How Should Illegitimate Children Be Treated? Part 1

23 January, 2017
Q My biological dad raped my mom at a party one time. It was an Afghan party where there were non-Muslims and Muslims. I am the first daughter and second child. My half-brother is two years older than I am. My mom was going back to one of the room where she left her purse and a boy that was a teenager came and forced himself on her. My real dad left and my mom was ashamed to call the police, but she told her husband (my step-dad). They kept their mouths shut, and this is a family secret and since then. My parents are so mean and call me "harami", meaning "bastard" when they are mad, and I can't help but cry. My step-dad must hate me because he is probably has wounded pride that a handsome boy much younger than him marked my mom. I went online and a website on Islam said that illegitimate kids are prone to steal, lie, and commit sinful acts and that made my heart break. My biological dad my step-dad, my mom all broke my heart. My mom got pregnant three times again, having five kids total. I mean, I didn’t asked to be born and the Islamic website degraded someone like me, telling I am prone to do sins and that I am cursed. My parents treat me like a Cinderella. I am like a caged bird. They don't let me step one foot outside, and I am starting to get fat because I am at home all day and can’t exercise. My step-dad hates me; one day he scared me so much. I looked up online and it said that I can pluck my unibrow and irregular hairs on my eyebrows and my mom called me a slut and said that I have ten boyfriends. My step-dad secretly said to me that he will kill me and then kill himself. That was a long time ago. I know he is too scared to do it, but that threat was so mean! I can't believe him! Not to mention he always cages me in the kitchen to work and when I ask him to please let me play outside and go to the park, he always replies by quoting that stupid hadith! "And stay in your homes [...]" I think that hadith is fake. They bought me a trashy game console and said that all I need is in the home. It is still a cage no matter how much they buy me stuff to keep me in. I am only allowed to go to school, but I swear if I was in Afghanistan, I would have been married off at age nine and not allowed to go to school. I am like a caged animal and they are using Islam to justify my oppression. What should I do?

Answer

Asalamu Alaikum Dear Sister,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your very important question.

Please find part one of the answer to your question below. Find the second and final part at the link here.

My heart goes out to you, and I ask Allah to grant you ease and relief from distress, and make your life and your relationship with your family very happy.

Sister, Shaitan is trying to preoccupy you with the circumstance of your conception. The pens have been lifted regarding how you came into this world. And it is a test for you and your family.

Nothing short of complete memory loss, or deliberately stopping yourselves from recalling or talking about the circumstances of your origin will ever allow you all, as a family, to move past that unfortunate incident of rape.

And this suppression of the past might not be so healthy. I highly recommend that your entire family seek therapy for the hurt you are all feeling from this attack and the aftermath. But know it is not your fault and you hold no blame.  

Please understand that anyone who tries to claim that a human being’s moral character is impacted by the sins of their parents is not drawing from Islamic teachings.

Original sin and inheriting sin or a sinful disposition comes from the Christian belief that humankind is responsible for Adam and Eve’s (Hawwa) sin.

This idea is rejected in Islamic teachings. Each person is only responsible for his or her own self. And to think that something you had no control over, especially your conception, will make you more sinful than others is baseless.

You are a creation of Allah, born with a nature (fitra) that leads you to do goodness. 

No one should ever call you a “harami”. This term is hurtful and being conceived out of wedlock has no bearing on your moral capabilities. You are a human being, whole, and perfectly capable. Slandering you, calling you demeaning names, and threatening you, are all despicable and evil actions that Islam never allows.

And your family members should be counselled to refrain from demeaning you and repent for doing so in the past.

Despite the oppression you are suffering, you should focus on the three great blessings that you have right now, after your religious faith and belief in Islam of course, you are young, in good health, and have free time.

Now, in order to bring about a positive change in your life, you will need to follow a multi-faceted strategy, outlined in the points below:

Practice Patience and Self-restraint

Despite how unjustly your parents are treating you, you should never return their behavior and be disrespectful to them. Remember that Prophet Ibrahim’s (PBUH) own father had him thrown in a fire, but he was never disrespectful to him. 

I know that this is a very difficult thing to do, especially in your circumstances. However, your parents have rights over you. And those rights include respect. Their treatment of you will be in their book of deeds. Do not add bad deeds to your account as a reaction.

Read and Educate Yourself

If you are mostly at home, study your deen and recite/ponder upon the Quran. I especially recommend that you read the explanation of Surah Yusuf, in which you will learn about the unfortunate events that Allah decreed for Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) for Yusuf’s own betterment.

Also, read life-improvement books and online self-help articles. I would especially recommend two books for you: Enjoy Your Life and Don’t Be Sad. These wonderful books are an excellent remedy for anyone who is being oppressed, or is going through a depressing time in their life.

Please continue reading at the link here: Part 2

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

It’s Original Mercy … Not Sin

Illegitimate Child: Inherit His Father?

Will an Illegitimate Child Enter Jannah?