The Lajnah Daa’imah was asked the following question:
“Many misguided Muslim youth who work in France have illegal relationships with women and make sexual intercourse with them outside the bond of marriage. Some have children and after that they return to Allah in repentance. What is the ruling on a Muslim who has five children from a woman without a legal marriage contract? Are they attributed to him as being their father? I should mention that the children are his, but not through marriage. The woman considers him her husband as their man-made law allows such prohibited relations as long as the woman consents.”
“The children who descended from him before the marriage contract are not attributed to him but to their mother. It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: The child is (to be attributed) to the (fornicating) mother, and the (married) fornicator is to be stoned to death (in a Islamic State).
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'” End quote. [Reference]
Ash-Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-Uthaymeen rahimahullah said:
الجمهور على أنه عام ، وأنه لا حق للزاني في الولد الذي خلق من مائه ، وذهب بعض العلماء إلى أن هذا خاص في المخاصمة، يعني إذا تخاصم الزاني وصاحب الفراش قضينا به لصاحب الفراش ، أما إذا كان لا منازع للزاني ، واستلحقه فله ذلك ويلحق به ، وهذا القول هو الراجح المناسب للعقل، وكذلك للشرع عند التأمل”
” The majority of the scholars deem that it (i.e the aforementioned hadith) is general and that there is no right that the illegitimate father has over the child that was born through his water (i.e. sperm). And some scholars went to say that this is specific to a scenario where there is a dispute between the illegitimate father and the mother of the child (concerning if the child is his or not. As for if there is no one in dispute with the illegitimate father while he is acknowledging to be the child’s parent, then the child is to be attributed to him. And this is the strongest opinion which is logically correct.” End quote. [Sharh Mumti’ (12/127)]
Note: This opinion of Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Uthaymeen is as well the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah.
AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman