The Quranic verses from which the Islamic Law of Paternity can be established are as follows:
In verse 46:15 of the Holy Quran, Allah (swt) says,
“And we have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with and his gestation and weaning (period) is thirty months”.
In another verse Allah (swt) says:
“Mothers may breastfeed their children for two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing period” (TMQ-2:223)
In Surah Luqman Allah (swt) says:
“And we have enjoined upon man care for his parents. His mother carried him (increasing her) in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to me and your parents; to me is the (final) destination” (TMQ- 31:14)
In verse 46:15 mentioned above, Allah (swt) has directed mankind to behave well with their parents and to treat them kindly. This verse specifically highlights the difficulties faced by a mother in giving birth to a child. She carries the child in her womb till nine months and also faces hardship while delivering the child. Therefore, the child should be more indebted to his mother than to his father.
This verse also enlightens us about the complete period of gestation and weaning, which is of thirty months. Weaning refers to the period when the infant shifts from the mother’s milk to other sources of nourishment whereas gestation is the period of pregnancy, i.e. the time period between conception and birth. In verse 2:223 the time which has been fixed for breast feeding is of 2 years. This means that if we minus two years i.e. 24 months from the 30 month period, mentioned in 46:15 (which includes gestation, delivery, breastfeeding and weaning) we will be left with only six months. So the Islamic ruling based on this verse states that the minimum period within which it is possible for a pregnant woman to give birth to a healthy and complete child (i.e. not an abortion) is of around 6 months.
Some Companions (ra) of the Prophet (saw) have thereby, deduced from the Quranic verses that if a woman gives birth to a healthy and complete child after six months of pregnancy then the child will be legitimate. In such a case, the husband cannot accuse his wife of adultery and neither can he refuse to acknowledge the fatherhood of the infant.
On the contrary, if a woman gives birth to a healthy and complete child within six months of her marriage, thereby proving to be an adulteress, then her husband will not be regarded to be the father of her illegitimate child.
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