New Straits Times

28 Jul 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The Shariah Lawyers Association of Malaysia has expressed shock over the Court of Appeal decision.

Its president, Musa Awang, said the decision would have serious implications on Islamic law and Muslims in the country.

“We respect the decision, but it has come as a shock to us as the decision has far-reaching implications.

“The matter of naming a child after the father in Islam is not as simple as a DNA test result. Allowing out of wedlock or syubhah Muslim children to be named after the biological father will have a big impact on the issues of guardianship and inheritance.”

He said in Islam, an illegitimate female child could not have her biological father as her guardian (wali) when she wanted to get married.

Instead, she must be given away by a guardian (wali ) or a syariah judge.

Musa added that illegitimate Muslim children also could not inherit the properties of their biological father.

In Kangar, Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said the state had allowed illegitimate children to be “bin” and “binti” to their biological father since 2013.

He said the fatwa (edict) was meant to protect a child from shame.

Asri added that the fatwa stated that a child born less than six months after a couple was married could be “bin” and “binti” to the father as long as he was married to the woman he impregnated and acknowledged that the child was his.

However, he said, the rule did not apply to fatherless children or if the father denied that the child was his.

“There is nothing wrong with the Court of Appeal’s decision, which is in accordance with the Perlis fatwa.

“What Perlis did is to protect the child from shame and to make the child’s mother and father more responsible for their reckless act,” he said yesterday.

In Alor Star, Kedah mufti Datuk Syeikh Fadzil Awang declined to comment on the matter.

We respect the decision, but it has come as a shock to us as the decision has farreaching implications.

MUSA AWANG President, Shariah Lawyers Association of Malaysia

There is nothing wrong with the Court of Appeal’s decision, which is in accordance with the Perlis fatwa.

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