Islamic Point of View on Abortion
The Islamic point of view on abortion is that abortion is haram or forbidden and wrong but many Muslims accept that it might be allowed in some cases. All Muslim law schools accept that this practice is allowed if the pregnancy puts the life of the mother in danger. It is only under this condition that abortion is allowed before 120 days of the pregnancy. However, there are different views held by different Muslim law schools on the reasons for permitting abortion and when it should be allowed.
There are Muslim law schools that allow abortion during the first sixteen weeks of a pregnancy. Others allow it in the first seven weeks. Nevertheless, most scholars including those who would allow abortion in specific cases consider it as a wrong practice but they do not consider it punishable. Abortion becomes a greater wrong when pregnancy is left to advance. Abortion is not referred to explicitly in the Qur’an but guidance is provided to Muslims on related issues.
Why and how the Islamic point of view on abortion is supported many Muslims
Muslims support their view on abortion because human life is valued in Islam. The Qur’an 6:151 states that human life has been made sacred by Allah. To support their view on abortion, Muslims cite various sections of the Qur’an which support this view. For instance, Muslims cite the section of the Qur’an which says that killing another person is a serious matter. This can be seen in Qur’an 5:32. The Qur’an further teaches that parents who murdered their children shall be put under a trial on the Judgment Day for that particular crime. The children that they killed will be the witnesses against such parents. This is stated in Qur’an 81:8-9.
The view that Muslims have on abortion is supported further by the argument that although most people fear having many children because this can make them poor, the Qur’an says that people should not slay their children for fearing poverty because their children and them shall be provided for. This can be seen in Qur’an 17:31. Even in the cases where parents are already in poverty, Qur’an says that Allah shall provide for their sustenance and that of their children.
When abortion is accepted in Islam
Remember that although some Muslim law schools say that abortion may be allowed in some cases, they do not support it. Abortion can be allowed before the soul is blown to a fetus. After this period, which is usually 120 days, abortion is not permitted. There are also contemporary scholars and some Fuqaha who have allowed abortion dispensation after this period if the mother’s life is in absolute and certain danger. The basis of this is the Juristic principle that is stated in Usul al-Fiqh books. In al-Ashbah wa al-Naza’ir, P.98, the books say that when two evils overtakes a person, it is advisable to choose a lesser evil between the two. These books sate that the life of the mother should be saved while the fetus should be aborted because the mother has an established life with responsibilities and duties while the fetus is still in the womb of the mother.
What is the general Islamic point of view on abortion?
Generally, majority of the Muslim scholars say that in the mother’s womb, a fetus is protected and recognized by Islam as a life of a human. However, Islam still allows abortion when the life of the mother is in absolute and certain danger because this is seen as the lesser evil of the two. In Sharia or Muslim law, there is a general principle that allows one to choose a lesser evil when overtaken by two evils.
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