By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi
& Ayatullah Ja’far Subhani
Question: Whereas we know that the children born due to illegal relations have no role in their illegitimacy and have not committed any sins, then also according to Islamic traditions they are not treated fairly. And they are not allowed to take the important posts like that of a judge, Imam-e-Jamat and Maraja etc.
Why a person who has not committed any sin, just because the fault of his parents, should be ill-treated and kept away from important posts in the society?
Some people also say that such children will neither go to Paradise nor see any goodness. Is it right? Whereas we also know that Allah will not write one person’s sin in another person’s account?
And no soul earns (evil) but against itself, and no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another…
Answer: Before we give the answer it is necessary to discuss the following points which are the basis of this topic and then we can conclude from it.
(1) Due to illegal relationship, the relation between father and son is finished from the point of view of law and economics and thus it cuts off the family relationship and sentiments, which is the basis of a society. Sometimes the female doesn’t know that from the sperm of which man she had become pregnant.
In this way a child does not know his father, grandfather, grandmother and relatives. And generally many ethical, psychological, social, training, family, financially and sentimental defects come into existence because of it. This is the reason that the Holy Prophets (s.a.w.a.) and laws makers of the society prohibited things, which are against sanctity; the Shariat also prohibits the illegal relationship.
(2) In every community there are rules of marriage; that is why to establish illegal relationships is against the law. This is the reason that the person doing this type of deed feels guilty due to this, which stems from the sinful soul and has bad results, which arise from this type of deed.
And when a person repeats this deed or due to other factors the guilt of the person becomes less or if the fornicator does not have the feeling of guilt, then also there is a thief present in his inner self, and he become ill mannered, breaks the law, and deviates.
(3) According to the law of inheritance, like the other physical effects, inner qualities and thinking of the mother and father is also transferred to the children. In the same way the special traits of the parents are transferred to children like the color of eyes, hair, shape of the eyebrows etc.
In reality inheritance is the base for a person’s future and makes the personality of an individual and prepares the ground for them for their good or bad fortune.
From these points we can derive the following results: Illegitimate children inherit bad manners, breaking of laws and sins from their parents. For them the ground for sins and crime is more feasible. As compared to others they are more prepared for sins and if they personally get wrong training or if the environment is not good, then it is enough for them that their polluted soul, like sparks beneath the ash become fire and burn their good fortune.
As for the question about social posts for illegitimate persons, it is a logical precaution for the protection of social good on the basis of whatever is said above about their psychological state.
Islam gives much importance to persons who are supposed to take these social posts, for acquiring the confidence of the people. Therefore those families which have some defects or whose past is not praiseworthy have been deprived of posts that require spiritual purity.
But we should not be that a person of illegitimate birth has the license to commit all sins and go against the Shariat, and that he be deprived of true Islamic teachings and training, and he by following the right principles cannot be fortunate – No, it is not like that.
Illegitimate children also like natural and lawful children are free to choose the right or wrong path. They also with their intentions and powers can choose the path of righteousness and goodness and acquire salvation and be one of the Heavenly people. It is not that they are born criminals and at any cost cannot be freed from the web of crimes and sins, but as Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said: When an illegitimate child is prepared to perform his duties and able to do work of training, if his deeds are good he will get rewards for it and if he does bad he will be punished.
Although the rebellious nature of illegitimate children (which have more interest and are more inclined to break the laws and commit sins) makes it difficult for them to avoid sin, and it is also difficult for them to perform their duties, but if they go against their desires and follow the orders of Almighty and right principles they will be given the best of the rewards.
That is why Islam reproaches illegitimate children. It is so, to make them aware that they are facing a dangerous situation; they should fulfill their duties, remain away from sins and take precautions. It doesn’t mean that knowledge and training has no effect on them and they will certainly go to Hell.
In other words those children who are illegitimately born are like those children who are born to the parents having diseases (T.B, and sexual disorders). These children have more chances of contracting these diseases and if they are not cured as early as possible they are more likely to get these diseases. This is the reason that to protect the interest of the people, those children who are possible to contract the disease of T.B. should not be given whatever food and other things are available.
Like the ill parents, illegitimate children are also prepared to break the laws and fall into crime if their training and studies are not provided in the right environment and healthy intentions. It is possible they may fall into a great depth and ally with the criminals. For those reasons, in order to protect the social cause, precautions should be taken that they remain away from some posts.
Although it is wrong as some people think that illegitimate children will never be happy, lucky and acquire salvation. They can also be fortunate and happy like other people, but as we have told earlier their inner self in comparison to others is not favorable for this; that is why they should be stricter and take more precautions.
Just as it is not necessary that consumptive person’s son should also be consumptive; maybe he follows the rules of health becomes stronger than other people and may remain away from the diseases. The result is that the ground for sins is not necessarily proof for doing them but with strong intentions and good training it can be avoided.
It is important to mention that such illegitimate children if they remain staunch on the good path can acquire higher positions and a better life because they have practiced more self control.
 Surah Anam 6:164
By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi