1978: Ruling on aborting a deformed fetus


If a fetus is found to have some defects (at about 4.5 months of pregrancy), one which includes anencephaly:no brain, and the doctors strongly suggest an abortion since the longest an anencephalic born baby survived was 21 days and since most of such pregnancies end up in miscarriages at a later and riskier stage of pregnancies, or still born baby. what is a muslim couple to do? especially since consulting two knowledgeable islamic scholars each came up with a different solution ie one suggesting abortion the other one suggesting continuing with pregnancy. The couple had to make a decision the soonest possible. what do the laws of islam say?

Praise be to Allaah.

If the fetus has reached the age of four months, then the soul has already been breathed into it, so deliberately aborting it would be regarded as killing a soul - which is a very grave major sin. The doctors' opinion that it is malformed is no excuse at all. If it is miscarried or stillborn, or it is born alive and dies shortly thereafter, the parents will be rewarded for bearing the calamity of their loss, and if it lives and has some kind of disability, they will be rewarded for their patience in taking care of it. Everything that happens to the believer is good for him, but wilfully destroying a soul is nothing but evil and sin. We must also take into consideration the errors that may occur in doctors' reports, and that fact that the condition of the fetus may change and improve.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Create Comments