Islamic Ruling On Using DNA To Establish Paternity


The nature of Shariah is such that, it endeavours to abstain from humiliating anybody by referring them to adultery or illegitimacy as much as possible. It tries its best to attribute the child to the husband of the mother.

There is a famous Hadith recorded by Imam Muslim and others in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“The child will be attributed to the husband and the adulterer will receive the stone.” (Sahih Muslim)

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The meaning of this Hadith is that, the right of paternity will be for the person with whom the mother of the child is married to.

In such cases, paternity will not be established with the adulterer. This however, does not always mean that the child in reality is of the husband. Rather, due to the Shariah not considering and accepting the role of the adulterer, it gave this right to the person who is in the contract of marriage with the mother. Even if DNA tests prove the child to be of the adulterer, paternity will not be established with him. The social wisdom behind this is clear to all those who reflect.

The Hadith also says that the adulterer will receive the stone, meaning that he is liable to be stoned as punishment and not receive the child or (as some scholars have explained) the meaning of stone here is “deprivation”, meaning he will not have the right for paternity.

What if the husband denies the child?

In the situation where the husband denies the child to be his and the wife agrees with him, the child will still not be attributed to the adulterer; neither will paternity be established with the husband. The child in this case will be only attributed to its mother.

It should also be known that when we say ‘establishing paternity’ here, it means the right of inheritance for the child, the right of keeping the child for the one with whom paternity is established, and also the obligation of sustenance and financial support, etc

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