Assalam o Alikum,
Dear Dr. Abou El Fadl,
I heard about you on web. I have an issue with my wife. She is pregnant of 3 weeks. But she dont wont to give birth this baby because we had three kids (daughters) and youngest one was premature with 0.8 kg premature. She was admitted in hospital up to 1.5 months. Still she is not well grown and is week. She is 3.25 KG after 4 months from birth. My wife is worry about the new birth due this reason.
Please advise can we go for abortion at this stage. Please reply at the soonest
I pray that Allah always guides you to what is true, righteous, and beautiful. In response to your message, first I want to encourage you to read what I have already written on the question of abortion https://www.searchforbeauty.org/2015/01/04/fatwa-on-the-permissibility-of-abortion/. If I may summarize, in general, it is my belief that abortion is wrongful and ungodly except if it is necessary to save the mother’s life or to avoid injury to the mother or extreme hardship to the family. While a number of scholars (mostly Hanafi) have allowed abortions in the first trimester on the theory that the soul does not enter the body until the beginning of the second trimester, I do not find this position convincing for a variety of reasons. Addressing your case more specifically, a child may be born underweight and unhealthy, but with the appropriate care, can be nurtured to good health. As I have stated in previous fatwas, Allah exhorts us not to kill our children in fear of poverty (Qur’an 17:31), and also reminds us that we might hate something but it is the best thing for us, or love something and it is the worst thing for us (Qur’an 2:216). None of us truly know which of our children would be the most blessed and the most kind and merciful. It might be that the child we feared having may grow up to be the best thing that has ever transpired in our lives.
Having said all of the above, if the expected infant will cause an injury to the mother, there is no disagreement that the pregnancy may be terminated, and a qualified medical doctor should be consulted as to the potential risks to the mother’s health. Furthermore, if the expected infant will be underdeveloped and cause undue and extreme hardship to the family, as long as the pregnancy is terminated in the first trimester, I think that this might be acceptable in the eyes of God. In all cases, after doing your due diligence in consulting with medical experts, the decision to terminate a pregnancy is not to be taken lightly and you should pray istikhara on the matter repeatedly and ask Allah to guide you. If you are sure that you do not want anymore children, then all necessary precautions must be taken to avoid a pregnancy in the future. Birth control methods are all halal, al-hamdulillah, and there is no problem with using any or all of them. I pray that Allah guides you towards the right decision, and that Allah blesses and protects your family from all harm or insecurity. And Allah knows best.
Shaykh Abou El Fadl