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Fetus born alive during attempted abortion

Fatwaa ID: 1690

Assalamualaikum wrwb.
What is the ruling regarding fetuses who are unintentionally born alive during a failed attempted abortion? To be clear, the woman having the abortion has a valid reason (islamically) to get the abortion.

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

Islam has sanctified and honored every soul as well as potential soul. Accordingly, abortion has been ruled to be haraam. However, if there is a legitimate Shar’ee reason, i.e. proven or genuinely speculated abnormalities in the fetus, conception through rape or incest or definite permanent health risks for the mother- physical or mental health, then a dispensation may be afforded in the case of a fetus in which the rooh has not yet been breathed, i.e. within 120 days of conception. Beyond 120 days, it will not be permissible under any circumstances.

We do not know the details of your situation. However, the fact that the fetus was born alive in the enquired situation indicates that it was after the 120 day period and thus the abortion was not Islamically sanctioned. The attempted abortion was perhaps akin to an attempted murder.

In the enquired situation, you must keep the fetus and seek appropriate medical care. Make sincere istighfaar. Allaah Ta’aala gave you another chance. Place your tawakkul on him. Be patient and make du’aa for courage and strength. Reflect upon the following Qur’aanic verse:

فعسى أن تكرهوا شيئا ويجعل الله فيه خيرا كثيرا
“Perhaps you may dislike something but Allaah has placed plentiful good in it.” [An-Nisaa 19]

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

02/11/1445 AH – 08/28/2023 CE | AML1-8239

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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