To many of us, children are a blessing from God. Yet, unfortunately, not all religions look at the matter from the same lens.
It was a surprise for me to discover that in Islam, or at least, in many Islamic countries, adoption of children as we know it in the West is not tolerated.
In an earlier letter, I wrote about Jesus and children, and when you read the following, taken from a longer article, you cannot but wonder with gladness and joy the legacy of the treatment of children that Jesus left us with!
The following excerpts are taken from: http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1-300/jesus-loved-children-11629553.html
The familiar New Testament picture of Jesus taking a child in his arms and receiving him with love portrays an attitude of care and concern for children found nowhere else in the ancient world. Children, along with women, old men, and slave, were viewed as physically weak burdens on society who had little value to the wider life of the community. In Greece and Rome, it was an accepted practice to abandon unwanted children along the roadsides to die.
Jesus’ teachings concerning children were faithfully followed by the early church, (a legacy which is carried to this day), which believed that to receive a child in the name of Christ was to receive Christ Himself.
Christians began collecting infants abandoned by their parents and raised them as their own. If pagans took in such abandoned children, it was most often for immoral purposes.
Why was the early Christian attitude toward children so unusual? Simply because it recognized the child as a person. Both children and adults were equal in the Kingdom of God.
Adoption of children was also practiced in Arabia before Islam, but the following link gives you, (though, incomplete), a suggestion as to why, suddenly, some time during Mohammed’s revelations, there was an abrupt end to formal adoption of children!
http://www.al-islam.org/articles/adoption-islam-sayyid-muhammad-rizvi :referring to (Qur’an, Sura 33:4-5).
In fact, many verses in Sura 33 of the Qur’an shed more light on the Muslim adoption dilemma!
The implications set down by Islam in relation to adopting children is more akin to fostering or simply helping orphans! What is the point of taking in a child as your own, but that child cannot take your family name, has limited or no rights to inheritance, and the wearing of the hijab is applied within the house as if living with strangers!?
This, of course, was not always the case. It is well documented that Mohammed had adopted a son named Zayd, but what we are not told with equal conviction is that it was Mohammed’s desire and determination to marry his ‘adopted’ son’s wife Zaynab that, by the help of another revelation from Allah, was conveniently told that his adopted son is not his biological son anyway, so marrying Zaynab, (wife number six), after the couple divorced was to be permitted! (http://www.muslimhope.com/WhyDidMohammedGetSoManyWives.htm)
When Allah was trying to help Muhammad, Aisha, the youngest and most intelligent wife of Muhammad said her famous words, ‘O prophet, I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.’
Muslim scholars categorically deny this.
However, this article in the following link may help you understand better what the world would be like to millions of orphaned children, if only the Muslim world could revert back to the family laws of Arabia, when adopted children could freely become a complete and total part of the family!