• Child Custody: Under Muslim Laws
  • Child Custody Under Muslim Laws

    The mother has the right to custody of the child which is her natural right. She cannot be deprived of this right as long as she is not guilty. This right is known as the right of hizanat and was solely recognized in the interest of the children.

    Under the Hanafi law ,the mother’s right over the son terminates at the age of seven years. Whereas the Shias have an established rule that the mother has the custody of her son till he is weaned. The Maliki School purports that mother’s right continues till the son has reached the age of puberty.

    In case of daughters , Hanafi law entitles the custody of daughters to the mother till they attain the age of puberty. Whereas among the Maliki, Shafi and Hanbali law the mother’s right to custody continues till the daughters are married. These rights accrue to the mother irrespective of the fact whether the child is legitimate or illegitimate.

    Under the Shia school, after the mother, the Hizanat belongs to the father. In the absence of both the parents the custody lies with the grandfather. Among the Maliki’s, the following are entrusted with the responsibility of custody in the absence of the Mother :

    • Maternal grandmother
    • Maternal great grandmother
    • Maternal aunt and great aunt
    • Full sister
    • Uterine sister
    • Consanguine sister
    • Paternal aunt

    All the schools of Muslim law agree that a Hazina should be of sound mind, good moral character, living at such a place which poses no kind of threat to the child and of such a age that would qualify her to bestow the needed care on the child.

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