My Father Prefers Step Sister Over Me, Help!

23 November, 2019
Q Mom told me that my father adopted a daughter when I was about to born. He adopted a child because he has never had a daughter. Now me and her (adopted daughter) have been lived together for almost 6 years. It was really hard at first when mom told me that she’s actually just an adopted daughter, I couldn’t really believed it and accepted it.

Because all I know she’s a step daughter of my father and my father treats me differently and for me it’s sort of unjust as if I am the one who’s been adopted, he makes me number two and she’s always be number one. The thing is he promised my mom to never tell her about her real identity in our family, he would never let her know who she actually is.

He’s really keen to love and protect her by considering her as if she’s an orphan. Until my mom thought that my father could really divorce her and then leave us and take that adopted child away with him from us IF we treat her bad or we let her know it. Sometimes she's the cause of troubles between mom and dad. It was just yesterday my father told me the truth, he said how poor she is, she neither has parents nor kith and kin, she's alone, she's a gift from Allah to you, so I should really protect and cherish her with love and mercy, even though sometimes she didn't do the same to us (our family) she even did the opposite. He said he doesn’t distinguish between me and her.

He swore to me that even until he die no one could ever tell her if she’s actually been adopted by my father, even if someone tell her that, I should be the one who convince her that she’s my father’s biologist children. It’s hard for me to chew all that information directly from my father. I don’t know what to do after he told me that, I just nodded and said Insha Allah I’ll try to keep her heart but I do really want to tell him he couldn’t be like that and or do that, he could still treats her like his own real kid but just let her know the real information, yet I didn’t dare to say that as we as a children should not talk back.

He’s afraid if she knows the truth, it is going to be a heartbreaking moment of her life or she will be depressed as my dad doesn’t want to try to find her real parents because he knew how she’s like, she’s a bit feeble and currently we’re all she has. So what should I do? Shall we let her know that info when he’s gone? What should I say to her and to my dad? What about her marriage if my father still insist on being her wali when she wants to marry? So how is it in Islam? What is the best possible way out? JazakAllahukhair

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•Listen to your father concerning his requests, treat your sister like you would any sister and make dua that your dad does the right thing in regards to the true identity of his adopted daughter.

•Try to exert mercy, forgiveness and patience.

•It is not your adopted sister’s fault, but rather a bad decision by your father to not disclose her adoption for whatever reason, so please sister, don’t take it out on her.


As-salamu alaykum dear daughter,

It must have been a shock for you to hear all of this and it may take some time for you to adjust to the news that your sister is in fact not your biological sister. While there seems to be an exaggerated sense of protection from your father to your sister, you may never know the real circumstances of her adoption.

Perhaps your father is trying to protect her from some very sad news or devastating information that may hurt her later on but we do not know. Perhaps he knew her mother and in fact perhaps he knows who is the father.

However, for whatever reasons, he fears disclosure, only Allah knows. There are Islamic laws pertaining to this and insha’Allah you father will be able to adhere to them one day as he realizes that as a Muslim, it is the right thing to do.

Until then, I would kindly suggest that you listen to your father concerning his requests, treat your sister like you would any sister and make dua that your dad does the right thing in regards to the true identity of his adopted daughter.

My Father Prefers Step Sister Over Me, Help! - About Islam

While I am not an Islamic scholar, I do know that adopted children do have rights and insha’Allah, Allah will touch your father’s heart, or relieve his feelings of anxiety or whatever it is that is troubling him about this-and free his mind to do the right thing. Until then, as you are still a child in his home, and really, this is a matter for your parents to resolve, especially your dad, try to exert mercy, forgiveness and patience.

It is not your adopted sister’s fault, but rather a bad decision by your father to not disclose her adoption for whatever reason, so please sister, don’t take it out on her. Insha’Allah, Allah SWT will reveal all in a way that does not harm her or others involved.

“…Nor has He made your adopted sons your (biological) sons. Such is (only) your (manner of) speech by your mouths.But Allah tells (you) the Truth, and He shows the (right) Way. Call them by (the names of) their fathers; that is juster in the sight of Allah. But if you know not their father’s (names, call them) your brothers in faith, or your trustees. But there is no blame on you if you make a mistake therein. (What counts is) the intention of your hearts. And Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 33:4-5).

You are in our prayers sister, please let us now how you are doing.

Salam,

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Should Daughter Know Who is Her Biological Father?

How to Deal With Angry Father?

I Hate My Father

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.