asalkium dearest staff

I have a question in regards to abortion. A while ago when I was about 20 years old I found out I was pregnant and didn’t want the baby, so I had an abortion when it was in the stomach at three weeks. About a couple of months after that I felt a huge amount of guilt and asked ALLAH for forgiveness every time I would pray I would ask ALLAH for forgiveness and have so much regret why I did it. Alhumdi ALLAH. I am blessed with a beautiful baby girl now at age 2_ and am so thankful to ALLAH, and will insh ALLAH keep asking ALLAH for forgiveness, but I cant stop thinking about it. Is it haram to have abortion I really hope ALLAH forgives me.

walkooium salam


Salam alaykum, and thank you so much for your honest question. At one level, life is the most precious thing that God can give us, and it is not something to be taken lightly. But Islam is a religion of compassion. So let us take these things one by one.

All legal schools agree that abortion is not a sin if the pregnancy is putting the mother’s life in danger. Outside of medical necessity, the question becomes more complicated. Scholars agree that life begins when the embryo or fetus inside the mother’s womb receives a soul, but there is less agreement on exactly when the soul enters the fetus.  Some scholars say that life begins at conception; others say that life begins 40 or 42 days after conception; some say 80 days; and some say 120 days.  All of these legal opinions are based in good-faith interpretations of the Qur’an and hadith. Therefore, in the opinion of some scholars, abortions are allowed up to 120 days after conception.  However, it is important to note that even those scholars who permit abortion within a certain time-frame still say that unless the abortion is required to alleviate a health risk for the mother, it is not favoured (makruh) and is something to be avoided, if possible. The great majority of scholars view abortion as a sin, regardless of when it takes place.

Some scholars have also argued that other types of extreme hardship can also justify abortions (within the first 120 days), for example pregnancy in the case of rape, or the pregnancy of minors. The fear of economic difficulty, however, is not a legitimate reason to get an abortion. The Qur’an tells us, {You shall not kill your children because you cannot support them} (6:151). If a couple believes that they are unable to economically support a child, they can practice strict birth control (which is allowed) so that there is minimal chance of getting pregnant. If they do become pregnant, they can spend the months of pregnancy preparing themselves, financially and emotionally and spiritually, to become responsible and loving parents, and after they have done their best, trust that God will provide for the child.  A personal lack of emotional readiness is also not a reason to have an abortion. The Qur’an says: {And it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and God knows, while you do not know} (2:216)

I know that the situation you were in was not easy – it can be so frightening to suddenly realize that you have a human life to support. You may feel overwhelmed, unsure, upset, almost desperate – many new mothers and even fathers get these feelings. It is under the influence of these feelings that we may make decisions that we later come to regret. It is important that you have come to the realization, on your own, that you may have made a mistake in judgment. In the case of a wrong judgment, made with the best of intentions, remember that Allah is al-Ghafur al-Rahim – the all-Forgiving, the all-Merciful. Human beings make mistakes. None of us are perfect, and often, we make decisions that seem wise in that instant, and which we later realize were terribly unwise. That is why we are human, and God is God. It is in our nature to make mistakes. When we turn to God with full and sincere repentance, acknowledging that our knowledge is limited while God’s knowledge is infinite, we can live a life that is more true to ourselves.

Once you have sincerely asked God for forgiveness, just once, there is no need to dwell in the past. Instead, look to the future. What have you learned from this mistake? For example, how did you get into that situation, and how could you prevent it in the future? If you weren’t ready emotionally and spiritually ready to have a child, did you practice, or be more careful with birth control? Remember that dwelling on the past is a futile action, unless you use it to draw lessons to avoid the same mistake in the future, and to live a more well-thought out and God-conscious life in the future.  Do not live a reactive life, but rather, live a pro-active life. You can be proud of your actions, inshallah, when you know that you have acted deliberately. And God knows best.

Dr. Homayra

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