Foundling

Posted on 03/31/2012 by marina

FOUNDLING Arabic taqit تقيط
Lit. “That which is picked up.” The person who finds the child is called the multaqit. The taking up of a foundling is said to be a laudable and generous act, and where the finder sees that the child’s life is in peril, it is an incumbent religious duty. (Hidayah, vol ii p 252)
The maintenance of a foundling is defrayed from the public treasury, but the finder is not to demand anything for his trouble and expense, but after the finding of the child has been reported to the magistrate, the child is legally place under the care of the multaqit, and supported by the state. A founding is declared to be free and not a slave, and unless he be found on the land or property of a Jew or Christian, he is declared a Muslim. But if the child be found on the property of a Jew or Christian, he will be declared a Jew or Christian as the case may be. The mulaqit cannot contract the foundling in marriage without the sanction of the magistrate, but he may send him to school and in every respect see to his education and training without consulting the magistrate.

Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam