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Although there are different opinions among Muslim scholars on the topic of Islam and abortion, most agree that the termination of a pregnancy after four months - the point at which, in Islam, a fetus is thought to become a living soul - is not permissible. Many Islamic thinkers contend that in cases prior to four months of gestation, abortion should be permissible only in instances in which a mother's life is in danger or in cases of rape.

Circumstances around the pregnancy

For many Muslims, abortion is considered Haram or forbidden in most cases but is acceptable depending on the circumstances around the pregnancy. In the case where the mother's life is threatened by the pregnancy, Muslim jurists agree that abortion is allowed based on the principle that "the greater evil [the woman's death] should be warded off by the lesser evil [abortion]." In these cases the physician is considered a better judge than the scholar.[1]

Deformities and illnesses

Some Muslim scholars also argue in favor of abortion in early pregnancy if the newborn might be sick in some way that would make its care exceptionally difficult for the parents (eg. deformities, mental retardation, etc). Some scholars argue that abortion is allowed for important reasons in the first 40 days. Sheikh Nasr Farid Wasil extends this period to 120 days.[2] Ikrima Sabri, the Grand Mufti of Palestine, gave a ruling that Muslim women raped by Serb men during the Kosovo War could take abortifacient medicine.[3][4] Other Muslims absolutely oppose this seeing it no more of a right than to take the life of someone already born but physically ill[5].

References

  1. ^ BBC.co.uk
  2. ^ Chaim (2003), pg. 86
  3. ^ Ikrima Sabri. Fatwa shar'iyya hawla jarimat al-ightisab fi Kusuvu (Jerusalem: Publications of Majlis al-Fatwa al-Ala, 25 April 1999).
  4. ^ Quoted by: Chaim (2003), pg. 88
  5. ^ citation needed







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