There are over 3,000 Muslim children entering foster care every year, with half of these children spending time living in non- Muslim homes, the under representation of Muslim foster carers and adopters will certainly affect the lives of the children.
There is Islamic evidence to support the act of Adoption and Fostering, with scripture and Hadith highlighting the importance of how you should treat the orphan.
“I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this,” (putting his index and middle fingers together). (Sahih al-Bukhari, 6005)
The Qur’an offers specific advice on how one should interact and live with orphans: ‘They ask you about the orphans: say, ‘It is good to set things right for them. If you combine their affairs with yours, remember they are your brothers and sisters: God knows those who spoil things and those who improve them. Had He so willed, He could have made you vulnerable too: He is Almighty and Wise.’ (Qur’an 2:220) Furthermore, the Qur’an rebukes those who treat orphans unfairly and without kindness and compassion: “Therefore, as for the orphan, do not oppress them.” (Qur’an 93:9) Muslim communities therefore have an ethical responsibility to ensure that homeless and parentless children have guardians and families to look after them (Al-Zuhaylī, 20072).
Care of vulnerable children can thus be considered, according to Islamic Law, a ‘communal obligation’. The underrepresentation of Muslims as foster carers and adopters makes it evident that, as a community, Muslims are failing in their obligation to take care of vulnerable children
There are often hesitations from Muslims regarding adoption and fostering however these are addressed in the Islamic Guide on the Contemporary Practice of Adoption and Fostering in the UK by Penny Appeal.
Here, in an interview by Muslim Foster Network, Sheikh Sajid Umar discusses what Islam says about Fostering and how the Prophet Muhammad PBUH life was a testament to being dutiful to others.