Friday sermon in Selangor defends fatwa on naming illegitimate children

JaisPETALING JAYA: The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) has called on Muslims to respect the state fatwa committee’s decision on requiring Muslim children born out of wedlock to be given the patronym “bin Abdullah”, saying it is to avoid confusion and division.

In its text for Friday sermon today, it said that according to Islamic rulings an illegitimate child cannot be attributed to the male who had impregnated the mother.

It said if such children were given the name of their biological father after the “bin” (“son of”) or “binti” (“daughter of”), it could lead to greater problems.

This was because the biological father’s guardianship was not valid when a child was born out of wedlock, it added.

“Its impact is that there will be damages within the family institution due to continuous adultery resulting from an invalid marriage contract,” it said.

It said that the problems would include illegitimate childbirths becoming widespread in society and a nation being led to have “chaotic lineage”.

“Illegitimate children will claim the same rights as legitimate children in issues pertaining to wali (guardianship), inheritance, and many others, which could further cause greater destruction,” it said.

According to Jais, children born out of wedlock were also not entitled to inherit the estate of their father, due to having illegitimate status.

“They can only inherit from their mother. Similarly, their fathers are not entitled to inherit the estate of his children, having illegitimate status,” it said.

Jais said Islam encouraged its adherents to get married and procreate, in raising a happy family according to the shariah (Islamic law) instead of merely to fulfil one’s desire.

“This is because a legitimate marriage has its role in curbing the immoral act of adultery that could give birth to illegitimate children,” Jais said.

On July 27, the Court of Appeals said in a written judgment that the National Registration Department (NRD) had acted outside its powers when it used the patronym “bin Abdullah” to register a Muslim child born out of wedlock, against a mother’s wish to use the father’s name.

The explanation came two months after it ruled in favour of the parents of the child.

“We believe Islam does not condone such open and public humiliation of an innocent child,” wrote Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli, one of the three members of the bench.

However, on July 28, the NRD said, in defiance of the court ruling, that it would continue the practice of adding “bin Abdullah” when registering a Muslim child whose parents were not married.

Its director-general Yazid Ramli said the department would file an appeal with the Federal Court through the Attorney-General’s Chambers. “Any changes to the practice will depend on the Federal Court’s ruling on the matter,” he said.


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