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Is Early Abortion Allowed in Islam?

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Publication : 22-03-2004

Views : 32605

Question

I have five children, praise be to Allah. Allah decreed that I should conceive a sixth child, but I took some pills to abort it, approximately one and a half months after conception, and it was aborted. Now I greatly regret what I did. What should I do? Do I have to offer any expiation?.

Summary of answer

If the pregnancy is still forty days or less, and if aborting it will serve a Shar`i interest or ward off some harm that may affect the mother, it is permissible to abort it. No expiation is required because expiation is only required for abortion of a foetus into whom the soul has been breathed.

Praise be to Allah.

Is early abortion allowed in Islam?

“The basic principle is that it is not permissible to abort a woman’s pregnancy at any stage except for a legitimate Shar`i reason. If the pregnancy is still a Nutfah (drop), i.e., forty days or less, and if aborting it will serve a Shar`i interest or ward off some harm that may affect the mother, it is permissible to abort it in this case . That does not include fears of hardship incurred by raising children or not being able to pay their expenses or to educate them , or being content with a certain number of children, or other excuses that are not acceptable according to Shari`ah. 

But if the pregnancy has lasted for more than forty days, it is prohibited to abort it , because after forty days it becomes an `Alaqah (clot) which is the beginning of a person. 

It is not permissible to abort it after it reaches this stage , unless a trustworthy council of doctors agrees that continuing the pregnancy poses a threat to the life of the mother, and there is the fear that she may die if the pregnancy continues. 

Therefore, your aborting the pregnancy after one and a half months on the basis of your own justification means that you committed a forbidden action, so you have to repent sincerely from that and not do such a thing again in the future.” (Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da’imah, 21/450) 

Any expiation for early abortion?

With regard to expiation, no expiation is required of you, because expiation is only required for abortion of a foetus into whom the soul has been breathed , which is after one hundred and twenty days have passed since conception. 

 It says in Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da’imah (21/434): 

“If the soul had been breathed into the foetus that was aborted, i.e., four or more months had passed, then expiation must be offered, which is to free a believing slave; if that is not possible then you have to fast for two consecutive months. If the soul had not yet been breathed into the foetus then it was a sin to abort the foetus, but no expiation is required. Rather what is required is repentance and praying for forgiveness.”

For more details, please see the following answers: 315513 , 40269 , 147435 , 12118 , 103423

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A