Impermissibility of leaving a Muslim child in the custody of a non-Muslim family
All Praise be to Allah. May peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family, and his Companions.The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' reviewed the questions sent by the head of Tacoma Islamic Center to His Eminence the President of the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta', number (1201), dated 3/10/1410 A.H. It states:On the 16th of August, 1989, I received a call from a person called Jerry Simons who works in the Social Services Department - Children and Family Branch in the State of
He told me (Part No. 21; Page No. 200) that there is a ten-year-old Sunni Muslim girl put under the guardianship of the Services Department referred to above. Now, the girl lives with an American family consisting of a man and his wife. Both of them are non-Muslims and their religion is not known. The girl whose name is Khurshida Bidam asked for the help of the Department to learn how to perform Salah (Prayer) and wear the Islamic dress. They phoned me, `Abdul-Latif Al-Qanuny, the head of Tacoma Islamic Center located in the State of
to offer help regarding this issue. I got acquainted with the whole matter. I knew that the American family wanted to adopt Khurshida. When the girl knew their desire to adopt her and understood the question of adopting her as a daughter, she refused to be adopted by that family. That is why the Services Department mentioned above asked me to give an official reply explaining the attitude of the Islamic Shari`ah (Laws) with regard tothe care services
offered to Muslim children,
especially girls who are about to reach the age of puberty and the attitude of Islam with regard to the question of adopting Muslim childrenas well as other important matters towards which we would like to know the attitude of the Islamic Shari`ah such as;1- Is it permissible for the American husband to put the girl on his knee, embrace her, (Part No. 21; Page No. 201) hug her, or rub her bosom and back?2- Is it permissible to let a dog live in the house?3- Is it permissible for the girl to sleep on the same bed with the man and his wife?4- Is it permissible for the family to keep Khamr (intoxicant) in the house?5- Is it permissible for the girl who is about to attain puberty to embrace and kiss boys?6- Is it obligatory for a child who is ten years old to perform Salah (Prayer)?We urgently wait for your reply, as the status of this girl will be determined when the Services Department mentioned above file a legal action specifying the most suitable place for this girl to live in. In addition, we would like the reply to be both in Arabic and in English as the reply will be submitted to the Court decided to be held on the 9th of October, 1989. Please note that the reply should be sent before this date.
The reply is as follows:
It is not permissible for the girl to live under the guardianship of a Christian family or to be supported or adopted by such family. This is because the girl is Muslim whereas the members of the family are Christians. It is feared that in case the girl lived with this family, (Part No. 21; Page No. 202) she would be subjected to trials regarding her religion and honor or lose her life. In addition, she has to be admitted to the Department of Social and Healthy Services - Children Branch to dispose her religious, moral and health affairs.
It is not permissible for the husband to put this girl on his knee, embrace her, hug her, and so on.
It is not permissible to
keep dogs in houses except those used for hunting, guarding animals and farms.
It is not permissible for the girl to sleep in the same bed with the man and his wife.
It is not permissible to keep Khamr in the house. Moreover, the existing Khamr must be poured out.
It is not permissible for a girl who is about to reach the age of puberty to embrace boys or kiss them.
It is not obligatory for
the children who are ten years old to perform Salah but their guardians should teach them how to perform Salah when they reach the age of seven and punish them when they reach the age of ten and refuse to perform Salah. This is to become accustomed to the performance of Salah at their due times. If the puberty of a child through a sign while he is ten years old, Salah becomes (Part No. 21; Page No. 203) obligatory upon them like all other adult Muslims.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his Family, and Companions.