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Child custody

Question:

Wa Alaikum Salaam If a muslim couple get a divorce who is supposed to get full custody of kids according to Islam. Is it the father or the mother? If the husband is giving the divorce what does Islam says about kids, and if the wife wants to get divorce what Islam says? If the husband is pious and doesn’t have any bad habit to make him a disobedient servant to Allah, and the wife just wants to get divorce with no valid reason, who gets the kids? They both want to keep the kids with them. Husband says he wants to get full custody and the wife says she wants! Answer: ِﺑ ْﺴ ِﻢ ا ِﷲ اﻟ ﱠﺮ ْﺣﻤ ِﻦ اﻟ ﱠﺮ ِﺣْﯿﻢ In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

If a muslim couple get a divorce, regardless of whether the husband was the cause or the wife, the Islamic legal ruling regarding child custody will vary based on different circumstances: 1. If the child is a boy, the mother will have right to custody until he reaches age seven. When he reaches age seven, the father will have custody rights. 2. If the child is a girl, the mother will have right to custody until she reaches age nine. When she reaches age nine, the father will have custody rights. 3. If the mother marries such a man who is non-mahram to the child, she will lose her right to custody. Nevertheless, if she marries a man who is a mahram relative of the child, e.g. her son’s paternal uncle, she will not lose her right to custody. According to Islamic Law, an immature child (ghair baligh) does not have the right to choose between living with their mother or father. However, the ruling will change when they reach puberty based on different situations:

1. If the girl is a virgin, however she is old in age and intelligent enough to discern between right and wrong, she will have the choice to live with either her mother or father.

2. The above-mentioned ruling will also apply to a trustworthy non-virgin girl (who was previously married) and a trustworthy boy .

3. If the girl is a young virgin or a non-virgin who is untrustworthy, they will not have the option to choose, and the father’s right to custody will remain. The same ruling will apply to a boy who is untrustworthy.

Raddul Muhtar: v. 3, p. 565-566 (Darul Fikr-Beirut); Bahishti Zewar:

p. 421-422 (DARUL-ISHAAT)

Only Allah knows best

Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah Darul Ifta Birmingham

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