What a terrific article. Kudos to The New York Times. And of course to the Islamic Council in Sudan who issued these correct and righteous fatwas that made this all possible.
But in the last few years a radical shift led by an unusual coalition of government officials, Western aid organizations and religious leaders has taken place here. It has rescued many infants of Maygoma from a grim fate by transforming religious and legal attitudes toward children born out of wedlock in this deeply conservative society.
Social customs here have traditionally passed the sins of the parent to the child, making adoption — already a complex issue in Islam, which emphasizes family ties of blood — largely out of the question. But under this new approach, Nariman, who last month lay burbling in a cot he shared with a pink teddy bear, gaining weight and being cooed over by nurses, waited not for death or a life of despair but for placement in a foster home and eventually a family to take him permanently.
“It is really a social revolution,” said Mona Abdullah el-Faki, a government social worker who supervises foster care of children from Maygoma. “It was very difficult to persuade people that adoption is not forbidden in Islam. There are a lot of misconceptions.”
And the blessings of Allah to all who open their hearts and do their duty to these orphans, giving them love, care, homes and alms. A child who is abandoned by humans is truly an orphan and as such, remember that Allah considers them his own. That child through no fault of his or her own has only Allah to look toward for justice, and so men and women should be proud to adopt a child of Allah's rather than look askance at them and refuse a home. I hope that reminder helps people who hesitate to see the wisdom of the fatwas with even more clarity! Orphaned and abandoned children are still the guests and loved ones of Allah; even if desperate people abandon them Allah does not. Do have some pride in being host and good parents to one of Allah's needy children.