Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
Now from the title, I’m sure you’ll be shocked. And being that this is a ‘religiously/ spiritually’ focussed blog, I bet your expecting a long rant about how abortion is wrong and every woman that partakes in the act will burn in hell. Well, if that’s what you’re looking for you won’t find it here. So hy did I choose to write this post?
On my drive to work, I have to pass by the local Marie Stopes. I had no idea what went on in the building for years until I came across a case in my old job highlighting a young woman who had to travel from Northern Ireland to the UK to receive an abortion as it is was not legal to do so in her own country. Increasingly over the past few days, I’ve seen more and more anti- abortion campaigns outside of my local Marie Stopes. Namely, the 40 days for life campaign.
In my head I assumed that by using the time frame of 40 days, I had found another similarity between Islam and Christianity but alas, the 40 days was related to the act of Lent and not the 40 days following conception in Islam.
In Surah Al- Mu’minun ayahs 13-14, Allah swt describes how he creates and forms the baby in the womb. Within the first 40 days, unless there is a legitimate purpose or warding off harm abortion is not permissible. But if you are considering abortion because you fear difficulty raising the child or taking care of it, this is completely impermissible.
In the Qur’an it states:
Kill not your children because of poverty — We provide sustenance for you and for them. Surah Al-An’aam 6:151
And then again in a later Surah.
And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin. Surah Al-Isra’ 17:31
Allah swt is Ar-Razzaq (The Sustainer) and we should put our trust in Him that He will provide for our unborn children in any circumstances.
There is a difference of opinion in Islam about when abortion is permissible, most of which can be found here Islam Q & A. As a Muslim (who was a former Christian), I was never a fan of abortion. In some circumstances such as rape, incest or severe disability, I can see why women would make that decision for themselves and only Allah swt knows people’s true intentions. After feeling my own baby kick alhamdulillah, I can imagine making that choice to terminate a pregnancy must be extremely difficult however, Allah swt never said life would be easy.
لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا – Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear… Surah Baqarah 2:86
But what about preventing pregnancy in the first instance?
I personally follow the opinion that it is permissible for married couples to use birth control. Especially ‘azl, which in laymans terms is ‘the withdrawal method/ coitus interuptus‘, as long as it is with the permission of both spouses and as a temporary form of birth control.
It was narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said: We used to practise ‘azl at the time of the Messenger of Allaah (saw) when the Qur’aan was being revealed. Bukhaari, 4911; Muslim, 1440
Unlike other religions/ spiritualities Islam is beautiful enough to be clear cut where it needs to be and flexible in all the right places alhamdulillah. Whether it’s today, yesterday or tomorrow, abortion will always be hotly debated by pro life and pro choice campaigners but I’m Muslim and the only thing I’m ‘pro’ is the Qur’an and Sunnah and that makes my life so much easier alhamdulillah.
قُلْ لَنْ يُصِيبَنَا إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَنَا – Say: ‘Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allâh has ordained for us… Surah at- Tawbah 9:51