ISLAMABAD Nineteen-year-old Sultan Ahmed, resident of Rawalpindi is now a happy young man as National Database and Registration Authority has announced to issue him identity card. You cant feel the pain and agony of a man like me who, like thousands others born out of marriage, face humiliation and suffering at the hands of the society each day. Issuance of Identity card to such people, regarded illegitimate by society, may bring end to this humiliation and suffering, Ahmed told TheNation on Sunday. Reportedly, National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has decided to register thousands of illegitimate children and issue identity cards to such adults. However, well-placed sources have said it has yet to compile complete data of such cases and also, they have not devised the modus operandi and mechanism to register thousands of illegitimate children. On the other hand, NADRAs decision to register the illegitimate people has ignited a hot debate across the country. Experts are pondering ways to overcome the difficulties involved in the process of registering such children whose parental roots or difficult or, in many cases, almost impossible to establish. In a bid to help Nadra, one of countrys rewound Islamic scholars Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, while talking to TheNation on Sunday, suggested to mention ' Abdullah in the 'Fathers Name field while filling the registration form for the illegitimate children.Although Nadrahas not consulted us (Muslim scholars) regarding this important issue, however, I would like to suggest mentioning of ' Abdullah in the box for Fathers Name for such children, Mufti Muneeb. Elaborating his point, Mufti said 'Abdullah means 'man of Allah, so it is most appropriate word to fill the box of 'Fathers Name.Look Sir The illegitimate children are, as a matter of fact, children of men, no matter who are they. Therefore, NADRA can mention ' Abdullah as their father in the registration form, which will save them from being ashamed of their existence, he said. When asked if the mentioning of 'Abdullah as father of all the illegitimate children will create confusion, Mufti Muneeb said they can have a 'common name as their father but they would have different residential addresses and other details todifferentiating them from each other. To a question that could the illegitimate children may be given identity with reference to their mothers, Mufti Muneeb said that it was purely up to Nadra as to what way it adopts in case of illegitimate children. When contacted, Ameer of Wafaq-ul-MadarisMaulanaHanifJalandhry said that identity card could be issue on the basis of childs mother in case of absence of his or her father. There are examples in the Islamic history wherein Prophet Mohammad (SAW) attributed identity of an illegitimate child to his/her mother; therefore, NADRA can register and issue ID cards to illegitimate persons and children on the basis of their mothers, Jalandhrytold TheNation. However, he strongly recommended Nadrato consult Council of Islamic Ideology of Pakistan to solve this problem in the light of Islamic teachings and Islamic cultural values. Council of Islamic Ideology of Pakistan, which is represented by the renowned Islamic scholars of country, can be more helpful in finding a better way to give identity to the illegitimate people, MaulanaHanifJalendhry said. Another renowned Islamic scholar of AllamaSajidNaqvi also suggested identifying the illegitimate children from the reference of their mothers.The illegitimate persons should be given same rights and facilities as enjoyed by other citizens of the country; they have an equal right to education, jobs and respect in the society. Therefore, in case of absence of father, they should be identified by their mothers, Naqvi said. In case of absence of both mother and father, the state should register them by filling the form with supposed mother or father. A research done by TheNation shows that Islam has laid down strict laws against illicit relations between man and woman, with the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Holy Prophet (SAW) providing details on how to deal with such matters. But, this does not mean that Muslim societies have ever been free of such relationships and this is why the Islamic law has also provided a complete code regarding the rights and obligations of illegitimate children, both male and female. According to a well-known columnist and researcher HumaBukhari, Islamic law makes a clear-cut distinction between paternity and maternity. In an article she wrote almost eight years ago, HumaBukhari who is a Lawyer by profession says that paternity is the legal relation between father and child, maternity is the legal relationship between mother and child. It is these legal relationships that give rise to certain rights and liabilities. In that article, publish with the headline of 'Illegitimate children and Islamic law,Huma stated that maternity is established in the woman who gives birth to the child even though the relationship of the mother with the natural or biological father of the child may or may not be legal and lawful. As opposed to maternity, the paternity of the child is established only by marriage, whether valid or irregular but not void, between the parents. The legitimacy of a child is established only when paternity is established. Illegitimate children, like the legitimate ones, are a part of Muslim communities. They enjoy the same rights and are expected to fulfil the same obligations as others and there is no discrimination on the basis of illegitimacy. They cannot be charged for the deeds or sins of their parents. The Holy Quran clearlysays: Each man shall reap the fruits of his own deeds: no soul shall bear anothers burden [6:164]. Since an illegitimate child, whether male or female, is legally related only to mother, therefore, his/her mother is his/her legal guardian and also responsible for his/her maintenance. If the mother is not in a position to do so, then it becomes the duty of the state to maintain such a child. According to a fatwa of the King Fahad University, They are entitled to receive all the rights in a Muslim society as others do. The Muslim community and [the] government are responsible to spend on them, raise them and educate them. During the caliphate of (Hazrat) Umar a person found a foundling (a small child who may be a son of Zina). Umar said: 'Take him with you, if you have the right of his Wala(guardianship) and we will spend on him. (In another narration) we will bear the expenses of his feeding. Likewise he can inherit only from the maternal side and vice versa. There is no legal relationship between an illegitimate child and his/her natural father so he/she cannot claim or enforce any rights against his/her father that a legitimate child can. The research done by Miss HumaBukhari further revealed that the Holy Quran in Sura Al-Nisa provides a list of relations who come within the prohibited degree of marriage. The verses, however, are about legitimate relations and not the illegitimate ones. There is a difference of opinion as to the unmarriageable relations of an illegitimate child. According to Abu Hanifa, Malik and Ahmed Bin Hanbal an illegitimate girl is forbidden for her father. Shafi, on the other hand, is of the opinion that she is not. The reason: an illegitimate child does not trace back to his father. According to a fatwa given by the Fatwa Centre of the King Fahad University, ...the Maharim of illegitimate children [unmarriageable relatives]... are [the] brothers, sisters, their children from mother side only, and maternal uncles, maternal aunts. Only the relatives of the mother are considered, not of the father because an illegitimate child does not trace back to his father. All the relatives who are forbidden from the mothers side include those forbidden through suckling. It is clear that in an Islamic society, an illegitimate child is as good a Muslim as any legitimate one and like any other person is liable only for his own acts.