Ruling on out-of-wedlock children legitimises adultery: Perak mufti

KUALA LUMPUR: The controversial court ruling that allows for children conceived out of wedlock to carry their father's name will only lead to the legitimisation of adultery, said Perak mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria (pix).

He said the landmark ruling by the Court of Appeal was an insult to Islam and the fatwa itself, adding that the current procedure for naming illegitimate children had been in use for hundreds of years.

"The new view (allowing for the children to take their father's name) could lead to legitimising zina," he said while taking a swipe at Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin for favouring the court decision.

"Things that have been decided for ages cannot be changed as it was made based on the al-Quran, hadith (prophetic verses), and ijma (consensus among ulamas). Why do we need to go against the current?" he told reporters when met at the launching of the Residensi RAH project in Kampung Baru.

In a landmark decision on Thursday by a three-man bench, the Court of Appeal had ruled that a child conceived out of wedlock can take on his or her father's surname.

The ruling covers all children conceived out of wedlock, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.

The court made the ruling in an appeal involving a seven-year-old child, who was born five months and 24 days (or five months and 27 days according to the Islamic Qamariah calendar) after his parents married.

This ruling essentially reads that the edict on such matters by the National Fatwa Committee does not have the force of law.

In 2003, the National Fatwa Committee decided that a child conceived out of wedlock ("Anak Tak Sah Taraf") cannot carry the name ("tidak boleh dinasabkan") of the person who claims to be the father of the child, if the child was born less than six months of the marriage.

Harussani also questioned the intention of those supporting the ruling by asking whether they were merely seeking for publicity.

He added the matter could also affect Islam and the federal constitution if it was not handled with care.