Answered by Mufti Yusuf Mullan
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. May his abundant blessings be showered on his beloved prophet, the best of creation.
The fact that the mother forfeits her rights to child custody by marrying a man who is not a blood relative of the child is firmly established in all the four schools of traditional fiqh. In fact, Ibn al-Mundhir even quoted scholarly consensus on this. Ibn Qudaamah relates a hadith in this regard wherein the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to a woman regarding her child:
“You are more worthy of him, provided you do not remarry”
The scholars explain that the reason for this is that when the mother remarries, her responsibilities and duties towards the new husband may busy her from properly tending to her child, as the new husband, having no blood relation to his new wife’s child, may not feel responsible towards him or her. Thus, the child is transferred to the next of the maternal women-folk who are able to properly care for and nurture the young child.
This is the general ruling. In specific cases and situations, it may well be different. As such, consult a reliable scholar regarding particular cases.
And Allah knows best.
"Indeed this discipline of ours is from cradle to grave. Whoever intends to leave this knowledge of ours for one moment, let him leave it now!"
Mohammed Ibn al-Hassan ash-Shaybani
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