Is it true that someone of illegitimate birth is not allowed to lead congregational prayers even if he is otherwise qualified to do so, and that he would not be a lover of the Ahle Bait (a)? If so, how is it fair on the person who did not commit any sin?
Islamic Shariah contains rules to organize the Muslim society in
all the dimensions starting from the personal life to the family life
to the social life and to the whole humankind relationship. Rules in
Islam do not mean insult but it means organizing the society in the
best way for the interest of everyone.
Illegitimately born child has got rules in Islam which aim to keep
him/her away from the public criticism. As the child did not commit a sin
and he/she should not pay for the sin of his/her parents.
The illegitimate child in Islam is kept away from leading the public
because that will make him a target of criticism and abuse from people
who will say that he was born from illegitimate act.
Islam also does not want to legitimise any illegitimate act. That is
why the child born from an illegitimate relationship cannot be a
leader in the community because that will encourage some people to go
for illegitimate sexual relationships.
An illegitimate child is not allowed to be Marja’ of Taqleed. He can
be a highly educated scholar but he cannot be Marja’ of Taqleed.
That also is not only for him but also for other respected persons in
the community like our respected ladies.
If a pious and highly educated female Islamic scholar becomes a
Mujtahidah, her own son or brother cannot follow her in Taqleed
because one of the conditions of Marja’ of Taqleed is to be a man.
And also for leading the Jamaat prayers, the congregation prayer, one
of the conditions is that the leader of the congregation prayer must
be a man and must be born from a legitimate marriage.
Islam does not allow us to pray behind pious ladies like our own
mothers. So that does not mean any insult to our mothers but it is part of
organisation which must be followed, and that is similar when we are not allowed to pray behind a person who was born from an illegitimate relationship.
That does not mean that we are punishing him but Allah SWT wants the
organisation of the society to go on to avoid pointing the fingers to
such persons and also a way from legitimising an illegitimate sexual
act which took place.
An illegitimate person can be a lover of the Ahlul Bayt (AS) and will
get his full reward for all his good deeds because it is very clear in
the Holy Qur’an that (لا تزر وازرة وزر أخرى) “No one will carry the burden of
the act of others”. So the child who was born from an illegitimate
relationship will never carry the burden of the sinful acts committed
by his parents. He will get the reward of his good deeds like any
In fact Islam has kept the respect of such persons to keep them away from
the public leadership and observation so that their life can go on like any other person
and they will get the reward of their good deeds like any other