For anyone not Muslim, as Omanis in majority are, "zeena" is an act of adultery or fornication outside of legal marriage. Just to clarify, that's not what this post is about.
This post is about the issue of orphans (i.e underage minors) and adoption/fostering [***In Islam you foster you don't adopt as the kids keep their own name no matter what***]. Orphans, and orphan "zeena" babies specifically.
There is a raised infertility rate in the Sultanate (being that most Omani families average out around five to eights kids each, we don't notice much nonetheless).But for those who do not manage to conceive the lack of children is felt intensely by the entire family.
In Oman, since having large families is the norm, couples are expected to at least have 1 0r 2 children. Most families keep going until they have at least one boy and one girl. If a woman is barren, her husband in Islam may consider marrying a second wife in order to conceive. It has been done in my family/tribe. Even if the man cannot afford to marry a second wife, or may not wish to, there may be pressure upon him socially to do so, in order to have children.
When I asked MOP about the concept of adopting/fostering to an Omani male without children he said it was something culturally frowned upon, which made all OPNO girls go, what the heck?
In Islam support of orphans is something stressed in almost every chapter of the Quran. Pretty much to sum it all up, if you are cruel to orphans or refuse to support them when you are able to, don't expect heaven from God. The Prophet Mohammed himself was orphaned. He was fostered/adopted by his Uncle. And the Prophet Mohammed raised/fostered an unrelated freed slave named Zaid ibn Harith in his own home. And what did the Prophet Mohammed say about fostering/adopting?: "I and the person who looks after an orphan [physically, financially, spiritually, et all] will be together in paradise like this." (then he raised his middlefinger and forefinger together).
So while when in cases of infertility, socially the "sunnah" of the Prophet Mohammed having more than 1 wife is brought up to say a man can marry another woman if his first wife did not manage to have children (which was not the reason the Prophet ever married additional wives, sorry to burst anyone's bubble---in fact none of his wives beyond Khadijah and Mariya bore him any living children), the sunnah of fostering is never mentioned at all. Odd to convert minds like ours.
So why not?
MOP said the answer is "zeena babies."
No one wants to adopt the children of someone who committed an illegal sexual act. MOP said ashamedly (of his culture), that there was even a proverb in Arabic that says not to adopt a zeena baby or they'll end up like their parents.
Did MOP himself believe such a thing?
Thankfully not. As in Islam, there is no concept of original sin. One does not inherit the sins of their parents. Or of Adam and Eve ect.
Many children in the Arab world who are born out of wedlock are abandoned. MOP says some in hospitals in Oman, others at Mosques. And apparently, no one wants the reward of fostering these children at all. I know, I know, the government raises them in group homes, ect, so they aren't starving on the streets, but it isn't the same thing as having your own family and all.
MOP states that belief comes about from the fact that the child will be derided for their unsure ancestry, despite the fact that the Quran says: "... do not treat the orphan with harshness" from 93:6-11, and will become what society treats them as.
I understand how some would face difficulty adopting as a child that isn't yours that wasn't breastfed by your wife is going to be subject to the rules we have for modesty and covering. Like, if a girl she'll have to cover in front of adopted father, and if a boy, his adopted mother will have to cover in front of him (but this is what it was like for the Prophet Mohammed's own adopted son Zaid ibn Harith). But I mean, an abandoned baby can be breastfed by family members anyway, so what if he/she is a zeena baby or not. I don't know about your Omani families, but in mine there is always someone who is breastfeeding, so if under two, any fostered child could be made a family member Islamically not subject to the covering/modesty quotient for certain family members.
Alot of the first Muslims/Sahaba were Zeena babies. While they knew the names of their fathers ect in most cases, not all of them had parents who'd married. The problem from this in Islamic culture is never placed on the children. Islam believes every child is born sinless.
Yet, hypocrisy, hypocrisy, aparently old Omani proverbs back the concept of original sin in a supposedly Muslim society.
So what about the barren Omani couples that don't give a heck about silly proverbs? Well sometimes their family members will treat them badly for it.
I just wanted to write about this because it is a shameful thing really.