Raising a child in need who is not your child is a great act of reward and it is a way to Paradise if it is done according to the teachings of Islam. As the child is not your child, there is no inheritance between you and the child, although you are free to give him in your will up to one third of what you leave, and you can gift him during your life whatever you like to gift him.
When the child becomes Baaligh, Hijab is must.
You need to keep in touch with her and treat her nicely being a practicing Muslim so that she will see the great manners of Islam. You should try to invite her to Islam as and when you find a suitable chance. Her being non Muslim does not mean always that she denied Islam deliberately. She might had been a victim of ignorance or misleading propaganda.
You should do your best to give the practical evidence that Islam is the best religion.
The most important thing a person must do in life is be very cautious about the circle of friends he/she has, and who they associate with.
We need to be extremely picky and sensitive towards this.
You need to advice your brother about the direction he is going, and how all this will affect his spirit and religious faith. Try to show him the bad effects of these people he is associating with, and how damaging something like an illegitimate relationship will be, and also alcohol.
If your advice does not have any effect, try to ask someone he respects to intervene, inform your parents to calmly advice him, and just try your best to dissuade him. Seek advice from people around you as well, who know him.
Dua is also very important. Hopefully, he will come to his conscience and realise the wrong direction he is heading. Just never give up.
With prayers for your success.
There are narrations from Ahlul Bait in this regard like:
- عن امیرالمؤمنین (ع) لایصلین احدکم خلف المجنون و ولدا الزنا وسائل الشیعة
- مَعْرُوفٍ عَنْ أَبِی جَمِیلَةَ عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ طَرِیفٍ عَنِ الْأَصْبَغِ بْنِ نُبَاتَةَ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَمِیرَ الْمُؤْمِنِینَ ع یَقُولُ سِتَّةٌ لَا یَنْبَغِی أَنْ یَؤُمُّوا النَّاسَ وَلَدُ الزِّنَا وَ الْمُرْتَدُّ وَ الْأَعْرَابِیُّ بَعْدَ الْهِجْرَةِ وَ شَارِبُ الْخَمْرِ وَ الْمَحْدُودُ وَ الْأَغْلَفُ
- and a narration from Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baqer in which he says don't pray behind 5 types of people one of which is a child out of wedlock.
Plus that is the consensus of Shia scholars on this ruling.
The word Imam means Muqtada, a leader and someone whom others follow and set an example in their works. And the Imam of the congregation is the one whom the group and the congregation set as their role model. Therefore, there should not be a defect in the position of the incumbent, although he himself has not interfered in achieving this defect. To explain that, the fact that an illegitimate child is deprived of some social and spiritual positions such as Imamate of the congregation and the authority of Taqlid, etc., which are the contents of some above mentioned narrations, is because of the nature of these positions and it does not mean deprivation of salvation on the Day of Judgment, for example, a blind person can not be in charge of some positions or a person who is very forgetful can not be a judge even if he has not committed the slightest sin in his life, having a good memory is one of the conditions of a judge. But these deprivations have nothing to do with one's felicity or unhappiness(i.e. bad end), and so is that with the illegitimate child, and our proof is that in the same narrations, the illegitimate child is placed next to the insane and the leper, etc., even though someone is not crazy or is not leper by their own will.
From a social point of view, being an illegitimate is also a kind of defect and does not lead to reputation, because on the one hand, illegitimacy is the product of a shameful act, and on the other hand, most of the illegitimate children have not shown an acceptable record throughout history, and this is certain that in holding some positions, a person should be away from the characteristics and traits that cause hatred and distance from people, even if those characteristics have been imposed on him without authority.
Allah is The Absolute Wise and He has the Full Knowledge about everything and everyone. All rules in Islam are based on the absolute Wisdom and Knowledge and Mercy of Allah which aims for the interest of man and human kind.
illegitimately born child has no fault to be punished for, and he should be saved from social criticism. This might be one of the reasons that such person should not be exposed in public as leader of prayers or leader of society ( Marja' of Taqleed).
Keeping him away from regions leadership might be also for avoiding legitimising the sinful act from which he was born and not encouraging people to commit it.
Finally, we say that Allah is The Most Just, Most Wise, Most Merciful and He Knows the full reasons, but we firmly believe that it is always for the interest of man and mankind.
Such child must be financially supported and looked after by Baitul Maal (Treasury).
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
I think it is good to look at these texts with a proverbial grain of salt and in the historical context, including but not limited to a common trend of denigrating certain enemies of the Imams (A) on the grounds that they were illegitimate, as well as a heavily tribal culture where once's ancestry generally affected one's social identity and life opportunities. In the time of the later Imams, there seems to have been a particularly strong focus on one's paternal ancestry.
Infants are obviously not born with a conscious hatred of Imam Ali (A) since they have to learn first who he is, and their opinions of him are generally shaped according to what they are told. Of course, one could argue that on an existential level, we encounter Imam Ali (A) prior to birth and thereby develop some relationship. One could also argue that one is born with an inherent disposition towards or against what he stood for (justice, truth, etc). Still, one finds, in practice, many people who are not born within the context of a marriage who do have a strong love for Imam Ali, and many people historically who were born within the context of a marriage who fought him. So it is worth considering these statements in more of a historical/cultural context rather than as absolutes.
It is more difficult to comment in practice regarding the latter since most people don't know whether or not they were conceived during that time. However one can glean the general idea that what happens during conception/pregnancy can leave an imprint on the child, and so one who is siring/carrying a child should be thoughtful of that.