Islamic Teachings on Abortion

Topics: Sharia, Islam, Pregnancy Pages: 4 (1345 words) Published: July 1, 2007
Islamic teachings on abortion
Muslims regard abortion as wrong and haram (forbidden), but many accept that it may be permitted in certain cases. All schools of Muslim law accept that abortion is permitted if continuing the pregnancy would put the mother's life in real danger. This is the only reason accepted for abortion after 120 days of the pregnancy. Different schools of Muslim law hold different views on whether any other reasons for abortion are permitted, and at what stage of pregnancy if so. Some schools of Muslim law permit abortion in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, while others only permit it in the first 7 weeks. However, even those scholars who would permit early abortion in certain cases still regard abortion as wrong, but do not regard it as a punishable wrong. The more advanced the pregnancy, the greater the wrong. The Qur'an does not explicitly refer to abortion but offers guidance on related matters. Scholars accept that this guidance can properly be applied to abortion. Sanctity of life

The Islamic view is based on the very high priority the faith gives to the sanctity of life. The Qur'an states: Whosoever has spared the life of a soul, it is as though he has spared the life of all people. Whosoever has killed a soul, it is as though he has murdered all of mankind.Qur'an 5:32 Most Muslim scholars would say that a foetus in the womb is recognised and protected by Islam as a human life. Protection of the mother's life

Islam allows abortion to save the life of the mother because it sees this as the 'lesser of two evils' and there is a general principle in Sharia (Muslim law) of choosing the lesser of two evils. Abortion is regarded as a lesser evil in this case because:

•the mother is the 'originator' of the foetus
•the mother's life is well-established
•the mother has with duties and responsibilities
•the mother is part of a family
•allowing the mother to die would also kill the foetus in most cases Providing for the child

Bibliography: Adapted from a speech by Ali-Ahmad Wadisemak
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