Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Abortion of a foetus resulting from a zina relationship


Is it permissible for a woman who has committed immoral actions to abort the foetus?

Praise be to

The efforts and ijtihaad of
the fuqaha’ have focused on abortion in general terms, and the rulings
on that and the consequences that may follow. They have not gone into
details concerning cases where the pregnancy results from immorality.
This may be because they consider that to come under the same ruling
as abortion of a pregnancy resulting from a proper marriage. If abortion
of a pregnancy resulting from a proper marriage is haraam under normal
circumstances, then it is even more so in cases where the pregnancy
results from immorality, because permitting abortion of pregnancy which
results from immorality would encourage evil actions and the spread
of immorality. One of the basic principles of Islam is that it forbids
immorality and all the ways that lead to it, e.g., it forbids tabarruj
(wanton display of one’s charms) and free mixing (of men and women). 

In addition, an innocent foetus
which has committed no sin should not be sacrificed because of a sin
committed by someone else. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“No one laden with burdens
can bear another’s burden”

[al-Israa’ 17:15] 

It is known that the Messenger
of Allaah

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent the Ghaamidi woman
who was pregnant as a result of zinaa away until she gave birth, then
after the birth he sent her away until she had breastfed the child and
weaned him. She came back with the child who had a piece of bread. The

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave the child to one of
the Muslims, then he gave orders that she should be placed in a hole
up to her chest, and commanded the people to stone her. Imaam al-Nawawi
said concerning this hadeeth: “A pregnant woman should not be stoned
until she gives birth, whether her pregnancy is the result of zina or
otherwise. This is agreed upon, lest her foetus be killed. The same
applies if her hadd punishment is flogging; a pregnant woman should
not be flogged, according to consensus, until she has given birth.”
(Saheeh Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi, 11/202) 

This incident shows us the
extent to which Islam is concerned with the foetus, even if it is the
result of zina: the Prophet

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) delayed the carrying out
of the hadd punishment on the mother in order to save the life
of the foetus. 

Can it be imagined that the
Lawgiver would permit killing the foetuses by abortion in order to fulfil
the wishes of those who follow their whims and desires? 

Furthermore, those who say
that abortion is permitted within the first forty days of a legitimate
pregnancy based their ijtihaad on a concession, like not fasting in
Ramadaan for those who have valid excuses, or shortening the four-rak’ah
prayers whilst travelling, but it is stated in sharee’ah that concessions
cannot be connected to sins.  

Imaam al-Quraafi said: “With
regard to sins, they cannot be taken as reasons for concessions. Hence
one who is travelling for the purpose of sin cannot shorten his prayers
or break his fast, because the reason for doing these is travelling,
but in this case the reason for travelling is to commit sin, so the
concession does not apply, because granting a concession on the basis
of sin will encourage people to sin further.” (al-Furooq, 2/33) 

Similarly, the basic principles
of Islamic sharee’ah do not give the same concessions to a woman who
is pregnant as a result of zinaa as are given to a woman who is pregnant
as a result of proper marriage, lest that help her in her sin, and it
does not make it easy for her to get rid of the results of her evil

In addition, the foetus in the case of
zinaa has no guardian, because according to sharee’ah the title of father
can only be given to the one who has a child from a woman in a proper
marriage. This is part of the meaning of the hadeeth: “The child goes
to the owner of the bed and the adulterer gets nothing but the stones
(despair, i.e. to be stoned to death).” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and
Muslim). The guardian of the foetus in such cases is the sultan or ruler
– the one who is in charge of the Muslims’ affairs – for he is the guardian
of those who have no guardian. The way in which the ruler disposes of
people’s affairs is based on the interests of the people, and there
is no interest to be served in destroying the soul of the foetus in
order to preserve the mother’s interests, because that would involve
encouraging her and others to persist in this evil action. 

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