An Examination of the Jurisprudential Theory of the Intrinsic Filth of a Person Born of Illicit Intercourse

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AbstractAccording to some Imamiyah jurists, bastard (a child born of zina) is created with an impure nature. There are some narratives about this belief. These narratives have influenced the inference of bastard rulings from jurisprudential sources. Some jurists, in order to justify discriminatory rulings in the field of inheritance, judgment, martyrdom, authority, Friday prayer Imam and the congregation of the person born of adultery, along with other arguments, they also consider his intrinsic filth. This study seeks to criticize the theory of intrinsic filth of the bastard with an analytical-critical approach and an emphasis on the commonality of all human beings in the purity of nature. The paper tries to prove the view that all human beings, including bastards, are born with pure nature from the arguments of the Holy Qur’an, tradition and reason. This anthropological viewpoint on the bastard is effective in forming his system of rights and duties. Therefore, the predicted discriminations for a child born of an illicit intercourse need to be examined to the extent that they are related to the theory of intrinsic filth of the bastard.

Keywords:Intrinsic, filth, bastard, equality, justice, discrimination.

A full Persian version of this article is published in journal of Fiqh, volume 20, issue 100, Autumn 2020, pp. 79-104.

بازاندیشی نظریۀ فقهی پلیدی ذاتی انسانِ زاده شده از رابطۀ نامشروع (

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