I Discovered She Is Not My Daughter!

27 May, 2021
Q I have three kids, a son and 2 daughters. After the birth of my 2nd daughter, I started noticing different features in her face and attitude, but I neglected that for some years. On her fifth year, the feeling of wanting to know for sure if she is truly my daughter or not led me to use a scientific DNA test to check whether or not she is actually my daughter.

The test is very accurate 99.31% and it yielded that I am not the biological father! I interrogated my wife in a civilized manner and finally discovered that a family friend's son had forced her once into intercourse and the baby is his.

My question is what has to be done in this situation? I pity the child, as she had no guilt in what happened, and I am willing to accept her as my daughter for the rest of our lives.

Is that acceptable by Islamic rules? What should I do, please advise me, I don't want to ruin the lives of my kids which I know for sure are mine and I don't want to put my wife who is my cousin in the first place at scandal and eternal punishment. Please advise me.

Answer

 In this counseling answer:

•This daughter is at least your stepdaughter so that you are her mahram and you can continue to raise her as your own.

•She is an innocent victim of a crime that was committed against her mother and you have raised her for five years as your own; feel free to continue to do so.

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•I would have you consult with a wise Islamic Scholar about her last name and inheritance, and I would encourage you to tell the scholar that your wife was not adulterous but was raped, as this may affect the fatwa that he makes in your case.


As-Salamu `Alaikum dear brother,

I am so sorry to hear of this horrible situation that you have found yourself in.  Your situation has so many layers and so much that is not truly known except to Allah.

You found out that she is not your daughter through a DNA test that is accurate, and when you questioned your wife, she admitted to you that indeed the girl is not your daughter because your wife was forced to have intercourse.

Dear brother, this would mean that your wife is a victim of rape and that you are both dealing with pains that need not be compared to each other. This situation does not have to be eternally punishing to either of you. Instead, it can be an opportunity to join together and unite your family through honesty, caring, and du`aa.

I Discovered She Is Not My Daughter! - About Islam

This daughter is at least your stepdaughter so that you are her mahram and you can continue to raise her as your own. She is an innocent victim of a crime that was committed against her mother and you have raised her for five years as your own; feel free to continue to do so.

I would have you consult with a wise Islamic Scholar about her last name and inheritance, and I would encourage you to tell the scholar that your wife was not adulterous but was raped, as this may affect the fatwa that he makes in your case.

I would like to return to the issue of your wife, and I want to remind you that Islam does recognize rape as a crime, even if uncivilized communities that call themselves Muslim do not. It is not her fault and you should not have 1/10,000 of a gram of jealousy or anger at her in your heart. The intercourse that happens in a rape is not the same as what happens in a marriage.

Rape is physically and emotionally damaging and there are surely emotional wounds that need to heal.  Many think that if a woman is raped then she should always speak up, but that is not accurate at all. Women keep quiet for many reasons, including fear of family shame, scandal, misunderstanding, jealousy, and danger to her.

This 5-year-old angel is the only good thing that resulted from this violation of your wife. If your wife had cheated on you, she probably would not have a child as she would have protected herself against a pregnancy: Believe your wife. I encourage you to hold your wife in your arms and join together. Discuss whether or not you would like to file rape charges against this person, or whether you will allow Allah to take care of him in the hereafter.

Many times rape cases prove very hard to prove, especially when the physical evidence of the crime has gone. This does not mean that a crime did not occur, but instead that it is difficult to prove by law. I encourage you not to try to inflict harm on the rapist; this does not help you, your wife, or your family. Be confident that Allah is All-Seeing and All-Knowing and that He will punish the rapist in this world and the hereafter.

In such a case like yours, I would strongly recommend that you and your wife get involved in some couple’s counseling with a Muslim or non-Muslim counselor. But for your wife’s sake, whoever it is, a woman will likely be more comforting to her if and when she discusses the rape. My dear brother, your pain and your wife’s can be healed.


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Do not compete for which fault is bigger; both of you are victims in your own way and each of you has an ocean of love and support to give the other if you simply join. If you compete against each other, you will destroy each other and your family and you will each be depressed and lonely.

From the core of my heart, I pray to Allah to cast the light of His mercy and guidance into your hearts and to heal you from the inside out. May this tragedy bring you closer to each other and to Allah, and may Allah transform the ugliness of this crime into an opportunity for closeness and growth. May Allah bless your marriage and your home and fill it with laughter, love, and the protection of Allah.

Salam

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