Her Daughter Changed Her Name from Her Father’s Name as He Is Negligent About Her
Fatwa No: 398263

Question

As-sal?mu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatull?hi wa-barak?tuh Sheikh. I remarried and I have a daughter from previous marriages. Her father did not support the daughter financially or in contact with her at all since he remarried as well. My daughter tried to contact her as I told her that he is her biological father and it is essential for her to be with her father. But he never wanted her. I changed my daughter’s last name out of ignorance to get the benefits from my husband’s Employer, i.e. health etc. After a while we moved from States to Canada, and it was essential to have her father’s info. as her last name was different. So I found it ok to change her last name, so her father will be not be bothered to pay her child support or anything. And I was totally ignorant. Now I have learnt what I have done was a big sin. So I asked my daughter to change her last name to her father’s name. She is 28 and she refuses to do it, since she claims that he never did his duty and he didn’t want her. I’m desperate. How can I be forgiven? Please advise. JazakALLAHU Khair Sheikh.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

You did not clarify to us the reality of this change of name, if it led your daughter to be traced back to the family of your current husband, for example, then this is not permissible, because it is prohibited to be traced to other than the father.

The prohibition is reported by Muslim that Ali  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Whoever traces himself back to other than his father, or makes a person to be his ally other than the one (who freed him), then there is a Curse of Allah, that of His angels, and that of the whole mankind upon him."

However, if you had done this while you were ignorant of the ruling, then we hope that there is no sin on you in this.

The name must be returned to the real name, and your daughter is not permitted to refrain from doing so, otherwise, she is sinful. Therefore, you should advise her gently, and remind her that the fact that her father is negligent about her, does not justify her not changing her name back to her father’s name. If she is convinced, then praise is to Allah, otherwise, if you can change her name despite her refusal then do so.

Spending on a daughter is an obligation on the father until she marries and enters upon her husband.

If her father did not do this obligation (of spending on his daughter), then he is sinful.

Abdullah ibn 'Amr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "It is enough a sin for a person not to provide means of sustenance to those whom he is obliged to support." [Abu Daawood]

Your daughter should be mindful that she has to be kind and dutiful to her father, and that the fact that he is negligent does not exempt her from this obligation in compliance with the Command of Allah.

Allah ordered the children to be kind and dutiful to their parents even if they are non-Muslims and abusive to their child in his religion as well as his worldly life.

Allah Says (what means): {But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness.} [Quran 31:15]

If your daughter is obedient and kind to him despite his negligence, then it is hoped that she will get a great reward for this.

If your daughter is not married, then we recommend that you look for a righteous man to marry her. She is also permitted to propose herself to a righteous person whom she wishes to marry as some virtuous female companions did.

For more benefit on the permissibility for a woman to seek a husband, please refer to Fatwa 82471.

Also, for more benefit on being named with other than one’s father’s name, please refer to Fataawa 395212, 135935 and 89258.

Allah knows best.

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