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Fosterage and Adoption

Nasihah (Advice): The guardian of an orphan

 

Umm Sa’id bint Murra Al-Fihri Radhiyallahu Anha reports from her father that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “I and the guardian of an orphan will be in Jannah like these two (his two fingers).” (Al-Adabul Mufrad)

 

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Question and Answer:

 

 

  1. Does fosterage refer to adoption in Islam?

 

 

  1. If by fosterage you are referring to the breastfeeding/suckling (Radhaa’at) of a child, then there is a difference between fosterage and adoption in Islam.

If a child is breastfed/suckled before the age of two years, a bond of fosterage (Radhaa’at) is established. The relationship that is established through lineage will be the same relationship that will be established through fosterage (Radhaa’at). For e.g. ones foster mother, father, brother, sister etc. would be considered to be one’s Mahrams.

 

If a child is taken under one’s care and adopted without breastfeeding/suckling (Radhaa’at) the child, then no bond of fosterage (Radhaa’at) will take place. In this case, the child would not be considered to be ones Mahram.

 

The laws that govern breastfeeding/suckling/fosterage (Radhaa’at) are different from the laws of adoption in Islam.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

 

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa

Confirmation:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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