In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- If he is required to take any religious responsibility, such as baptizing or the like, he should not do so.
2- If he is expected to maintain the child or provide him if he is in need, then it’s not objectionable.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
According to the best of my understanding, the concept of a godfather varies from a culture to another. It sometimes it involves responsibilities of baptizing and religious initiation and associated rites.
While, in some cultures, it does not involve any of the above; rather it is simply acting like a mentor or a big brother to the child.
Therefore, your husband needs to find out what is expected of him if he were to take on this responsibility. If it involves the former, as a Muslim, he cannot take on such responsibilities. If not, he is expected to serve as a mentor or guardian for the child in cases of the sudden demise of his parents, then it is up to him to choose it. There is nothing objectionable about it.
So, I advise your husband to find out the specifics before making such a commitment.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.