Helping someone who attributes himself to other than his father incurs sin
One of my relatives has asked me to attribute him to my father who died a long time ago
(may Allah be merciful with him and with all the Muslims). Please advise me concerning the Shar`y (Islamically lawful) ruling on this and whether my father will incur any sin if I do as my relative asks for. Will my relative and I incur any sins?
Adoption was prevalent in the times of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance). The Prophet (peace be upon him) adopted
Zayd ibn Harithah before the revelation of Islam; he even used to be known as Zayd ibn Muhammad, not
Zayd ibn Harithah. It was common for any person to be attributed to other than their father, but Islam has prohibited this. It has become obligatory for a person to be attributed to their father; not to the person who adopt them. It has become prohibited to attribute anyone to other than their father. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has cursed (Part No. 20; Page No. 350) a person who attributes themselves to other than their father, and threatened them that they will be deprived of Jannah (Paradise). Allah (Exalted be He) says:
...nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons. That is but your saying with your mouths. But Allâh says the truth, and He guides to the (Right) Way.
Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers: that is more just with Allâh. But if you know not their father’s (names, call them) your brothers in faith and Mawâlîkum (your freed slaves). And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"If anyone claims to be the son of a person other than his father or attributes himself to other than his own master, he will be cursed by Allah until the Day of Resurrection."
Abu Dawud in his Sunan [Hadith compilations classified by jurisprudential themes])
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said:
"Whoever claims to be the son of a person other than his father while knowing that it is not their father will be deprived of Jannah."
(Related by Imam
Ahmad in his Musnad [Hadith compilation],
it becomes clear to the questioner that if he attributes a person to his father although he is not his son, to fulfill that person's desire, he will be a partner in this grave sin. They will both be cursed by Allah (Exalted be He) and deprived of Jannah, because they have helped one another in committing evil. As for the deceased to whom a son is falsely attributed after his death, there is no blame on him and he does not incur any sin due to their cooperation in evil, as (Part No. 20; Page No. 351) he had done nothing. Allah (Exalted be He) says:
Every person is a pledge for that which he has earned.
He also says:
He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned.
He (Exalted be He) says:
...and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.