Hadeeth Four explanation continued - part 2

This hadeeth explains to us the initial stages if creation. How the soul is placed into the foetus, it outlines the beginning stages of life as well as the final stages. After conception the first forty days of a human is initially a drop of sperm - (according to the Hanafi'a this is impure and according to the shafiees it is pure).

It is said that parts of the Qur'an explain each other, so before being a drop of sperm from other ayahs in the Qur'an we know that the sperm came from the earth.

Stages of a human before being given life are:

1. a drop of sperm (nutfah) ----->>> 2. a clot of blood ('alaqah) --------->>> 3.lump of flesh (mudhgah)

Through these three stages Allah ta'ala made creation. In the Qur'an the duration of each stage has not been mentionned, however we have evidences from the Ahadeeth that mention that each stage is around forty days each, and thereafter Allah sends an angel to blow life (rooh) into the fetus to become a human being. For this reason 'Ulema do not allow abortion after the passing of 120 days, it is totally haram and forbidden in Islam and it is considered to be murder in Islam.

There are certain cases in Islam when abortion is allowed in Islam. A detailed explanation has been pasted below from the Darul Iftaa website(http://www.daruliftaa.com/question.asp?txt_QuestionID=q-19031520):

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Abortion and the termination of pregnancy is the expulsion of a foetus from the womb of a woman. This may be carried out either by consuming of certain drugs or by emptying the womb through the process of suction.

Life is sacred:

Islam regards human life to be sacred. Allah Most High says:

“And verily we have honoured the children of Adam.” (Surah al-Isra, V.70)

It does not matter where the life exists. Whether the life is extra-uterine or intra-uterine, its location has no significance on its sanctity. This sanctity applies not only to human life, but to the human body as well. Hence, according to Shariah, the physical body of a human after death is just as sacred as it was before death. The degree of sanctity of life is greater than that of the body. This is one of the reasons
why it is unlawful (haram) to consume the meat of a human, dead or alive.

The Shariah ruling on abortion:

Abortion can be divided into two stages:

a) Abortion after the soul (ruh) enters the foetus,

b) Abortion prior to the entry of the soul into the foetus

Before mentioning the ruling on abortion with regards to these two stages, it must be remembered here, that according to Shariah, the soul (ruh) enters the foetus at 120 days (4 months) from conception.

The Jurists (fuqaha) have based this duration upon a Qur’anic verse and a statement of the beloved of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). In the verse, Allah Almighty states the stages of development of the embryo in the womb of the mother. Allah Almighty says:

“And verily we did create man from a quintessence (of clay). Then we placed him (as a drop of sperm) in a place of rest, firmly fixed. Then we made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood. Then of that clot we made a (foetus) lump. Then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh. Then we developed out of it another creature (by breathing life into it). So blessed be Allah, the most marvellous creator.” (Surah al-Mu’minun, 12/13/14)

In the Hadith recorded by the two most authentic authorities, Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim in their respective Sahih collections, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) discussed in detail the periods elapsing between these stages, mentioned by the Qur’an.

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:

“The seed of one of you remains in the womb of the mother for forty days in the form of a Nutfa (sperm). Then it remains like a clot for another forty days, and then for a same number of days like a lump of flesh (when the formation of the limbs and the growth of the bones begin).” (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)

The great Hanafi Faqih, Imam Ibn Abidin States in his Radd al-Muhtar:

“The soul enters the foetus at one hundred & twenty days (4 months), as established by the Hadith.” (Radd al Muhtar, 1/202)

The ruling on abortion in stage (a) i.e. after the entry of the soul into the foetus which is (as explained) 120 days, is that, it is totally unlawful and tantamount to murder, as it results in the taking out of an innocent life. All the scholars have unanimously condemned such a ghastly act.

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah states in his Fatawa collection:

“Aborting a foetus has been declared unlawful (haram) with the consensus of all the Muslim scholars. It is similar to burying an infant alive as referred to by Allah Almighty in the verse of the Qur’an: “And when the female infant, buried alive, will be asked as to what crime she was killed for”. (Surah al-Takwir, 8)” (Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya, 4/217)

Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have Mercy on him) also states the prohibition of this gruesome act in his treatise ‘Radd al-Muhtar’:

“If a woman intends to abort her pregnancy, then the Fuqaha have said: If the period of the soul being blown into the foetus has elapsed, it will be impermissible.” (Radd al-Muhtar, 5/276)

However, some Fuqaha and contemporary scholars have given a dispensation to abort the pregnancy after 120 days, in the situation where the life of the mother is in certain and absolute danger. This is based on the Juristic principle stated in the books of Usul al-Fiqh and Qawa’id (juristic principles):

“If one is overtaken by two evils, one should choose the lesser of the two.” (al-Ashbah wa al-Naza’ir, P.98) They state that the mother’s life should be saved and the foetus aborted, as the mother is established in life, with duties and responsibilities, whereas the unborn child is still in the mother’s womb. But it should be remembered, that the mother’s life must be in certain danger, and that this should be advised by a qualified and experienced Muslim doctor.

With regards to stage (b) i.e. prior to the entry of the soul into the foetus (120 days), the ruling on aborting the pregnancy is that, even in this case it will be unlawful (haram) to abort it.

The reason why abortion prior to the soul entering the body will not be permitted is that, although there may not be life in the foetus, but the foetus is considered to be part and parcel of the mother’s body as long as it remains in the womb. Thus, just as one’s very own life and also all the limbs and organs of the human body are trust given by the Almighty Creator, so too is the foetus also a trust given to the mother by Allah, and she will not have a right to abort it.

The only difference here is that the sin of aborting the foetus will be of a lesser degree than aborting it after 120 days. It would not be regarded as murder, rather violating the rights of a human organ entrusted to the mother by Allah Almighty.

It stated in Radd al-Muhtar:

“It is not permissible to abort the pregnancy before and after the entry of the soul into the foetus.” (Radd al-Muhtar, 5/279)

However, in certain extreme circumstances, it would be permitted to abort the pregnancy before the entry of the soul (120 days), such as: when the woman conceives after being raped, the mother’s life or health is in danger, or repeated pregnancies severely damages her health, etc…

Imam al-Haskafi writes in Durr al-Mukhtar:

“Aborting the pregnancy will be permissible due to a valid reason, provided the soul has not yet entered the foetus.”

It should be remarked here that pregnancy due to unlawful and illegal sex is no reason and excuse for abortion. The embryonic life farm in the mother’s womb is honoured and sacred even though it is a result of adultery. (Hidaya, 2/292)

In conclusion, abortion after 120 days is totally unlawful and tantamount to murder. Some Fuqaha, however, have given a dispensation only in the situation where the mother’s life is in certain danger. As far as abortion before the 120 days have elapsed is concerned, it will still be unlawful, though the sin will be of a lesser degree, and it will become permissible if there is a genuine and valid reason.

And Allah Knows Best

Muhammad ibn Adam Darul Iftaa Leicester , UK

An angel is commanded to write four things about each being given life in this world:

  1. Provision - rizq of a person

  2. Life span -ajl, how long a person shall live

  3. Actions -'amal, the actions a person shall carry out

  4. Whether a person is shaqee (unfortunate) or sa'eed (fortunate)

After going through the different stages of creation the hadeeth go on to talk about actions of a human. That verily he could be doing good all his life but one bad act may make his become from the dwellers of the hell-fire. Or a person could be really bad and just do one act that will allow him to enter paradise when destiny will over come these two types of people.

Our final actions before our death normally show what our final state will be when Allah sends the angel of death to remove our souls from us. It is said that your end is inheritance of how you spent your life. We should be very fearful of our final states as this will determine whether we will eneter Jannah or the hell-fire. The Pious Predecessors use to be extremely fearful of their final states, hence we should always pray:

'Allahummah innee as-saluka husnul khaatimah'

Some people have the misconception that due to the mention of Allah fixing our fate we do not have to act in the world in accordnace to shari'ah as whatever is written in our destiny is what will ultimately take place. We need to understand that as well as there being qadr, at the same time we have been given the abilty (istitaa'a) to do good deeds in the world. We can look at this from two perspectives and angles:

  1. That Allah ta'ala has destined our fate for us, this is something we should not deal with and beleive it in and leave it be.
  2. That as humans we should beleive in qadr but at the same time we should live "as though" there is no fate and work hard and strive to get jannah in this world.

A great example to understand the above is a planned robbery. A group of people paln to rob, the information of the whole plan leaks to the police. So on one side the group plan to rob and on the other the police through much investigation and research plan to catch them in the act. The police go to the place they plan to rob before this group even arrive, they take up their positions in order to catch them red-handed in the act.

The robbers go to rob, but before they can even rob they are arrested. The robbers can say that how can you arrest us when you knew we were going to carry out this crime? This is an excellent example to make us realise that Allah knows our actions and still we will either be a inhabitant of the hell-fire to paradise.

I pray that Allah makes us all from the inhabitants of Paradise, true beleivers of fate from Allah ta'ala and ones who act in accordance to the will of Allah with a death in the state of imaan. Ameen.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 30, 2008 at Monday, June 30, 2008 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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