Sisters in Islam lauds landmark appellate court judgment on children born out of wedlock

Sisters in Islam (SIS) has welcomed the landmark decision by the Court of Appeal which ruled that a child born out of wedlock can take up his or her father’s name.


In a statement yesterday, the organisation also commended the appellate court for “exercising compassion and upholding the best interests of the child”.

“The practice of registering Muslim children’s surnames as ‘binti/bin Abdullah’ when they are born less than six months (from) the date of the parents’ marriage leads to serious and unjust repercussions on the children’s overall upbringing and well-being, including their right to receive maintenance from paternal family members, ability to inherit and not to mention the emotional trauma of having to face social stigma at a very tender age and as they grow up.”

SIS said the court’s decision was within the pillars of Maqasid Syariah which is Daruriyyah (necessity) as it related to to the protection of life.

“The Quran in Surah al-Ahzab 33:5 states ‘Call them by (the names of) their fathers: that is more just in the eyes of God’. While this is understood to refer to adopted children, it is not impossible to extend the spirit of the verse to recognise the biological fathers of children conceived or born out of wedlock.”

SIS said the judgment embodied “the spirit of Adl or Qist (justice).

“The best interests of the child must be the primary concern in the formation of all laws, policies and decisions that affect them, as upheld by Islamic teachings and universal human rights.”