Adoption: The Grotesque Immorality of Mainstream Islamic Ethics (Part 4)
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
By Saleem Smith
Danish translation: Adoption: Den groteske umoral af herskende islamisk etik (del 4)
Source: Jihad Watch, September 15, 2018
Published on December 26, 2018

I am a Canadian ex-Muslim. In Part 4 of this series of articles I will address the impermissibility of common child adoption in Islamic theology.

The laudable tradition of child adoption as commonly practiced in non-Islamic societies is sadly considered to be an impermissible act in Islamic societies ruled by Sharia. And of course, Islamic law is based studiously upon Islam’s canonical texts (the Qur’an, hadith and sira).

The forbiddance of common child adaption in Islamic theology and law is based upon, in part, the following Qur’anic passage:

"Allah has not made for a man two hearts in his interior. And He has not made your wives whom you declare unlawful your mothers. And he has not made your adopted sons your [true] sons. That is [merely] your saying by your mouths, but Allah says the truth, and He guides to the [right] way." (Qur’an 33:4)

It is interesting to analyze the origins of this deplorable Qur’anic passage. The shameful reality of common child adoption being made impermissible in Islam traces back to the prophet of Islam’s adulterous desires for his daughter-in-law. This scandalous occurrence in Muhammad’s life is found in the hadiths and Muslim biographies.

The traditional Islamic story goes as follows: One day the prophet of Islam went to visit his adopted son (Zayd) at Zayd’s family home. Upon arrival, Muhammad discovered that Zayd was not at home, but Zayd’s wife (Zaynab) was. Upon seeing a beautiful and partially dressed Zaynab, Muhammad discovered that he was attracted to her. Soon afterwards, the marriage ended in divorce, Zaynab became another one of Muhammad’s wives, and adoption was made impermissible in Islam.

It is worthwhile to quote what Ibn Sa’d and al-Tabari said concerning this story:

"Muhammad Ibn Yahya Ibn Hayyan narrated, The Messenger of God came to Zaid Ibn Haritha’s house seeking him. Perhaps the Messenger of God missed him at that time, that is why he said, ‘Where is Zaid?’ He went to his house seeking him and, when he did not find him, Zainab Bint Jahsh stood up to [meet] him in a housedress, but the Messenger of God turned away from her. She said, ‘He is not here, Messenger of God, so please come in; my father and mother are your ransom.’ The Messenger of God refused to come in. Zainab had hurried to dress herself when she heard that the Messenger of God was at her door, so she leapt in a hurry, and the Messenger of God liked her when she did that. The heart of the Prophet was filled with admiration for her. He went away muttering something that was hardly understandable but for this sentence: ‘Praise be to God who disposes the hearts.’ When Zaid came back home, she told him that the Messenger of God came. Zaid asked, ‘You asked him to come in, didn’t you?’ She replied, ‘I bade him to, but he refused.’ He said, 'Have you heard [him say] anything?' She answered, 'When he had turned away, I heard him say something that I could hardly understand. I heard him say, "Praise be to God who disposes the hearts."' Zaid went out to the Messenger of God and said, ‘O Messenger of God, I learned that you came to my house. Did you come in? O Messenger of God, my father and mother are your ransom. Perhaps you liked Zainab. I can leave her.’ The Messenger of God said, ‘Hold on to your wife.’ Zaid said, ‘O Messenger of God, I will leave her.’ The Messenger of God said, ‘Keep your wife.’ So when Zaid left her, she finished her legal period after she had isolated herself from Zaid. While the Messenger of God was sitting and talking with 'A'isha, he was taken in a trance, and when it lifted, he smiled and said, ‘Who will go to Zainab to tell her that God wedded her to me from heaven?’ The Messenger of God recited; 'Thus you told someone whom God had favoured and whom you yourself have favoured: "Hold on to your wife."' 'A'isha said, 'I heard much about her beauty and, moreover, about how God wedded her from heaven, and I said, “For sure she will boast over this with us.”' Salama, the slave of the Messenger of God, hurried to tell her about that. She gave her some silver jewellery that she was wearing.”

In reviewing the passage above, we see that it was Muhammad’s lust for his adopted sons wife that initiated the destruction of his adopted son Zayd’s marriage to Zaynab and set a tragic precedent regarding the religion of Islam’s treatment of adoption.

Soon after the occurrence of the notorious incident above, Muhammad began receiving “convenient revelations” from Allah about matters related to Muslim men marrying their adopted sons wives and explicit passages informing Muslims’ that adoption is to be considered a forbidden practice for Muslims (e.g. Qur’an 33:4).

This perverse matter was such a scandal within the early Muslim community that Muhammad’s child bride and favorite wife, Aisha, is recorded as commenting upon it caustically, saying:

"Narrated Aisha: I used to look down upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah’s Apostle and I used to say, 'Can a lady give herself (to a man)?' But when Allah revealed: 'You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive any of them whom you will; and there is no blame on you if you invite one whose turn you have set aside (temporarily).’ (Q 33.51) I said (to the Prophet), 'I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.'" (Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 311)

The sordid story of Muhammad marrying his son’s wife and in turn bringing an end to adoption in Islam is all the more disturbing when one considers the fact that the Qur’an proclaims that Muhammad is to be considered the model man for Muslim believers to emulate (33:21).

Jihad Watch host Robert Spencer’s series, Blogging the Qur'an [also issued as Reading the Qur’an during Ramadan], extensively details the disturbing and convoluted Qur’anic passages pertaining to adoption being made impermissible for the followers of Mohammedanism.