Child Born Out Of Marriage Between Muslim Man And A Hindu Woman Entitled To Claim His Father's Property: SC [Read Judgment]

Child Born Out Of Marriage Between Muslim Man And A Hindu Woman  Entitled To Claim His Father

""It would not be out of place to emphasise at this juncture that since Hindus are idol worshippers, which includes worship of physical images/statues through offering of flowers, adornment, etc., it is clear that the marriage of a Hindu female with a Muslim male is not a regular or valid (sahih) marriage, but merely an irregular (fasid) marriage."

In an important judgment, the Supreme Court held that a child born out of a marriage between a Muslim man and his Hindu wife is entitled to claim a share in his father's property.

The bench comprising of Justice NV Ramana and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar also observed that the marriage of a Muslim man with an idolater or fire-worshipper is neither a valid (sahih) nor a void (batil) marriage, but is merely an irregular (fasid) marriage.

The bench was considering an appeal against a Kerala High Court judgment that upheld trial court finding that the plaintiff is the legitimate son of couple Mohammed Ilias and Valliamma (his hindu wife), and is entitled to his share in the property as per law.

Assailing these judgments, Senior Advocate Guru Krishnakumar, who appeared for the defendants, contended that since Valliamma was a Hindu by religion, she would not have any right over the property of Mohammed Ilias, and consequently the plaintiff would not get any share in the property of Mohammed Ilias.

Only child born outside of wedlock or born of a batil marriage is not legitimate

The bench, referring to texts, including Mulla's Principles of Mahommedan Law and Syed Ameer Ali's Principles of Mahommedan Law, observed that the Muslim law clearly distinguishes between a valid marriage (sahih), void marriage (batil), and invalid/irregular marriage (fasid). "Thus, it cannot be stated that a batil (void) marriage and a fasid (invalid/irregular) marriage are one and the same. The effect of a batil (void) marriage is that it is void ab initio and does not create any civil right or obligations between the parties. So also, the offspring of a void marriage are illegitimate", the court said.

The court held that the child of a couple whose marriage is fasid, i.e., unlawful but not void, under Muslim law will be legitimate and only that child born outside of wedlock or born of a batil marriage is not legitimate.

Marriage Between Muslim Man & Idolator/Fire Worshipper Wife Merely Irregular

Upholding the view expressed by the High Court, the bench observed: "We conclude that the marriage of a Muslim man with an idolater or fire-worshipper is neither a valid (sahih) nor a void (batil) marriage, but is merely an irregular (fasid) marriage. Any child born out of such wedlock (fasid marriage) is entitled to claim a share in his father's property. It would not be out of place to emphasise at this juncture that since Hindus are idol worshippers, which includes worship of physical images/statues through offering of flowers, adornment, etc., it is clear that the marriage of a Hindu female with a Muslim male is not a regular or valid (sahih) marriage, but merely an irregular (fasid) marriage."


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