Abortion: Questions and Answers

Question:

Hi! My name is Diana

I am doing a school assignment for studies of religion at school and it asks me to research how two different religious traditions respond to euthanasia and abortion. I’ve been looking everywhere and came to this website and thought you mite help me. What does Islam has to say about EUTHANASIA and ABORTION?

Thank you.

Diana, Sydney, Australia

Answer:

Thank you for contacting JI Diana!

An assignment warrants serious in-depth studies, references and review, which means spending time and labour in libraries and other useful sources. Briefly, Islam does not permit abortion under normal health conditions, and considers it an elaborate act of killing an innocent person, which is heinous crime under any law. Let me briefly explain for you once again.

(1) Abortion could be allowed for a lady's health sake, and that too when properly suggested by some responsible specialist/physician.

(2) Under normal health conditions, and particularly when the foetus is developed enough (that specialists consider it a live body), abortion amounts to deliberate killing and therefore, not allowed.

(3) Abortion or even prevention of conception for fear of economic hardships, is the negation of the basic article of Islamic faith that God is sole Provider and Sustainer of every living soul. That being the reason, the act will be un-Islamic.

(4) Seeking abortion for no "good" reason at all, and saying that the "mother" or "father" just does not want that baby - is inhuman and cruel thinking. No sane person would allow that.

(5) If even the conception is the result of extra-marital union or forced rape, abortion is not allowed, because the (innocent) baby to be, has the right to life, that can not be denied. The biological parents - both or either one - or else the society/state is responsible to take care of such "un-wanted" or illegal births.

Authentic specialist (medical) opinion can be obtained to ascertain if there was any serious danger to mother and child, and that there was really no other way to save the mother’s life, but through abortion. That seems only one condition, where abortion could be considered, again under the guidance of some learned scholar of Islamic Law. I am personally so scared about this issue of “abortion at demand”, that I generally flatly refuse to subscribe to the idea. The reason is that women (and at time husband as well) demand abortion for petty reasons, that only reflect inhuman anti-natalist mood. I am almost sure that in over-whelming cases the demand emanates from social taboos, the base-less economic fears, for not wanting to have a she baby and by way of fashion that has come along with the western concept of individuals’ rights and worldview. In a traditional Islamic society where alien culture is yet not dominant, the demand for abortion, or desire for a small family and the like, are still at the minimum level. Probably those areas provide genuine cases, where consideration was possible.

On the issue of euthanasia, Islamic position is that since a human being does not owns and masters his/her life, therefore, he can NOT decide and ask for death. No. The Islamic view starts from the fact that life (like the rest) is a trust from Allah, and can be terminated by Allah alone. There can be no euthanasia, whether with "dignity" or otherwise.

M. Haq


Question:

Assalam-o-Alaikum! I have conceived two months back. My conscious does not allow me to have the child. I do not like in any case to have the child. Islam does not allow abortion for the reason of providing food & care. But I feel I can't be successful in carrying out my studies and will not be able to take proper care. I want abortion for this reason. I need answer in Islamic context because I don't want to go against the will of Allah. Please suggest through e-mail not by postal mail.

Safia, India

Answer:

Dear Safia, Wa Alaikum Assalam.

You've not given any good reason, whatsoever, to seek abortion. Just to say that you do not want, makes no sense to deny "life" to an innocent baby to be - who in his/her own human capacity has all the rights that you both enjoy. One of these rights (legal one) is that you provide the "baby" full parenthood, if even it entails your re-assessment of your "love". I wish you follow what I'm saying, and that is the only responsible course.

Let me briefly explain for you once again.

(1) Abortion could be allowed for a lady's health sake, and that too when properly suggested by some responsible specialist/physician.

(2) Under normal health conditions, and particularly when the foetus is developed enough (that specialists consider it a live body), abortion amounts to deliberate killing and therefore, not allowed.

(3) Abortion or even prevention of conception for fear of economic hardships, is the negation of the basic article of Islamic faith that God is sole Provider and Sustainer of every living soul. That being the reason, the act will be un-Islamic.

(4) Seeking abortion for no "good" reason at all, and saying that the "mother" or "father" just does not want that baby - is inhuman and cruel thinking. No sane person would allow that.

(5) If even the conception is the result of extra-marital union or forced rape, abortion is not allowed, because the (innocent) baby to be, has the right to life, that can not be denied. The biological parents - both or either one - or else the society/state is responsible to take care of such "un-wanted" or illegal births.

Regards,

M. Haq


Question:

Asalam Alaikom.

My question is related to abortion, I have already read some material on your web site and I have concluded that it is "haram" and considered as murder. My question is as follows: I am living with a Norwegian women (married the muslim way not registered legally), after 6 years we have come to the conclusion that our life together demands a lot of sacrifice, which is not attainable (different religions and beliefs, they way we want to raise children and so forth).

We, therefore, have decided to separate from each other. Then the news came that she was pregnant. I informed her that I still want a Muslim life for my children and that there is no question about that. She replied that it would be difficult for her since she is not Muslim and cannot deliver that kind of quality for my children, she is thinking of an abortion. My question is, what should my position be, in light of what she says (she does not agree with my wishes of becoming a Muslim). Am I held accountable for her abortion, I told her that there are many options:

1) Give birth and give the child to me. (Of course, it would be difficult for her!)

2) Give birth and keep the child. (She answered that she knows that would bring problems between us in the future)

3) Give birth and live by my standards as my wife.

She answers NO to all the above and says that the only solution for her is to abort. (Deep inside of me I do not want to commit murder and at the same time I do not want this baby because of the problems it brings).

How should I come about this and how accountable for the abortion am I. Should I lie to her to make her not abort and if I do not am I accountable? Please send words of wisdom since I need them desperately.

Thank you

Sadik, Norway

Answer:

Dear Sadik, Wa Alaikum Assalam.

You've not given any good reason, whatsoever, to seek abortion. Just to say that you or your wife doesn't want, makes no sense to deny "life" to an innocent baby to be - who in his/her own human capacity has all the rights that you both enjoy. One of these rights (legal one) is that you both provide the "baby" full parenthood, if even it entails your re-assessment of your "love" and a decision against divorce. I wish you follow what I'm saying, and that is the only responsible course.

Wassalam,

Question:

Thank you for your response....

My problem is actually that I tried to convince her to keep the child and give birth. But she says that she does not want to do that as it would only make it more difficult for her and cause problems between us. Does that mean that I am also to blame if she decides to take an abortion?

She is only willing to keep the baby if she is sure that we will be happy living together, but then she says that she knows we will not be happy since we have different beliefs and culture.

I told her that we can try, have the baby and deal with the problems later, but she thinks she does not want it because all the complications it brings.

Sadiq

Answer:

Thank you for contacting again dear Mr. Sadik! WaAlaikum Assalam,

Having gone through your latest message (Feb; 5), I do not feel to make any change in my previous answer. I would rather add that you stop further arguments with your wife, about whether the baby would be Muslim or non-Muslim. Give your wife the open choice to suggest any mode, but with one proviso: that the baby's live birth and proper up-keep is ensured. Having given your wife the pledge and having soundly secured the life guarantee for the baby, sever all future relations with your wife, departing with respect, of course. This experience should work as an eye-opener for you, and those who marry in foreign lands, and later knowing not what to do to get out of the mess. I hope you having affected this separation, will seek the hand of a chaste, responsible and God-fearing Muslim lady for marriage, if you so wished.

M. Haq


Question:

Dear Brother,

I have a question regarding the permissibility of abortion in Islam. I am asking this question for a very personal reason as we are faced with a pregnancy that would result in a child that we will not be able to take care of and raise properly, we have 3 other children and one of them is handicapped. We would like to raise our children in a proper Islamic way. Living in the United States it is very difficult to do so as there is no help for taking care of the children, unlike Pakistan where you have numerous relatives etc, and servants can also be found following is a disccusion that I found on the net. Please comment on this and inform us of the proper course in light of Quran and Sunnah. Questions.

1. Has abortion been decreed Haram by Imam Abu Hanifa?

2. Is it Makruh or Haram?

3. What is ruling before 120 days, in light of the Haadith regarding Ruh?

Obviously it is not a desirable solution but is it permissible?

Thank you in advance.

Also I would like to suggest that you provide a service for internet users on matters of Shariah. For muslims living in west, access to Ulema with correct knowledge is very difficult. Most people project their point of view instead of Quran and Sunnah.

Anis Khwaja

ANSWER:

Dear Brother Anis Khwaja, Assalam-o-Alaikum,

This subject has been covered in great length in literature. Here we shall try to be only to the point. First to remove an ambiguity. Those who oppose "Family Planning" (which also applies abortion as one of its means), do so when societies and the governments take it up as mass programme and run it on national scale. There are sound and irrefutable arguments offered why birth control should not be made a movement and a national policy.

You however, asked the question for "personal reason", which merits somewhat different treatment. If your reason concerned health hazard and any possible danger to the "mother" or the "fetus", then the answer was simple "yes", that you could go for abortion subject to the advice of a medical specialist.

The reason you submit is that: "you will not be able to take care of and raise properly" this fourth baby that you expect: We wish you first seek guidance from the Qur'an, before looking for some Fiqhi opinion. Verse 151 of Sura al-An'am and verse 31 of Sure Bani Israel, explicitly forbid "killing" a child for fear of food (rizq), not to speak of a pre-determined standard of living. Please also see verse 6 of Sura Hood, wherein Allah the true Provider has promised to take full care of all those living on the earth. Verse 268 of Sura al-Baqara warns that the fear of economic constraint is cultivated by Satan.

We agree that "contraception" may not be regarded as "killing". Yet, if its purpose is the same (fear of living standard), then it is as much objectionable and forbidden as was the "killing of the off-spring" practiced in the Arab Jahiliyya. Hence no question arises whether abortion is done within 120 days or after that when foetus (reportedly) receives "Ruh", which means it becomes a living body and intention at its wasting will amount to killing.

Remember, "Ahadith" concerning az'l (coitus interruptus) are generally misunderstood. If at all someone insists that az'l was allowed by the Prophet (pbub), even then it means one can opt blocking the union of spermatozoa of the male with ovum (egg) of the female.

As regards the availability of servants and other relatives to take care, yes it is a blessing if one has such facilities.(However nowadays there are very few even in Muslim Societies who enjoy this kind of support). But one should not ignore the fact that though the training of the children is on one part a responsibility but on the other this results in bringing a lot of reward for the parents as Sadaqa Jaria.

Your suggestion to provide service on the internet on matters of Shariah is welcome. Please rest assured that we already consult "Ulema", or obtain answer directly from them in such matters.

Wassalam,

M. Haq


Question:

Assalam u Alaikum

I am writing on behalf of my sister in law who has actually had an abortion nearly 2 years ago. She did not have an abortion for any personal reason. She was really looking forward to having a baby when she got pregnant, as she had wanted one for ages. She went for a routine check-up scan and the doctors said that it would be better if she had an abortion because the top half of the head of the baby was missing. If she carried on with the pregnancy, it could cause complications for the baby. They said that it was up to her if she wanted the abortion but at the end the baby would dye anyway because there where no chances of it living but they where not sure when. She went ahead with the abortion even though she did not want too because otherwise she would have gone past the 3 months of her pregnancy. Later on she found out that you Can only have abortion if the mother is in danger. She never asked the doctors at the time if she was in danger. Since that day she has been very depressed and regrets what she has done.

Can you please enlighten me on this and also tell me if she was at fault or not. If she was, than please tell me what she can do now to get forgiveness from Allah and also get rid of the guilt that she is living with.

Smaira Riaz, UK

Answer:

WaAlaikum Assalam dear Sumaira Riaz, thank you for contacting JI. Let us please forget about whether she was at fault. More important is that she now knows that abortion cab be demanded when there is real need, particularly when the mother’s life is endangered. She is upset and regrets for what happened. Furthermore, it happened under expert opinion. So, she is not to blame herself much. She is obviously repentant and God knows that. Let her beseech Allah’s forgiveness. Her seriousness in her repentance depends on her resolve and what will she decide in future, if a similar situation arises again. We pray she does not face such hardship and have normal pregnancy if and when it comes. And we wish her a cure and healthy baby.

M. Haq


Question:

Is it permissible to abort the foetus after medical tests have shown that it is physically deformed?

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

There are many causes of deformity of the foetus, many of which could be avoided; one could protect oneself from them or reduce their effects. Islam and medicine both urge people to avoid the causes of disease and to protect themselves against it as much as possible. The teachings of Islam urge us to protect our health and to protect the foetus from many diseases which are caused by ignoring the teachings of Islam and falling into sin such as zinaa (unlawful sexual relationships), drinking alcohol, smoking, and taking drugs. Modern medicine also warns mothers of the imminent danger of taking some medications, or being exposed to x-rays or gamma rays, especially in the early days of pregnancy.

If it is proven in a definitive fashion, beyond any doubt, by a trustworthy medical committee, that the foetus is deformed, and that this deformity cannot be treated by the specialists, then in my view it is permissible to abort it, in view of the difficulties it would face in life and the hardship this would present to the parents, and the burdens and responsibilities of care it would place on the society. These considerations and others prompted the Islamic Fiqh Committee of the Muslim World League in its 12th conference held in Makkah on 15 Rajab 1410 AH (10/2/1990 CE), to issue the statement that “it is permissible to abort a foetus which is deformed in the manner mentioned above, with the consent of the parents and within the first 120 days from the beginning of the pregnancy.”

The decision of the committee was in accordance with the fatwa of the Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, no. 2484, issued on 16/7/1399 AH.

But if the soul has been breathed into the foetus and it has completed 120 days, then it is not permissible to abort it, no matter what the deformity, unless continuation of the pregnancy would put the mother’s life in danger. This is because after the soul has been breathed into the foetus, it is considered to be a person who must be protected, regardless of whether it is free of disease or not, and regardless of whether there is hope of recovery or not. That is because Allaah has a reason for everything that He creates, which many people do not know, and He knows best what is right for His creation, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves), All Aware (of everything). - [al-Mulk 67:14]

In the birth of these deformed children there is a lesson for those who are of sound health, and it teaches us of the power of Allaah Who shows His creation the manifestations of His might and the wonders that He has created. Killing and aborting them is a purely materialistic view which pays no attention to matters of religion and morals. Perhaps the existence of these deformities will make people more humble and submissive towards their Lord, and make them bear them with patience, seeking a great reward from Him.

Physical deformity is something that Allaah has decreed for some of His slaves. Whoever bears that with patience will attain victory. This is something that happens and has always happened throughout history, but unfortunately studies indicate that the rate of physical deformity is increasing, as the result of pollution of the environment and the increase of harmful rays in the atmosphere, which was previously unknown.

It is by the mercy of Allaah that many deformed foetuses are miscarried or die before they are born.

The Muslim woman and the Muslim family must bear with patience whatever happens to them, and seek the reward for that with Allaah. And Allaah knows best.

From Ahkaam al-Janeen fi’l-Fiqh al-Islami, by ‘Umar ibn Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem Ghaanim (www.islam-qa.com)



References:

http://www.jamaat.org/qa/abort.html

http://63.175.194.25/index.php?cs=prn&ln=eng&QR=12118&dgn=4&dgn=2





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