Adoption under Islamic Law: Correcting Misconceptions

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Abdulraheem Abdulwahid Yusuph

Abstract

Human dignity depends on caring, on the solidarity between a man and another fellow human being. Among the responsibilities owed by a man towards vulnerable children, particularly orphans and abandoned children, is to protect and preserve their human dignity via adoption. Islamic and Western law have different perspectives and conceptions about adoption. There is a misconception that Islamic law prohibits adoption due to an erroneous conception of verse 23:5 of the Qur’an. This study examines the concept of adoption and the laws regulating it under Islamic law. The study relies on relevant materials, such as Islamic law books, statutes and articles. The study reveals that the case of Zaid ibn Haritha (Prophet Muhammad’s adopted son) is the root cause of many misconceptions about adoption in Islam. The study also points out the nuances of the concept of adoption under both Islamic and Western law, showing how Islamic law preserves the integrity of the biological relationship. It concludes that it is not only permissible in Islamic law to adopt a child but preferable as a means of gaining enormous reward in both this life and the Hereafter.

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