- Published on Sunday, 01 May 2016 15:18
- Written by Ayatullah Sistani
Adapted from the book : "A Code of Practice for Muslims in the West" in accordance with the edicts of Ayatullah Sistani
575. It is recommended to give children names that reflect servitude towards Almighty Allah [for example, ‘Abdullah; ‘Abdur Rahman; ‘Abdur Rahim] just as it is recommended to name them by the name of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), and the other Prophets and Messengers (a.s.). It is recommended to name the children as ‘Ali, Hasan, Husayn, Ja‘far, Talib, Hamza, and Fatima.
It is disliked to give them names of the enemies of Islam and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).
576. The custody, upbringing, and care of the child whether male or female for the first two hijri [lunar] years is the right of both parents equally. Therefore, it is not permissible for the father to separate the child from its mother during these two years.
When these two years come to an end, the right of custody is the father’s alone. However, based on precaution, it is recommended that the father should not separate the child from its mother until he or she reaches the age of seven.
577. If the parents separate because of divorce before the child —whether male or female— reaches the age of two (by hijri account), the mother does not lose the right of custody of the child as long as she does not marry another man. Therefore, it is necessary for both parents to agree on exercising their common right in custody by alternating [the right] or by any other method on which both agree.
578. If the mother marries after separating from the father, she forfeits her right of custody, and the custody will be the exclusive right of the father.
579. The term of custody ends when the child reaches the age of mental maturity. When the child reaches mental maturity, no one has the right of custody over him or her, not even the parents let alone others. The child, then becomes independent in his affairs; and so he can choose to join either of the two parents or anyone besides them. However, if his separation from both of them causes distress to them out of their concern for him or her, it is not permissible for the child to disobey them in that matter. If the father and the mother differ [in the case of distress], the priority is given to the mother.
580. When the father dies, the mother has greater right of custody than anyone else until the child reaches the age of maturity.
581. When the mother dies during the term of her custody, the father gets the exclusive custody.
582. Just as custody is a right of the father and the mother, it is also the right of the child, in the sense that if they refuse to take the custody [and fulfill their duties towards him], they can be forced to comply.
583. If both parents disappear, the right of custody belongs to the paternal grandfather.
584. Whoever from the two parents or others have the right of custody is allowed to delegate it to a third party, ensuring that they would fulfill their responsibility as required by Islamic Law.
585. The person —parents or others— who shall have the custody of the child, must be Muslim, sane, and trustworthy to ensure the safety of the child. So, if the father is a non-Muslim and the mother is a Muslim, the child is considered as a Muslim and the mother shall have the sole custody of the child. Similarly, if the father is a Muslim while the mother is a non-Muslim, the father shall have the right of custody.
586. It is obligatory on the son to provide for the parents.
587. It is obligatory on the father to provide for the child, male as well as female.
588. The obligation of providing for a person who is closely related to you is conditional on him being poor, in the sense that he does not have the basic necessities of life like bread, food, clothing, bedding, comforter, shelter, etc.
589. In Islamic law, there is no fixed amount for providing to those who are closely related to you. What is obligatory is to provide whatever is needed to sustain them, i.e. bread, food, clothing, shelter, and other things in line with his status as well as the standard of living for that place and time.
590. If a person who is obliged to provide for the needs of his close relation refuses to provide [e.g., a husband refuses to provide for his wife], it is permissible for the one who has the right to force him to do so, even by resorting to the courts.
If it is not possible to force him to provide maintenance and he has some wealth [that is easily accessible], the person who has the right can take the rightful amount from it after seeking the permission of the mujtahid.
[And if the wealth of that person who must provide maintenance is not easily accessible], the person who has the right can take out a loan in the name of the first person with the permission of themujtahid. In this case, that first person will become liable to pay the loan back. If it is not possible to have recourse to the mujtahid, he should resort to some just [morally upright] believers and take out a loan in the name of the first person who shall then be obliged to repay it.
591. If the protection of the faith and its sacred laws as well as the honour of Muslims and their lands depend on providing for a person or persons from the wealth of Muslims, it is obligatory to do so. In this case, the Muslim who provides will have no right to ask anyone for compensation of what he has spent in this cause.