Conditions applicable to the custodian

source :Osoul Global Center


Islam puts certain conditions for a person to be a child custodian some of them are: Being a Muslim, sanity, integrity, physical and financial ability and common sense. This applies to both men and women.

Conditions applicable to the custodian

  1. Being a Muslim: An unbeliever cannot be given the custody of a Muslim child, because the custodian may then bring the child up as an unbeliever.                    
  2. Being a sane adult: Custody cannot be given to a young or insane or feeble-minded person because such people cannot manage their own affairs, let alone look after a young child.                                                                                                                                                                                    
  3. Integrity, honesty and chastity: Custody cannot be given to someone who is known to be unworthy of trust, or one who is of loose morality. Such people cannot be trusted with the welfare of a young child. However, this condition is controversial. Ibn al-Qayyim discusses this at length: ‘It is right to say that integrity and honesty cannot be a condition for someone to take custody of a child, despite the fact that scholars of the Hanbali and al-Shafi[i schools of Fiqh, as well as other scholars, consider it so. To make it a condition is very difficult to justify. Had it been so, most children would be lost, and the community would face immense difficulties. Ever since the early days of Islam, the children of transgressor parents are brought up by them, with no one objecting to them, although they are the majority of people. When was a child ever taken away from his parents, or from one of them, on the grounds of their transgression?’                                                                                                                                              
  4. Physical and financial ability to look after the child: Child custody cannot be given to an elderly person who cannot take care of the child, or to someone with a disability such as being deaf and dumb.                                                                                                                                                       
  5. The custodian must be a person of good common sense: One who is a spendthrift cannot be given custody, so that he or she would not squander the child’s property.

All these conditions apply to both men and women. An additional condition applies to women which is that the woman to be given custody must not be married to someone who is totally unrelated to the child. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to a child’s mother: ‘You have the right to the child, ahead of him (i.e. the child’s father), unless you get married.’ Custody becomes void if any of the conditions required is not met, or if any of the reasons precluding it applies.


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