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Maintenance of a female child

Fatwaa ID: 2070


I’d like to know if the child is staying with her mother and the father does not pay maintenance at all. Is she allowed to take her father to court for maintenance ?

I’d also like to know if there is an islaamic law that states that the child has to stay with the father in order for him to maintain the child.

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

The father of a female child is responsible to provide maintenance for the female child until she gets married. This includes food, shelter and other essentials. This is binding on the father even if the child is in the custody of the mother or someone else. The obligation of nafaqah on the father does not drop off because of the child being in the custody of someone else. A minor child will by default be in the custody of the mother until she becomes baaligh. Thereafter, the right of custody will transfer to the father. All throughout, he shall remain responsible for the nafaqah. It should be noted however that if the child has assets or funds, then the father may use that to provide for her; he will not be obligated to provide from his own side.

Should the father refuse to pay the nafaqah, the mother should refer to a competent and reputable Shari’ah council or board. The scholars will apply their due diligence and advise in accordance to the laws of the Shari’ah. If that fails, she may seek the rights of the child through a legal secular court. However, when doing so, the laws of the Shari’ah will have to be upheld. If the judge rules contrary to that, then the judgement will be void. Any additional amount must be returned to the father unless he permits it. It should be remembered that to demand or accept anything that one does not deserve is oppression, and justice will be served in the Hereafter.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

07/17/1445 AH – 01/29/2024 CE | AML3-3881

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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