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Child Custody in Islam

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Allah’s Messenger Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said, “Divorce is the most hated of all lawful (halaal) things in the sight of Allah” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 2178).

 

Question

Could I please have more information with regards to Shariah around the custody of children if a couple has gone through Talaaq and western divorce?

(Questions published as received)

 

Answer

If and when a marriage unfortunately comes to an end, the problems of the parties involved should not in any way affect the children. Children are a trust (amanah) from Allah and they should be treated and looked after in a proper manner.

 

They have many rights, of which two are of utmost importance: to receive proper care and love, and the other proper upbringing (tarbiyah). These rights of a child cannot be fulfilled except with the joint endeavour of the parents. The love, care and attention of the mother is just as important as the upbringing and training of the father.

 

In light of the above, divorce should definitely be avoided as much as possible, especially in the case where children are involved.

 

However, if divorce did take place, and both parties demand their rights, then the right of custody will be in the following way. In should be remembered here that there is nothing wrong in making a mutual arrangement, as long as there is no objection from those who have a right to custody.

 

The mother has a right of custody for a male child until the child is capable of taking care of his own basic bodily functions and needs, such as eating, dressing and cleaning himself. This has been recognized at seven years of age. (Shaami)

 

In the case of a female, the mother has this right of custody until she reaches puberty. This has been declared at nine years of age. (al-Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar li ta’lil al-mukhtar)

 

The reason for this is that, in the early years, the mother is more suitable for raising the young child (regardless of sex) with love, mercy, attention, and motherly care. The male child after reaching the age of understanding (7) is in need of education and acquiring masculine traits, which is why he is then transferred to the father. The female child, after reaching the age of understanding is in need of being inculcated with female traits, which she receives by living with her mother. After reaching puberty, she is in need of protection which the father offers.

However, the custody of either of the parents can be revoked should staying with him/her be detrimental to the child’s upbringing.

 

It should also be remembered that after the transferral of custody from the mother to the father, the boy remains in the custody of the father until puberty, at which point, if he is mature and wise, he is free to choose with whom to live, or to live on his own. As for the girl, custody remains with the father until she marries.

 

Irrespective of who (mother/father) has the rights of custody, the other party has visitation rights according to mutual understanding and consent. Generally, the party having the rights of custody uses the child as a weapon to punish the other party by depriving them of visitation rights. This is totally against the concept of Islam and a grave sin. It is also very harmful to the child.

 

At all times, the father of the child is responsible for maintaining the child; in the case of a female, until she marries; while in the case of a healthy male, until he reaches maturity. In the case of a disabled child (male or female) the father is permanently responsible.

 

When the mother has the rights of custody but does not have a shelter to stay in with the child, the father must provide shelter for both. (Shaami)

 

And Allah Knows Best
Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians

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Custody of the children and providing maintenance

 

Q: In the case of divorce, which parent has the right of custody of the children and up to what age? If a certain parent has the right of custody then can that parent prevent the other parent from visiting the children? Similarly I would like to know, which parent has to provide maintenance for the children? If the children have wealth, can their wealth be used for the maintenance? What exactly does maintenance entail and will the expenses of the childrens education also fall under maintenance?  

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A: In a case of separation or divorce, the custody of the children goes to the mother unless she remarries. If she remarries a non-mahram of the children, then she will lose the custody of the children. In the case of a boy, the mother has the right of custody till the age of seven and in the case of a girl, the mother has the right of custody till the age of nine. Thereafter the right of custody of the children moves over to the father. While the children are in the custody of the mother, the father will not be deprived of visiting his children. It is a Shar'ee obligation upon the father to provide maintenance for them. Maintenance entails fulfilling their basic requirements of food, clothing, shelter, etc. Similarly, ensuring that the children receive the correct upbringing and education is also the responsibility of the father. Hence, all the expenses will have to be borne by the father according to his financial status and position. No specific amount can be stipulated as the needs and requirements as well as the financial position of people varies. This ruling is in relation to the case where the children do not have wealth. If they possess wealth, then the law of Shari'ah is that the children's wealth should be used to fulfill their needs and requirements unless the father wishes to pay for these expenses from his own wealth.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

باب الحضانة ... ( تثبت للأم ) ( ولو ) كتابية أو مجوسية أو ( بعد الفرقة إلا أن تكون مرتدة ) فحتى تسلم لأنها تحبس ( أو فاجرة ) فجورا يضيع الولد به كزنا وغناء وسرقة ونياحة كما في البحر و النهر بحثا قال المصنف والذي يظهر العمل بإطلاقهم كما هو مذهب الشافعي أن الفاسقة بترك الصلاة لا حضانة لها وفي القنية الأم أحق بالولد ولو سيئة السيرة معروفة بالفجور ما لم يعقل ذلك ( أو غير مأمونة ) ( أو ) تكون ( أمة أو أم ولد أو مدبرة أو مكاتبة ولدت ذلك الولد قبل الكتابة ) لاشتغالهن بخدمة المولى لكن إن كان الولد رقيقا كن أحق به لأنه للمولى مجتبى ( أو متزوجة بغير محرم ) الصغير ( أو أبت أن تربيه مجانا و ) الحال أن ( الأب معسر والعمة تقبل ذلك ) أي تربيته مجانا ولا تمنعه عن الأم قيل للأم إما أن تمسكيه مجانا أو تدفعيه للعمة (الدر المختار 3/555)

( والحاضنة ) أما أو غيرها ( أحق به ) أي بالغلام حتى يستغني عن النساء وقدر بسبع وبه يفتى لأنه الغالب ولو اختلفا في سنه فإن أكل وشرب ولبس واستنجى وحده دفع إليه ولو جبرا وإلا لا ( والأم والجدة ) لأم أو لأب ( أحق بها ) بالصغيرة ( حتى تحيض ) أي تبلغ في ظاهر الرواية ولو اختلفا في حيضها فالقول للأم بحر بحثا وأقول ينبغي أن يحكم سنها ويعمل بالغالب وعند مالك حتى يحتلم الغلام وتتزوج الصغيرة ويدخل بها الزوج عيني ( وغيرهما أحق بها حتى تشتهي ) وقدر بتسع وبه يفتى (الدر المختار 3/ 566)

قال الشامي : قوله ( وبه يفتى ) قال في البحر بعد نقل تصحيحه ولحاصل أن الفتوى على خلاف ظاهر الرواية ( رد المحتار 3/567)

( وتجب ) النفقة بأنواعها على الحر ( لطفله ) يعم الأنثى والجمع ( الفقير ) الحر

قال الشامي : قوله ( من الطعام والكسوة والسكنى ولم أر من ذكر هنا أجرة الطبيب وثمن الأدوية وإنما ذكروا عدم الوجوب للزوجة نعم صرحوا بأن الأب إذا كان مريضا أو به زمانة يحتاج إلى الخدمة فعلى ابنه خادمه وكذلك الابن قوله ( لطفله ) هو الولد حين يسقط من بطن أمه إلى أن يحتلم ويقال جارية طفل وطفلة كذا في المغرب وقيل أول ما يولد صبي ثم طفل ح عن النهر قوله ( يعم الأنثى والجمع ) أي يطلق على الأنثى كما علمته وعلى الجمع كما في قوله تعالى أو الطفل الذين لم يظهروا فهو مما يستوى فيه المفرد والجمع كالجنب والفلك والإمام واجعلنا للمتقين إماما ولا ينافيه جمعه على أطفال أيضا كما جمع إمام على أئمة أيضا فافهم قوله ( الفقير ) أي إن لم يبلغ حد الكسب فإن بلغه كان للأب أو يؤجره أو بدفعه في حرفة ليكتسب وينفق عليه من كسبه لو كان ذكرا بخلاف الأنثى كما قدمه في الحضانة عن المؤيدية قال الخير الرملي لو استغنت الأنثى بنحو خياطة وغزل يجب أن تكون نفقتها في كسبها كما هو ظاهر ولا نقول تجب على الأب مع ذلك إلا إذا كان لا يكفيها فتجب على الأب كفايتها بدفع القدر المعجوز عنه ولم أره لأصحابنا ولا ينافيه قولهم بخلاف الأنثى لأن الممنوع إيجارها ولا يلزم منه عدم إلزامها بحرفة تعلمها ا هـ أي الممنوع إيجارها للخدمة ونحوها مما فيه تسليمها للمستأجر بدليل قولهم لأن المستأجر يخلو بها وذا لا يجوز في الشرع وعليه فله دفعها لامرأة تعلمها حرفة كتطريز وخياطة مثلا (رد المحتار 3/ 612)

فتاوى محمودية 20/ 99

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

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Who Has Custody Of The Child In The Case Of Divorce?

 

Question:

Who has custody of the child in the case of divorce? The father or the mother?

 

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 

The right of custody of a child will differ depending on the gender and age of the child.

For a male child:

  •  The mother has the right of custody from birth until the boy reaches the age of seven.
  •  The father has the right of custody from the age of seven until maturity (buloogh).
  •  Once the boy reaches the age of puberty, he is free to live with whom he chooses or even independently if he wishes.

 

For a female child:

  •  The mother has the right of custody from birth until puberty. [ii]
  •  The father has the right of custody from the puberty until marriage.[iii]

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb

 

(References at source) 

http://idealwoman.org/2013/who-has-custody-of-the-child-in-the-case-of-divorce/

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