Al-Muwatta Hadith - 36.22

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Judgement on Attaching Paternity to Children

Malik related to me from Yahya ibn Said from Sulayman ibn Yasar that Umar ibn al-Khattab used to attach the children of the Jahiliyya to whoever claimed them in Islam. Two men came and each of them claimed a woman's child. Umar ibn al-Khattab summoned a person who scrutinized features and he looked at them. The scrutinizer said, "They both share in him." Umar ibn al-Khattab hit him with a whip. Then he summoned the woman, and said, "Tell me your tale." She said, "It was this one (indicating one of the two men) who used to come to me while I was with my people's camels. He did not leave me until he thought and I thought that I was pregnant. Then he left me, and blood flowed from me, and this other one took his place. I do not know from which of them the child is." The scrutinizer said, "Allah is greater." Umar said to the child, "Go to whichever of them you wish."

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