Saudi Arabia: Adoption in Islam


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said that a person who cares for an orphaned child will be in Paradise with him, and motioned to show that they would be as close as two fingers of a single hand.  An orphan himself, Muhammad paid special attention to the care of children.  He himself adopted a former slave and raised him with the same care as if he were his own son.


Yet contradictory to the Prophet’s actions, the Quran provides different guidance and instruction about adoption.  If a family takes in a child to whom they are not biologically related or share the same blood , then the family is seen more as a guardian.  The relationship has a specific Islamic term called ‘kafala’ which means to feed. Rather than an adoption, the relationship is more like a foster-parent.  As a result, as the child grows older and reaches puberty it is necessary for non-blood relatives to cover.  If the foster-child is a girl she must be covered when interacting with any of the males in her foster family.  Or if the foster-child is a boy, the females of the family must cover before him.  Because the foster-child is not a blood relative it is okay to consider marriage between the foster-child and a member of the foster family.


Adoption is also considered rare in Saudi Arabia for if a child becomes orphaned, extended families are typically large and would be expected to take the child in.  That does not mean that there are no orphans in Saudi Arabia.  There are orphaned children and abandoned children who are both Saudi and non-Saudi who need a loving home.  Just yesterday a baby was found abandoned near a mosque in the city of Buraida.


Saudi Arabia has organizations which do provide care and take in orphans.  Among these organizations are:

Kafel Organization


How do you feel about adoption?  If you are a Saudi would you consider adopting and raising a child as your own even if there is no blood relation between you?


60 Responses

  1. What a surprise! I was researching this awhile ago as I felt so sad for the orphaned children, namely in Malaysia. Yes, you take guardianship of child from most Islamic countries.
    Also, I learned, an opran is not always parentless. If the father dies and is under the care of the mother, it is considered an orphan ( at least some interpetations)
    If there is an adoption process, both parents have to be Muslim.
    A few months ago, a little girl, age 6 was on her way to school where I was teaching. A car hit the motocycle she was on and killed both of her parents isntantly. ( Yes, families ride on motorbikes).
    It was told to me that in their culture, they do live by the motto ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ Adoption was not really in cards.

  2. I have several friends who have adopted and find it a wonderful way to bring joy and love to both the children and the new parents!

    Thanks for this post about the orphans of KSA.

  3. I don’t really get the idea that the child must cover as they get older if they are not blood related. If a child is taken in by a family and raised with that family, unless it is specifically pointed out or they are made to feel “different” then the child will most likely grow up viewing those unrelated family members like they are related. If they are treated as normal then they will feel normal.

    My brother has an adopted daughter and three natural born kids of his own and he would NEVER ever view his adopted child as any different than his natural born children. He loves her just as much as the other three and she feels a full member of the family.

    The problem with the covering up thing is that as the child grows older they will be singled out and left out of feeling like a full fledged family member and to me that is really sad… always feeling like you don’t quite belong.

  4. My brother has 2 kids that he adopted at birth. They are as a part of us as any other nieces or nephews in the family. We even forget sometimes that they were adopted but they have always known that they were adopted. They are adults now.

  5. After my husband’s mother died he found out that his father was not his birth father but had adopted him. THAT was not cool and he couldn’t ask his father anything about it because he didn’t want to upset him as he was 89yrs old and was already despondent over losing his wife.

  6. Assalamo Alaikom. So I’m Saudi. And I totally agree with everything you said carol. My aunt has adopted an orphan boy and the government actually supports families that help adopt orphans. So yes, my aunt gets an amount of money every month to help support the orphan. My aunt made her sister breast feed the baby boy so he became her nephew (that’s a part of Islam that when a woman breast feeds a baby more than five times then the baby becomes like her own so she doesn’t have to cover her hair from him) anyway. My aunt doesn’t have any other children. And so, now all of my aunts don’t have to cover from him. And he’s exactly like my cousin. I know a few other families with pretty much the same story. There are interesting things about adoption in Islam. I think you should all read about it more. One of the things is if you adopt a child, you still can’t name him after you. They’ll have to keep their last names. Because family names in the Arab world generally matter. There are also regulations of an orphan’s money. If a family adopts a child who actually owns some money the adoptive family can’t take it. And Allah told us about it in details in surat annisa’ chapter 3. Anyway,I just wanted to let you know about this. And thank you all.

  7. I agree that it is OK to tell the child/ren when they get to an age of understanding. But even still if they are treated as one of the family like all others that information doesn’t have to make them feel like an outsider…

  8. i think adopted children should be allowed to know that they are adopted so that adoption seems more of a normal thing rather than an abnormal thing to be quieted. I had a friend that was adopted and knew it, but she also knew that she was very, very loved by her adoptive parents. I think it is better that the children know they are adopted and loved for who they are rather than hide their birth story from them.

    One other possible reason, or theory rather, that I have heard as to why adoption may not be as common in certain areas is that the families have enough work trying to survive and feed the children they already have and adopting another child would be too much of a burden. Additionally, there are also unplanned/unexpected pregnancies that do happen. Now, I realize that one could adopt rather than have a child via planned pregnancy but many people around the world want to give birth to a child with their DNA rather than adopt a child. I don’t feel this way, but have heard this from various people.

  9. In the Netherlands it is quite normal that families adopt a child next to their own in order to give a parentless child a good home and future. There is no stigma attached to being adopted.
    One of my friends was adopted, he was quite happy about it, he said it was a good feeling to know that you have been chosen on purpose by your parents.
    He was black and his parents were white so I think the secret was out quite early.

  10. In Islam the orphans cannot have the same surname ( family name) as their father. it is forbidden.

  11. In Islam the orphans cannot have the same surname ( family name) as their foster father. it is forbidden.

  12. We all know that KSA has it’s own “special” adaptations and interpretations of the Quran, etc. If anywhere in the world it would be Saudi nationals who generally have quite enough income to easily support an adopted child, Strange One.

    I do know that children are adopted in Sudan and become part of the family and are treated just as any natural born sibling would be. I tend to think that African Muslims are much more caring of others in general anyway and will probably remain so until strict Saudi style laws are forced upon them (as is happening right but that’s an other sad story).

  13. “An orphan himself, Muhammad paid special attention to the care of children. He himself adopted a former slave and raised him with the same care as if he were his own son”.

    It is unfortunate that adoption in the technical sense is not allowed under shariah law. No doubt about it. Period. This is because Allah does not like this gesture of adopting orphan children. Allah prohibited adoption in Islam and annulled all the judgements pertaining to adoption.

    I don’t know, how in the world Allah could dislike such noble deeds. I am not sure what percentage of Muslims actually know this divine law. I never knew this and I was stunned when I first learnt this from a real imam during an interfaith dialogue here in seattle. How and why was this noble custom among human beings prohibited?

    In the pre-islamic arab custom, adoption of orphan/helpless child was a very popular and moral practice. By adopting orphan/helpless child, they used to consider adopted child as their own. And they used to pass onto them the adopter’s genealogy and name, his investment of them with all the rights of the legitimate son including that of inheritance and the prohibition of marriage on grounds of consanguinity.

    However, in the post-islamic era, the all-wise legislator of Islam willed to undo the Arab practice of adopting children. The divine legislator willed to give the adopted son only the right of a client and co-religionist. For that reason a verse was revealed: “God did not make your adopted son as your own sons. To declare them so is your empty claim. God’s word is righteous and constitutes true guidance. (33: 4).” So, It follows that the adopter may marry the ex-wife of his adopted son and vice-versa.

    Thus Mohammad married a woman named Zainab (his slave/foster son’s wife) in order to provide a good example of what the All-wise legislator was seeking to establish by way of rights and privileges for adoption.

    Who, among the Arabs, could implement this noble legislation and thereby openly repudiate the ancient traditions? The truth is, however, that Mohammad was the exemplar of obedience to Allah; his life was the implementation of that which he was entrusted to convey to mankind. His life constitutes the highest ideal, the perfect example, and the concrete instance of his Lord’s command. Thus, those who are Muslims and are obedient to the koran will not have adopted sons.

    Without adoption, there cannot be any adopted son either. Therefore, the explicitly stated reason for the revelation of this verse does not exist. Muhammad himself dissolved the original adoption of Zaid when the above revelation came. Also, it is a mystery why in the world, any father-in law will need to marry his adopted son’s wife.

    Various colorful stories in hadith tell us how Mohammad fell in love with Zainab, while she was the wife of Zayd, his own adopted son. Mohammad married Zainab who was his daughter-in-law. That was definitely taboo in pre-Islamic Arabia, and the Prophet of Islam lifted this taboo in order to satisfy his own lust and fulfill his own desire.

    They also relate that when Mohammad saw her she was half-naked, that her fine black hair was covering half of her body, and that every curve of her body was full of desire and passion. Other hadith relate that when Mohammad opened the door of the house of Zayd, the breeze played with the curtains of the room of Zainab, thus permitting Mohammad to catch a glimpse of her stretched out on her mattress in a nightgown.

  14. @Harry,
    BOLLOCKS. You CAN adopt in Islam- it is only these tribal numbnuts who interpret everything through their tribal lens. I know Muslims who have adopted children so I don’t know how you can say things like it’s not allowed, ‘no doubt about it”.

  15. ‘I know Muslims who have adopted children so I don’t know how you can say things like it’s not allowed’

    And I know Muslims that drink alcohol so what’s your point? lol

  16. Sandy, Is it legal for an adopted Muslim to take the adoptive father’s last name? Do they inherit the same as a birth child or does a special will need to be made?

  17. Harry’s got it right. Adoption in which the child takes the family name, inherits as due any son or daughter, and is considered a mahrem (if boy) and a responsibility (if girl) towards other sibling etc is prohibited in Islam. Knowing who your father is is paramount in Islam and among Arabs. Even if your father is unknown for whatever reason…this doesnt allow you to take on another man’s name due to the inheritance rights etc to his rightfult children.

    Aisha said it herself when she told the prophet that god certainly does take the prophets desires into account when sending down revelation. What more evidence than seeing your adopted son’s wife, desiring her, and then presto!! ayat comes down nullifying adoptions and pressure is put on the no longer adopted son to divorce his wife so she can become the prophets latest Mother of Believers?

    about the only time god ever listened to and answered prayers I would say.

  18. First of all I want to correct the writer that there is no contradiction of the practice of Prophet Mohammad(pbuh)and the decree of the Quran regarding the Adoption.
    There was a custom to adopt a boy or a girl and the adopted parents used to give their names to them instead calling them by their biological father. Allah (swt) stoped this custom through Mohammad(pbuh) refer: Chapter 33 Verse 5 of Quran
    Secondly I may say that Mohammad(pbuh) was orphan but not adopted by any body. He was supported by his Uncle ,ABU TALIB
    Regarding Hijab, writer is correct what he has said

  19. Sami, I don’t think the contradiction had to do with his OWN orphaned or adopted status but that he himself adopted a former slave and raised him with the same care as if he were his own son. But yes, it wasn’t a ‘contradiction’ because Allah had not yet decreed adoption illegal. That didn’t happen until the seemingly opportunistic Mohammed fell in lust with his daughter-in-law 😉

  20. Kafala, i.e taking in an orphan and raising him/her as you would your own children is practiced and encouraged in Islamic countries. Apparently though the child has to keep their own last name as this is part of their identity, and they should know where they came from. This does not mean that the child is loved any less or is cared for differently. Of course the issue of hijab comes into question as you pointed out and that can make the living arrangements quite difficult. I have always wanted to adopt but raising a child and then having to cover from them (if it’s a boy) or if it’s a girl for her to cover from her ‘dad’ just makes it too uncomfortable. And then I remembered the solution lies at the breast! : )
    If I were to adopt some time in the future, I would breastfeed the baby so he/she becomes brother/sister and then no one has to cover from anyone! Problem solved!

  21. I find the comment that full adoption is impossible due to, among other reasons, “not taking the orphan’s wealth”, completely ironic. As if wealth management is a key priority issue for most orphans..NOT!!

  22. They do not take the family name- that does not mean it isn’t an adoption. There is no shame in not haveing the same last name. If an Aunt and Uncle take in a child it might have a different last name. It is only a big deal if society makes it one. In the west children don’t automatically inherit. People make provisions for how they want it to be. Same for Muslims with an adopted child. Yes- they could cut out the adopted child- but so could an American family.

    For those Muslims that know that hijab is a bida borrowed from Byzantium this isn’t much of a problem at all. Also, many orphans in Saudi don’t have last names- because they don’t know the parantage- not sure what happens there.

  23. Those who seek consolation in existing churches often pay for their peace of mind with a tacit agreement to ignore a great deal of what is known about the way the world works.

    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
    Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, 1990

  24. Guardianship is not the same as adoption. I don’t know about other Western countries but in the US if someone dies without a will then their assets will automatically go to their spouse, if no spouse then it would go to their known ‘legal’ children.

  25. If the Saudi with that ‘adopted’ child dies without a will what would that ‘adopted’ child inherit?

  26. @Lynn, probably nothing. But that doesn’t make adoption illegal. Women used to get nothing in the west. Illegitimate children sometimes get nothing- and they are blood. There is no perfect system- that doesn’t make adoption impossible.

  27. What does it matter what ‘used’ to happen? We are talking about ‘now’ so anything else is irrelevant really. No?

    Adoption, in the sense that we think of adoption, where a person is taken in as a family member and given the family name and the same rights as any other ‘legal’ children is NOT allowed in Islam even if guardianship is encouraged. Also, I’m sure that my niece and nephew DO believe that there is a perfect system. They were adopted at birth and their parents feel the same about them as any other loving parents feel for their children and are no different with each other than any other ‘blood’ siblings. We, the family, do not think any differently about them than we do any of the other nieces and nephews.

  28. We are talking about whether Sharia allows adoption. Yes it does. Changing a name is the only difference. If this is your only definition of adoption- then no not allowed. Does tribal law allow adoption- not generally- though historically sometimes. You are trying to make a comparison only to adoption as it is right now in a western country. That is not the only kind that counts. There have been Muslims that have completely accepted children not of their blood and adjusted inheritance accordingly. It’s a choice a Muslim can make. I know a western, non-Muslim family that adopted a child when they thought they couldn’t have more. She has their name. The wife was pregnant shortly thereafter. The girl recieved a set of luggage for her 18th birthday and was on her own. The name didn’t make her childhood or her future any brighter. It didn’t protect her from her abusive adoptive parents. In the west adoption is a legal state of things. It does not insure love, care or anything else.

  29. ‘In the west adoption is a legal state of things. It does not insure love, care or anything else’

    So, neither does guardianship or natural birth so what’s your point? lol

    I was going to buy my daughter luggage for her 18th birthday but we decided contractor bags were more than good enough.

    The fact that Muslims have completely accepted a child that they took guardianship of does not change the fact that adoption, which is the formal acceptance of a child into your home to be called son or daughter and given your name and cutting the kinship ties of the birth family is NOT allowed in Islam. THAT is what adoption is, anything less is called guardianship even if they DO will them inheritance shares as if they were natural born children.

    Do you know of any adoption agencies in KSA? Didn’t we just hear about a baby being left in front of a mosque in Jeddah or something? What do they do with those kids?

  30. @Sandy

    “In the west children don’t automatically inherit. People make provisions for how they want it to be. ”

    Sandy, believe it or not, only a minority of people in the West have wills. if you die intestate, your children, yes, will automatically inherit.

    In addition, there are a number of states in the U.S. where you can NOT disinherit your spouse or children in your will unless you follow a legal process of exclusion – it is not as simple as going to the notary and saying that you want all your money to go to PETA or wherever.

    What Lynn is trying to say that the Western adoption is a legally transformative procedure that survives the participants. Once the adoption procedure is completed, the child is legally yours, and has all the legal rights of a natural born child upon you, and you upon them. Say your adopted child grows up to be a millionaire (fantasy), does not marry (double fantasy for millionaires!) and dies intestate (triple fantasy!!) You, an adoptive parent, in this case will inherit their moolah.

    I understand that a Muslim family can take a child in and care for him and her in a way that makes it clear to the community that this child is under the protection of this couple. The question is, once the couple dies, is this child assumed to have legal rights identical to that of a natural born child? In other words, will his or her “child” status disappear once the patron is off the stage? Under Sharia it seems to be more of an voluntary arrangement that dissolves when participants die or decide they don’t want to play any more. True or false?

  31. @Sandy

    “I know a western, non-Muslim family that adopted a child when they thought they couldn’t have more. She has their name. The wife was pregnant shortly thereafter. The girl recieved a set of luggage for her 18th birthday and was on her own. The name didn’t make her childhood or her future any brighter. It didn’t protect her from her abusive adoptive parents. In the west adoption is a legal state of things. It does not insure love, care or anything else.”

    Actually, yes it does. Perhaps not love and care, which you cannot legislate anyway, not even for natural born children or parents, but it doesn’t take away the legal status. If these parents, abusive or not, were to die, the adopted child would inherit identically to a natural born child, unless specifically excluded by the will. If the parents were to become vegetables after a car crash, the adoptive child will have the right to decide when to turn off life support. If they are deemed legally incompetent, the adoptive child gets to make decisions just like a natural born child would.

  32. @Sandy

    “We are talking about whether Sharia allows adoption. Yes it does. Changing a name is the only difference.”

    Not really, though. Under Western law, adopted child = natural born child, unless specifically excluded from privileges and decision-making. Under Shariah, natural born child supersedes adopted child unless specifically included into privileges and decision-making, and only some of them. By default Shariah does not provide any privileges and decision-making authority for adoptive children, as the legal adoption concept by itself is missing from this body of law.

  33. @Zoe

    “If I were to adopt some time in the future, I would breastfeed the baby so he/she becomes brother/sister and then no one has to cover from anyone! Problem solved!”

    Don’t you need to lactate in order to breastfeed?

  34. @NN, yes, and the easiest way for me would be to give birth to a child and adopt around the same time so that I’d be lactating and feeding them together. That’s the simplest way. But it is possible, though a bit difficult, to lactate with the aid of medication, and proper stimulation. Some women who have adopted have been successful at breastfeeding their adopted child, you just need the meds that work, determination and commitment, guidance and lots and lots of love 🙂

  35. Dee and Zoe are the yin yang of the same person 😛

  36. NN & Dee,
    It’s also possible to lactate by ingesting certain herbs, I believe? There’s a book called, “The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers” that touches lightly on the subject of adoption and breastfeeding in one chapter of the book.

  37. Sure you can induce lactation, but that doesn’t really compensate for the evil done by religion to destroy the perfectly humane secular rules for adoption just because one religious leader wanted to have sex with his adopted son’s wife.

    I would have less problems with religions if they didn’t mess up perfectly good regulations because of silly superstitions, lust for power and control, neurotic phobias, or just selfish desires or sexual obsessions of the various religious leaders.

  38. That whole concept of breastfeeding to make other people ”family” so that neurotic segregation rules can be loosened is bizarre to the level of insanity in my opinion.

    Normal, mentally healthy, psychologically balanced people can just live together.
    And they adopt children, make them their own family.

  39. @Dee

    As a nursing mother of an 8-mos old, may I humbly suggest to you that adding an adopted newborn on top of your own is as far from “easiest” as it gets. You will have your hands full with one baby as it is, I really don’t see how or why you would add one more on top of an already heavy burden. Look into forums for moms of multiples and how quickly they switch to formula, btw, because nursing two is hard work no one would sign up for voluntarily. There are meds that make you lactate on demand. You need someone to stimulate your glands (translation: baby or pump at the breast) to have even a remote shot.


    I suppose you can bathe in fenugreek and pump around the clock, but I can tell you that pumping is hard and tedious even for naturally lactating moms. If you have an adopted newborn, you’d have to pump around the clock to extract anything from your system, and who would take care of the baby in the meantime? You all seem to have only a faint idea of what’s involved in caring for a newborn. You’ll barely have time to brush your teeth some days, let alone pumping and making yourself lactate.

    I really think that all this breastfeeding of adopted children is basically a symbolic act where the baby gets to cop a feel or two of your breast, and call it a day. Genuine adoption by nursing mothers (of other children) happens so rarely, it is basically meant to cover scenarios of women who for some reason can’t breastfeed, so their relative/cousin/neighbor who also has a young baby helps out as a wet nurse – totally natural, but to extend this to scenarios where no one is lactating to begin with, is in my opinion pretty bizarre.

  40. @Dee

    Meant to say there are NO MEDS that make you lactate on demand.

  41. The right combinations of hormones makes lactation quite possible. however I would never recommend that. closeness and bonding is quite possible without nursing. also Adoption of an older child as in 18-20 months seem the norm nowadays , so out goes the brestfeeding option…

    IMO I don’t think religion should mandate /be against adoption at all. a parents bond with a child surpasses religious texts ..
    In my view adoption means that child is yours no better or no less than your own. his/her past is immaterial. he/she should get your name/love/wealth everything with no difference whatsoever.
    otherwise it’s called guardianship….
    My BIL has 2 kids , one of them adopted and strangely they even resemble each other !!!! the older one is adopted and although she knows it , it never is a thought…they are muslims and she has their name and will get equal everything after they have passed….

    love for a child cannot be limited by govts,religion or anything in this planet.

  42. Nice comment Radha. You always have the right priorities. 🙂

  43. I agree with Radha’s comment.

    I have noticed that there are mothers who continue to breastfeed their child at 4/5 years old. I’ve seen it in Saudi and I’ve seen it (not as often) in the US.

  44. @NN, I am also a new mother of an 8 month old! So I do know how tough it is. I exclusively breastfeed, it’s not easy at all but it’s something I am doing with all my love for my child. I have often thought of mothers with multiples and how much tougher it is for them, but I am sure, with determination and some help, anything is possible. I had very little help myself as I live far from family but I’ve managed nicely so far. And since I’ve always dreamed of adopting, I would like to do it when I have a new baby so that the adopted baby benefits from the breastfeeding as well. It’s certainly not easy but the easiest way for me. Preparing formula seems to be a much more tedious job! Medications and herbs do exist to stimulate milk production, but there needs to be the proper stimulation, either by pumping or baby suckling for it to work. And it does work, no one said mothering is easy, but it’s not impossible!

  45. NN,
    I have an idea of what it’s like, but you’re right- I’ve never been a mother myself. It’s not just the infant stage that’s difficult; each stage of parenting is difficult in its own way. That’s why I prefer to be able to give the children back to his/her parents at the end of the day! 😉 That’s also one of the reasons I don’t intend to have children for at least a few years. Having been around children and cared for children for so much of my growing up years, caring for a child(ren) seems more natural for me. Although I do realize it’s a lot different to have children of one’s own (whether through childbirth or adoption).

    I am very much in favor of breastfeeding, and I did know someone who went out of her way to pump regularly in order to provide her child with breastmilk rather than formula. I remember what she went through to do that while she worked as a teacher. So I’m not completely oblivious to what it takes. However, I do know plenty of formula-fed babies that turned out very well, so over the long-term, I’m not sure that it matters much. However, the formula-fed babies seemed to have more gastro-intestinal discomfort and issues with finding the “right” formula mix in order to prevent such problems.

    I am not sure if I would want to breastfeed in the event I chose to adopt a newborn. (Although I’d honestly rather adopt a group of brothers and sisters of varying ages that needed a good home so that way, they won’t have to be separated from each other. Of course, I’d have to afford to be able to do so first!) However, if and when I gave birth to a child, then I’d want to breastfeed if at all possible. Also, with soy and cow’s milk sensitivities in the family, I’d rather avoid using such formula products if at all possible.

    I have heard of older children breastfeeding in the US, but it is usually under special circumstances.

    I also agree with Radha’s comment.

  46. ‘However, the formula-fed babies seemed to have more gastro-intestinal discomfort and issues with finding the “right” formula mix in order to prevent such problems’

    Actually, my kids were formula fed and had no GI problems but people that I knew that were breastfeeding had all kinds of problems and had to watch what they ate etc because it would cause the baby stomach problems. I preferred the control of knowing exactly how much they ate etc but more than that, I liked that they ate every 4 hours rather than every 2 and my daughter slept through the night at 2 weeks old, my son at 4 wks. I’ll take that anyday!

  47. I’d take the infant stage over the teenage stage ANY day! I like how you can put them down somewhere and they STAY there.

  48. ” I preferred the control of knowing exactly how much they ate” — reminds me of when i had my first – no formula in india days and F would be in my face on a hourly basis demanding how much my son drank ( in ounces???) i was nursing him and i would tell himto buzz off, one day my mom had had enough of the questioning and he picked up my son and stuck him under F’s face and asked ” is he screaming ” No “crying” — no? next she dragged F to the bucket of soiled nappies ( those days of cloth!!!) — see this ??? and she said ” that’s how much your son consumed , now leave us alone !!!!

    after that F never dared to open his mouth regding baby food , however onve we moved to solids he preferred to take over the feeding himself, ad we were more than happy to dump that task on him:-)

  49. The good and noble Rev. Bosworth Smith finds nothing in this marriage to cavil at. He says

    “It should be remembered, however, that most of Muhammad’s marriages may be explained, at least, as much by his pity for the forlorn condition of the persons concerned, as by other motives. They were almost all of them widows who were not remarkable for their beauty of their wealth, but quite the reverse. May not this fact, and his undoubted faithfulness to Khadija till her dying day, and till he himself was fifty years of age, give us additional ground to hope that calumny or misconception has been at work in the story of Zainab”

    (Muhammad and Mohammedanism)

  50. Zaid bin Haritha (Zainab’s first husband) came to the Prophet complaining about his wife. The Prophet kept on saying (to him), “Be afraid of Allah and keep your wife.” Aisha said, “If Allah’s Apostle were to conceal anything (of the Quran he would have concealed this Verse.” Zainab used to boast before the wives of the Prophet and used to say, “You were given in marriage by your families, while I was married (to the Prophet) by Allah from over seven Heavens.”

    And Thabit(narrator) recited, “The Verse:–

    ‘But (O Muhammad) you did hide in your heart that which Allah was about to make manifest, you did fear the people,’ (Quran 33.37)

    was revealed in connection with Zainab and Zaid bin Haritha.”

    (Sahih Al Buklhari
    Volume 9, Book 93, Number 516)

  51. radha, That’s too funny. I hope he was calmer with his own patients. lol

  52. Yes, according to the most prevelent, current, modern definition of adoption in the west- Muslims don’t do that. And yes I know people in Saudi who have adopted children. It was very difficult.

    Aafke- I agree all the breast feeding to make it possible for people to live together etc. is ridicuolouse and of course in traditional society can’t possibly be how it was really done. There didn’t used to be orphanages, people just took kids in. And it is very well established that adults who are going to abuse children don’t really differentiate between those that are related and those that are not. A decent man will behave decently to all children and one that is not- will likely abuse his own children because they are most accesible. They make things very unnatural and undoable with all their weird sexual phobias and insistance on sexualizing everything in Saudi.

  53. Salam Carol,
    I hope your recovery is going well. Not sure if the commeters addressed this or not, but the Quran never contradicts the Sunnah (ie the prophetic traditions). What might come across as contradiction is always due to people misinterpreting either the Quran or the Sunnah or both. Hope this helps.
    As for adoption in general, I heard a Muslim scholar, who is Arab, and lives in the US say that a child should keep his or her father’s name, but they can be treated like a son or daughter in all respects.

  54. hi Carol,
    I agree with contenthuman,
    and I would like to say that i deeply believe that the Quranic instructions came from Allah,
    Allah the creater, and He Knows the best for every one, and the truoth and justice are the perurity in Islam. and that is enough to lead us to the right and justice for every one.
    and we can see that when u think about the matter form this perespective of what is the periority, the trouth
    say that adapted orpthan is not a bilogical son, and man should give his
    name only for his real son, and to not confuse the family history records with not truo informations, (the father) still must treat the orphan he adapt
    very well, like if he is his own son, this what I understand from my religious
    texts , Quran and prophetic instructions, without any contadictions .

  55. I don’t think name matters so much in the bigger scheme of things,, what is the rule for inheritance. Inthe absence of a will does the adopted kid get treated the same as the blood child? what do the courts in KSA enforce? That info should tell us a whole lot of if adoption is ok or not 🙂
    The fact that it’s not forbidden to marry one’s adopted sibling ( if it’s true) is not a good harbinger of things..

  56. Recently my niece was talking about her brother and his new ‘cougar’ girlfriend. She was concerned about the age difference because this woman would likely not be able to have children to give their mom grandbabies. I said ‘you can be a surrogate’ and the thought of carrying her brother’s baby was just as repulsive to her as if he WAS blood. lol

  57. The verse of Qur’an in the beginning of Surat Ahzab (the Confederates) abrogates the allowance for adoption and calls for us to “call them (the formerly/future adopted individuals) by their father’s names” (i.e. preserve their lineage). Therefore, when this verse was revealed Zaid bin Haarithah, the former adopted son of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, was no longer called “Zaid bin Muhammad (as Arabian tradition of the time dictated).” But that did not end the loving and nurturing relation of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to Zaid that even extended to Zaid’s own children, i.e. Osama bin Zaid, whom the Prophet (pbuh) publicly declared his love for on numerous occasions as per the text of Hadeeth. There is no contradiction but permission that existed for a time but was abrogated for the greater benefit.

    You do not have to adopt a child in the sense of giving him or her your own lineage to support them. Fostering is still a viable option!

    ps: this is a good reminder to check our sources and then to double-check to prevent the posting of info not wholly accurate

  58. ‘You do not have to adopt a child in the sense of giving him or her your own lineage to support them. Fostering is still a viable option!’

    No, of course not. But you also shouldn’t have to marry (gain sexual access to) a woman in need in order to support her. Right?

    Yet ‘lineage’ appears to be important in order to have a real ‘family bond’ where the siblings do not have to cover in front of each other and inherit equally.

  59. Vews on adoption vary from country to country, regardless of the Islamic religion. I was recently horrified to learn that Saudi considers ophans to be poor marriage prospects …. because it seems that Saudi snobbery requires establishment of “established family ties”!

  60. How do you adopt a Saudi orphan? My husband is Saudi, we are Muslim but we live in the U.S. Adoption here might prove difficult for travel to Medina because children born outside might have problems getting in to SA. Is it possible to adopt a Saudi child and reside in the U.S.?

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