Abortion in Islam: Does Islam Prohibit It?
“Does Islam allow abortion?” Many ask this question and wonder whether Islam allows it or not. In this article on Islam4u, we will look into this controversial topic in detail.
Is Abortion Permissible or Prohibited?
Islam is against the killing of innocent people. A baby inside his mother’s womb is a living being that deserves to live. We are not allowed to kill him without a justifiable excuse. Therefore, abortion is prohibited in Islam. Let us say a husband and wife do not want to have babies. They use different methods for birth control. However, something goes wrong at one point, and the woman becomes pregnant. Because they do not want kids, they opt for abortion. Is this a good excuse for aborting an innocent child? Of course, it is not.
Another scenario would be when a couple who has not been married decides to abort their child. Are they allowed to do this? After all, their child would not be legitimate, would it? No matter. Islam does not allow abortion, even if the child is conceived outside marriage. There is no difference between abortion and murder. As a result, such cases are not good reasons for abortion.
What If the Mother’s Life Is in Danger?
The only place Islam allows abortion is when the mother’s life is in danger or when keeping the fetus causes extreme hardship for her. In other words, the mother would die or experience extreme hardship if the baby is not aborted. However, in this case, the mother can have an abortion only if the spirit has not been breathed into the fetus (i.e., ensoulment has not occurred). According to jurists, such as Ayatollah Sistani, if the soul has been breathed into the fetus, she must not have an abortion. The soul is breathed into the body when the fetus is about four months old. On the other hand, some other maraji’ say whenever both the mother and baby’s life is in danger, and there is no way to save the life of the baby, having an abortion to save the mother’s life is permitted, even after the spirit has been breathed into the fetus.
With that being said, abortion is not permitted in any other situation, even before the spirit is breathed into the fetus. Therefore, once a woman conceives, and the egg and sperm cells unite, no action that terminates the zygote is allowed, such as taking pills or having injections.
What If the Baby Is Disabled?
If the baby is mentally or physically disabled, deformed, etc., abortion is not permitted in Islam unless, according to some maraji’, keeping and raising such a child causes severe difficulties, and of course, in this case, abortion can be done before the soul enters the fetus’ body.
What Happens If Someone Has an Abortion?
If someone has an abortion without a justifiable excuse, and what they have done is religiously prohibited (i.e., haram), the person who has carried out the abortion must pay the blood money of the baby. Suppose a woman herself causes her baby to be miscarried by taking a pill or drinking or eating something that induces abortion. In that case, she must pay the blood money to her husband. On the other hand, suppose another person carries out the abortion through surgery or other means. In that case, that person who performed the abortion must pay the blood money to the baby’s parents. The amount of the blood money depends on which stage of pregnancy the fetus has been aborted. Refer to your marja’ al-taqlid for more information.
Why Is Abortion Prohibited in Islam?
As mentioned, abortion is taking the life of an innocent person. It is not the baby’s problem that he came to life. You intentionally or unintentionally made it happen. Now that the baby is developing, you have no right to put an end to his life. By doing abortion, you are taking the life of an innocent person. Islam stands up for the rights of children and does not allow oppression.
Islam is strongly against abortion. It does not allow abortion under any circumstance unless the mother’s life is in danger or keeping the fetus in her womb causes extreme hardship. Even then, she is only allowed to have an abortion if the spirit is not breathed into the fetus, which means before the fetus is four months old. The only place Islam allows abortion after the soul has entered the fetus is when the lives of both the mother and baby are in danger and when there is no hope for saving the baby. That is when abortion is allowed to at least save the mother’s life.