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f:813 -    Until when can abortion be done
Country : Saudi Arabia,
Name : Qutbuddin
Question:     Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakutuhu.  A certain person has to have an abortion because of medical reasons.  Until what period of pregnancy can that person do so?  When is the soul blown into the fetus?  Please give the references of the Holy Quran and the Hadith.
Answer:     Walaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakutuhu,

Abortion after the soul is blown into the fetus is impermissible.  Allah Ta’ala has prohibited this:

And do not kill your children due to fear of poverty. We alone provide for them and for you (as well). Indeed killing them is a major sin.  Surah Isra (17:31)

There is a Hadith in Sahih Bukhari about when the soul is blown into the fetus:

It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud, the truthful Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has said: Verily anyone from you stays in the mother’s womb for 40 days in the form of Nutfah (Literally meaning "a drop of fluid"), then for 40 days in the form of clotted blood, then for 40 days in the form a piece of flesh, then Almighty Allah sends an angel with 4 words.  That angel writes that person’s deeds, the age, the sustenance (Rizq) and writes whether that person will be guided or misguided.  Then the angel blows the soul.  (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No: 3036)

We learn from this Hadith that the soul is blown after 120 days.  There is a chance of abortion In the stages before the soul  is blown for some reasons.  For e.g. the mother is very weak and cannot bear the pregnancy or if there is a danger to the life of the lady or the baby or because of paucity of milk, there is a danger to the present child and the husband is not financially strong and cannot make any other alternative arrangements for the child’s feeding.  In these cases, before 120 days, the pregnancy may be aborted if and only if an expert doctor says so.

As given in Fatawa A’alamgiri, Vol. 5, Pg No. 356 and in Raddul Muhtaar, Vol. 5, Pg No. 305.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Mufti Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri

[Professor, Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder-Director Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]
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