Disowning one's child

Q153 :Can a father declare his son or daughter as not his and disinherit either one on the basis of indulging in un-Islamic behavior? Suppose a daughter marries a non-Muslim husband, can she be disinherited?


A153 : No, it is not permissible for a father or a parent to disinherit his own son or daughter for any reason, as long as that son or daughter is a heir, which means that he or she is a Muslim. Only when the father and the child follow two different religions, inheritance between them is blocked. Therefore, if a father who used to belong to any other religion embraces Islam, while his children do not follow suit, neither can he inherit any of them, nor can they inherit him. This is based on the Prophet's Hadith: "The followers of two different religious do not inherit each other." If a child is guilty of disobedience to his parents, or if he indulges in forbidden and sinful practices, it is not open to the father to disinherit him or disown him. It is well-known that adoption is forbidden in Islam. Similarly, disowning one's own child is not permissible. A father may feel bitterly aggrieved by the disobedience of his son or his daughter, and he is tempted to deprive them of their shares of inheritance. He must not forget that these shares have been apportioned by Allah and it is not open to anyone to change Allah's rules. They should leave that to Allah to determine the best course and the suitable punishment, or indeed to reward the parents for what they suffer as a result of their children's undutifulness. Even if a daughter is "married" to a non-Muslim, her father may not disinherit her or disown her. Such a marriage is not acceptable or valid from the Islamic point of view. She is certainly guilty of a very grave sin. But her father should not sit in judgment of her. That judgment belongs to Allah alone. Her father may give her sound advice and try to persuade her against that marriage. When he has done that, he has discharged his duty. If she persists, he may boycott her if he wishes. But perhaps it is better to keep in touch with her, so that he may try to bring her around to follow the Islamic rules. If she does not listen and declares that she is not a Muslim, then she deprives herself of the right to inherit her Muslim parents, because she is an apostate.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )