Rights of custody of children in Islaam.

Question:

If husband and wife goes through islamic divorce then who gets custody of the children?
Is it 50/50 ? Or does the mother gets more rights to have the children? If both parties can’t come to a mutual agreement or If one parent deprives the children(under the age of maturity) from seeing the other parent is this islamically permissible?

Answer:

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

According the esteemed laws of Shari’ah, there is a detailed codified system regarding the custody of minors. There is detail regarding the order of custody as well as the age which governs the devolution of custody to the party which will be in charge of fostering the child, or educating and protecting the child as per requirement of the child at the different stages of development.

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

For a male child:[1]

  •  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:[2]

  •  The mother has the right of custody from birth until puberty.
  •  The father has the right of custody from the puberty until marriage.

Therefore, as the father you will have the right of custody if the boy is seven years old.

Despite child custody belonging to one of the parents, Shari῾ah grants the non-custodian parent visitation rights. Depriving the rightful parent of the right of or the non-custodian parent visitation rights is a violation of the laws of Shari’ah.  The time of visiting the child is a matter which should be mutually decided.  A schedule should be devised which is convenient for all parties involved[3].

From amongst the circumstances that disqualify a rightful custodian from custody are:

1) Immorality of the custodian like the custodian being an immoral person involved in adultery, alcohol, drugs, theft, openly committing Haraam and other Shar’i recognized crimes which affect the nurturing of the child will also be included.

2) Incapability of the custodian also leads to denial of the right to custody. This includes mental instability.

3) If the custodian apostatizes or converts to another religion and becomes a murtad and kâfir. (May Allah forbid).

4) If the mother keeps the child with such people who despise or abuse the child, e.g. an abusive stepfather.

5) If the lady who has custody marries such a person who is not a mahram (blood relative) of the child, she forfeits her right to custody. A Mahram refers to a person whom one is not permitted to marry. Hence, if the mother happens to get married to a “Ghair-Mahram” of her child, she will lose her right of custody, but the right of custody will still remain within her family as her mother, who is the maternal grandmother of the child, will be awarded custody (in the order of sequence mentioned above). In other words, the father will still not have the right to assume custody (because of the marriage), until the male child turns seven or the female nine. But if the mother marries any Mahram of the child, then she will still retain custody of the child. For example, a girl cannot marry her paternal uncle, so such an uncle would be considered to be a Mahram of that girl. So if the mother marries the child’s paternal uncle (i.e. her ex-husband’s brother), then she would retain her right of custody.

Regarding the maintenance of the child, then it is obligatory upon the father to provide maintenance for the child. Irrespective of the situation, in terms of Shari’ah, the father of the child is solely responsible for the maintenance of his child even whilst he is in his mother’s custody and thereafter too, when he comes into the father’s custody; until such a stage that a son is able to earn for himself, or until the daughter gets married (unless she is earning some permissible income for herself).

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Arshad Ali

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net


[1] )

وَأَمَّا وَقْتُ الْحَضَانَةِ الَّتِي مِنْ قِبَلِ النِّسَاءِ فَالْأُمُّ وَالْجَدَّتَانِ أَحَقُّ بِالْغُلَامِ حَتَّى يَسْتَغْنِيَ عَنْهُنَّ فَيَأْكُلَ وَحْدَهُ وَيَشْرَبَ وَحْدَهُ وَيَلْبَسَ وَحْدَهُ كَذَا ذُكِرَ فِي ظَاهِرِ الرِّوَايَةِ، وَذَكَرَ أَبُو دَاوُد بْنُ رَشِيدٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدٍ وَيَتَوَضَّأُ وَحْدَهُ يُرِيدُ بِهِ الِاسْتِنْجَاءَ أَيْ وَيَسْتَنْجِي وَحْدَهُ وَلَمْ يُقَدِّرْ فِي ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرًا وَذَكَرَ الْخَصَّافُ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ أَوْ ثَمَانِ سِنِينَ أَوْ نَحْوَ ذَلِكَ.

العناية شرح الهداية(4/ 371)

وَقَوْلُهُ (اعْتِبَارًا لِلْغَالِبِ) يَعْنِي أَنَّ الصَّبِيَّ فِي الْغَالِبِ إذَا بَلَغَ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ يَسْتَغْنِي عَنْ الْحَضَانَةِ وَالتَّرْبِيَةِ فَحِينَئِذٍ يَسْتَنْجِي وَحْدَهُ.

البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق ومنحة الخالق وتكملة الطوري(4/ 184)

وَمَا ذَكَرَهُ الْمُصَنِّفُ مِنْ التَّقْدِيرِ بِسَبْعٍ قَوْلُ الْخَصَّافِ اعْتِبَارًا لِلْغَالِبِ؛ لِأَنَّ الظَّاهِرَ أَنَّ الصَّغِيرَ إذَا بَلَغَ السَّبْعَ يَهْتَدِي بِنَفْسِهِ إلَى الْأَكْلِ وَالشُّرْبِ وَاللُّبْسِ وَالِاسْتِنْجَاءِ وَحْدَهُ فَلَا حَاجَةَ إلَى الْحَضَانَةِ فَلَا مُخَالَفَةَ بَيْنَ تَقْدِيرِ الِاسْتِغْنَاءِ بِالسِّنِّ وَبَيْنَ أَنْ يُقَدِّرَهُ عَلَى الْأَشْيَاءِ الْأَرْبَعَةِ وَحْدَهُ كَمَا هُوَ الْمَذْكُورُ فِي الْأَصْلِ

[2] الفتاوى الهندية، ج1، ص566، دار الكتب العلمية)

وَالْأُمُّ وَالْجَدَّةُ أَحَقُّ بِالْغُلَامِ حَتَّى يَسْتَغْنِيَ وَقُدِّرَ بِسَبْعِ سِنِينَ وَقَالَ الْقُدُورِيُّ حَتَّى يَأْكُلَ وَحْدَهُ وَيَشْرَبَ وَحْدَهُ وَيَسْتَنْجِيَ وَحْدَهُ وَقَدَّرَهُ أَبُو بَكْرٍ الرَّازِيّ بِتِسْعِ سِنِينَ وَالْفَتْوَى عَلَى الْأَوَّلِ وَالْأُمُّ وَالْجَدَّةُ أَحَقُّ بِالْجَارِيَةِ حَتَّى تَحِيضَ وَفِي نَوَادِرِ هِشَامٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدٍ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى إذَا بَلَغَتْ حَدَّ الشَّهْوَةِ فَالْأَبُ أَحَقُّ وَهَذَا صَحِيحٌ هَكَذَا فِي التَّبْيِينِ . وَبَعْدَمَا اسْتَغْنَى الْغُلَامُ وَبَلَغَتْ الْجَارِيَةُ فَالْعَصَبَةُ أَوْلَى يُقَدَّمُ الْأَقْرَبُ فَالْأَقْرَبُ كَذَا فِي فَتَاوَى قَاضِي خَانْ.

وَيُمْسِكُهُ هَؤُلَاءِ إنْ كَانَ غُلَامًا إلَى أَنْ يُدْرِكَ فَبَعْدَ ذَلِكَ يُنْظَرُ إنْ كَانَ قَدْ اجْتَمَعَ رَأْيُهُ وَهُوَ مَأْمُونٌ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ يُخَلَّى سَبِيلُهُ فَيَذْهَبُ حَيْثُ شَاءَ ، وَإِنْ كَانَ غَيْرَ مَأْمُونٍ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ فَالْأَبُ يَضُمُّهُ إلَى نَفْسِهِ وَيُوَلِّيهِ وَلَا نَفَقَةَ عَلَيْهِ إلَّا إذَا تَطَوَّعَ كَذَا فِي شَرْحِ الطَّحَاوِيِّ.

[3] حق الرؤية أو الزيارة لأحد الأبوين غير الحاضن مقرر شرعاً باتفاق الفقهاء، لصلةالرحم، ولكنهم ذكروا آراء مختلفة نسبياً، بحسب تقدير المصلحة لكل من الولد والوالد الذي يكون ولده في حضانة غيره.

قال الحنفية  : إذا كان الولد عند الحاضنة، فلأبيه حق رؤيته، بأن تخرج الصغير إلى مكان يمكن الأب أن يراه فيه كل يوم. وإذا كان الولد عند أبيه لسقوط حق الأم في الحضانة، أو لانتهاء مدة الحضانة، فلأمه رؤيته، بأن يخرجه إلى مكان يمكنها أن تبصر ولدها، كل يوم. والحد الأقصى كل أسبوع مرة كحق المرأة في زيارة أبويها، والخالة مثل الأم، ولكن كما جرى القضاء في مصر، تكون زيارتها كل شهر مرة.(الفقه الإسلامي وأدلته ج7 ص 740 دار الفكر)