who are blatant. And it is from blatancy for one to perform an act at night while his Lord covered it, and then to wake up and tell someone that they did such-and-such yesterday, while Allah had concealed it for him. He slept under the cover of Allah, and he rended Allah’s covering from himself in the morning.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Please see this detailed answer about speaking about past sins:
Can We Deny Having Committed Sins After We’ve Repented From Them?

Wassalam,
Sulma

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Can We Deny Having Committed Sins After We’ve Repented From Them?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: If one commits some sin, lets say he/she killed someone or committed zina.  The person is truly sorry and makes sincere istighfaar and never does this again.  Is it true that if asked sometime in the future if has ever previously committed murder/zina he can say NO? So in other words, does making sincere istighfaar wipe your slate clean so that if asked about it one can answer as if he/she has never done the sin in question?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

Sins are wiped out by sincere repentance. However, if they relate to the rights of another, this right has to be returned. Killing is especially dangerous because taking the life of another is a wrong which cannot be returned in this life. As such, one’s repentance should be coupled with a true turning to Allah, lest the one killed demand requital on the Day of Judgment.

Talking About Sins

It is prohibited (haram) and sinful to talk about sins, whether current or past, except when there is a Shariah-countenanced reason. Even when such a reason exists, if it is possible to mention something general (such as not mentioning oneself or any particular type of sins) then mentioning specific sins would remain sinful. This is because it is:

(1) obligatory to avoid vain talk [defined below] and

(2) obligatory to conceal one’s sins.

Imam Barkawi said in his al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya,

“Talking about the vain is to talk about sins [K: one’s own or others’], such as talking about gatherings of drinking, or the fornicators, without there being a valid reasons. This is because it is revealing sin, whether one’s own or another’s, without a [K: religiously valid] reason.” [al-Bariqa al-Mahmudiyya Sharh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya, 3: 224-225]

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “All my Community will be excused except those who are blatant. And it is from blatancy for one to perform an act at night and to wake up and tell something that they did such-and-such, while Allah had concealed it for them. They slept under the cover of Allah, and they rended Allah’s covering from themselves in the morning.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

What if I am asked whether I did such and such?

Given this, if someone asks one whether one used to do drink, for example, in the bad old days, one cannot answer in the affirmative. Rather, one should answer by an indirect answer, like, “Why would any Muslim drink?” Or, “Alhamdulillah, Allah protected me from that,” intending that Allah protected one after one stopped. If such an indirect answer does not come to one’s mind, it would be permitted (or, rather, necessary) to lie and deny this.

Why?

The reason why it is so important not to talk about sin is because of what sin is: it is that which Allah hates, and may punish its doer for in the Hereafter. Sins go against the very purpose of the creation of humanity, which is to know and worship Allah. If you examine sins, all of them either entail or lead to social harms.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Believers see their sins as if they were sitting at the foot of a mountain and feared that it may fall on them, while the corrupt see their sins as if they were a mere fly that flew by their nose.” [Bukhari and Muslim] Sins are something extremely grave. The believer fears even getting close to sinning, because of their firm belief, sincere devotion, and true love.

When people start talking about sins, they lose their gravity and people start thinking (even if only subconsciously) that it is not all that bad to sin. For example, if one missed praying Fajr, one must feel remorseful. This remorse would lead to repentance and a determination not to make the same mistakes again. However, if one went to the breakfast table, and everyone was talking normally about how they didn’t get up for Fajr, this sin would feel less grave. Eventually, it would just be the way things are.

Taking Care of One’s Eyes and Ears

This is also why it is important to avoid seeing and hearing that which is not permitted. This is not only the obvious sins, but also reading and seeing things that may affect one’s beliefs or understanding of Islam.

We have been instructed by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that, “From the excellence of a man’s Islam is to leave that which does not concern him.” [A sound (hasan) hadith, transmitted by Tirmidhi and others]

The great Hanafi hadith expert, jurist, sufi, and expert in Qur’anic recitations, Mulla Ali al-Qari (Allah have mercy on him) mentioned in his expansive commentary on Mishkat al-Masabih:

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

“From the excellence of a man’s Islam is leaving that which does not concern him.”

That is, to leave that which is not important or befitting of him, whether in speech, actions, or thought. Thus, the excellence of a man’s Islam is its perfection, such that one remains steadfast in the submission to the commands and prohibitions of Allah, and surrenders to His rulings in accordance to His destiny and decree (qada wa qadr). This is the sign of the heart having been expanded by the light of its Lord, and the descent of quietude (sakina) into the heart.

The reality of that which does not concern him is that which is not needed for a worldly or next-worldly necessity, and dos not aide in attaining his Lord’s good pleasure, such that it is possible to life without it.

This includes excess acts and unnecessary speech. This hadith may well be taken from Allah Most High’s saying, “And who shun all vain things.” [Qur’an, 23: 3;  f:  Imam Baydawi explains vain things in his Tafsir as being: “that which does not concern them of speech and actions”]

And it has been related in a Prophetic hadith that, “The people of the Garden will not remorse except for moments that passed them by without remembering Allah.” [Tabarani from our master Mu`adh (may Allah be pleased with him)].

So glad tidings to one who takes himself to account before he is taken to account!

Allah Most High has said, “O you who believe! Observe your duty to Allah. And let every soul look to that which it sends on before for the morrow. And observe your duty to Allah! Lo! Allah is Informed of what you do. And be not you as those who forgot Allah, therefore He caused them to forget their souls. Such are the wrongdoers.” (Qur’an, 59: 18)

Awza`i said, “`Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz wrote to us, ‘Whoever is frequent in remembering death is content with but a little of this world. And whoever counts his speech from his actions speaks little except in that which benefits him.'” [Mulla Ali al-Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih, 8: 585 #4840]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani