People have debated abortion for centuries, making it a complex and sensitive issue. It involves the termination of a pregnancy before the fetus can survive outside the womb. As such, it raises questions about the beginning of life, the fetus’s rights, and the mother’s responsibilities. These questions are particularly relevant for those who follow the Islamic faith, as it guides ethical and moral issues. In this article, we will explore what Islam says about abortion, its position, and the various opinions and interpretations within the Islamic community.
The Islamic Position on Abortion
Islam considers human life sacred and believes it is a gift from Allah. According to Islamic teachings, human life begins at conception when the sperm fertilizes the egg. In other words, Islam forbids intentionally ending a pregnancy after birth unless there is a legitimate medical reason. The Islamic position on abortion is based on preserving life and protecting the unborn child’s rights.
Islamic scholars and jurists have debated the issue of abortion for centuries and have offered different opinions on when and under what circumstances it is permissible. Some scholars believe that abortion is never acceptable under any circumstances. In contrast, others believe it is permitted in certain situations, such as when the mother’s life is in danger or when the fetus has a severe abnormality incompatible with life.
The Five Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence
To understand the different opinions on abortion within the Islamic community, it is essential to be familiar with the five schools of Islamic jurisprudence. These schools are:
Each school has its methodology and approach to interpreting Islamic law, and they differ on various issues, including abortion.
Hanafi School of Thought
The Hanafi school of thought is the most lenient regarding abortion. Hanafi scholars permit abortion before the soul is breathed into the fetus at 120 days of gestation. After this point, the scholars of the Hanafi school do not allow abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
Maliki School of Thought
The Maliki school of thought is more restrictive when it comes to abortion. The Maliki scholars prohibit abortion after 40 days of gestation, except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
Shafi’i School of Thought
The Shafi’i school of thought is in between the Hanafi and Maliki schools when it comes to abortion. According to the Shafi’i scholars, abortion is not allowed after 120 days of gestation, except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
Hanbali School of Thought
The Hanbali school of thought is the most strict regarding abortion. According to the Hanbali scholars, abortion is prohibited under any circumstances except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
Jaafari School of Thought
The Jaafari school of thought, also known as the Shia school of thought, allows abortion before 120 days of gestation if the mother’s life is in danger or if the fetus has a severe abnormality incompatible with life.
The Islamic Perspective on Life and Death
To understand the Islamic stance on abortion in the context of unwanted pregnancy, it is essential to consider its perspective on life and death. In Islam, life is regarded as a valuable gift from Allah that should always be respected and safeguarded. Similarly, death is viewed as a natural aspect of human existence that should be accepted as an inevitable part of life. Therefore, Islam does not support or justify any action that deliberately causes harm or terminates an unwanted pregnancy.