We pretty much finished discussing the fourth hadith of An-Nawawi which concerned creation in the mother’s womb. However, since this hadith discusses the breathing in of the soul, we’ll touch (slightly) on the fiqh aspect of the abortion issue before wrapping up.
The majority of the scholars say the soul is breathed into the fetus at 120 days. (It is clear from the hadith that the soul is NOT blown in at conception.) This greatly influences the jurists decisions on abortion.
However, there seems to complete agreement that abortion after 120 days is absolutely forbidden unless there is a dire necessity.
There were many different opinions mentioned concerning it, but let’s look at some of the reasons as to why a woman may want to abort her fetus:
1. It is carried out for fear of the woman’s health or a traumatic case like rape. Such an abortion would be permitted within the shari’ah.
2. The abortion may be carried out as a precautionary method of birth control, in fear of expenses or financial burden. This is clearly forbidden. Allah says:
And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin. (Al Israa` , 31)
3. Abortions carried out because the motehr wants to delay giving birth, or for reasons such as preserving her youth or physical appearance. This is not permissible either, of course.
It can be argued that the congealed blood in the womb before the completion of 120 days of pregnancy is merely matter with no soul in it, so therefore it should be allowed to abort it. However, that “physical matter” is the beginning of initial creation, and in reality it is a believing soul, in consideration of what it will be in the future. The period of 120 days is only a measure for completion of creation and breathing of the soul. Many scholars do not think there is a big difference between the 110 embryo and a 120 day embryo.
Pregnancy is a gift from Allah subhaana wa ta ‘aala to His creatures. Anyone who transgresses against that creation would be like one who rejects that gift from Allah. Anyone who aborts deliberatly – even before the 120 day period – is a sinner.
So in short, abortion is never allowed (regardless of whether or not the soul was blown in) UNLESS there is a valid reason such as preserving the mother’s health or in cases of rape. And in these particular cases, such as in rape (where psychological trauma would occur), it would be preferred that the abortion be carried out within the first 120 days.
Funeral Prayer for the Aborted Fetus?
According to the majority of scholars, if a fetus is aborted or if their is a miscarriage after the rooh is breathed into it, the funeral prayer is to be performed for it.
Since the majority of the scholars say that the rooh is breathed in after 120 days, any portion that comes out of the woman after that period is to be buried properly and there is to be a funeral prayer for it.
Given that it is diffuclut to determine when the rooh is breathed into the fetus, the strongest opinion, Allah knows best, seems to be that any aborted fetus or miscarriage may have the funeral prayer performed for it. That is, if any solid mass – as opposed to simply some blood – comes from the mother, the funeral prayer may be performed. This opinion is firmly based on the hadith of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:
“The aborted fetus [or miscarriage] is to have the prayer performed for it and one is to pray for the forgiveness and mercy for its parents.”
In this hadith, the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said al-siqt, with the alif laam in front of it, implying generality. That is, it applies to every aborted fetus.
Allah knows best.
“So Blessed is Allah, the Best of Creators…”
The hadith on creation in the mother’s womb and the scholars commentary on it are just full of so many gems. SubhaanAllah.
The process of the creation of humans and birth should lead a thinking person to believe in resurretion and the Hereafter. The One Who is able to create humans from a tiny portion of a small amount of fluid certainly is able to recreate such a human after his death. Indeed, the recreation should be considered much easier than the first creation!
Al Qaari says that this hadith shows that we humans should do things gradually, step-by-step, each at its appropriate time and without haste. Do you not think that Allah could not make this all at once? Of course he could have, subhaana wa ta’aala! But He did not. We should follow the sunnah of Allah and do things in the proper manners and stages, and without haste as well.
I want to conclude with something as a reminder to myself first, and then others. We should never be quick to judge others. Perhaps their iman seems (outwardly) low to us, or even if they are not Muslim, who are we to judge? Allah may guide them to Islam the next day and take us away in the next moment (may Allah protect us from that). He may make the person I think little of better than me, and He may love them more than He loves me. Always remember that Allah is the turner of hearts, and we can never count on our past deeds taking us to Jannah.
May Allah always keep us firm upon iman.
Next hadith, inshaAllah, will be: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours….”