Attacking the fetus by abortion | The official website of Sheikh Muhammad Ali FERKUS
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Thirsday 12 Rabî` Al-'Awwal 1442 H - October 29, 2020 G

Fatwa: 531

Category: fatwas about marriage

Attacking the fetus by abortion

The question:

I am an old woman. When I was young, I attacked my fetus by aborting him after a period [of gestation]. I do not remember if it was three or four months. This is still tormenting me night and day. So, could you give me a solution to my problem or guide me and free me from the anxiety that I am suffering from? May Allah reward you.

The answer:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

As a rule, abortion is forbidden and prohibited, because it constitutes an attack on an existing and produced being. Such an act is considered as a crime in the first stages of the fetus existence. This crime becomes more odious if the fetus has a soul and a perfect creation. Therefore, if the crime is committed – after that the fetus reaches fourth month, that is to say one hundred and twenty days and that we make sure that he moves in the womb of his mother - be it intentionally or by mistake, this will be an attack against him, and implies an expiation as Allah’s right and blood money as human’s right.

The expiation consists in freeing a believing slave. And whoever does not find a slave to free him, then he has to fast two months consecutively. But, if he cannot fast either, he remains in charge of doing it according to one of the opinions of the scholars, or he has to feed sixty poor persons according to the other opinion. If he cannot, he remains in charge of doing it until he will be able to do it. Besides, menses do not interrupt the consecution of the woman’s expiation fasting.

As for the blood money, it is the mother who is in charge of paying it from her money. [In this case] it is estimated at five percent of the [real] blood money(1). This blood money will be inherited by the fetus’ heirs, as if he would be killed after his birth, except his mother for she committed the offence against him. Nevertheless, if the heirs give up the blood money, the mother should not pay anything, Allah عزَّ وجلَّ says:

﴿وَمَنْ قَتَلَ مُؤْمِنًا خَطَئًا فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُؤْمِنَةٍ وَدِيَةٌ مُسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ إِلاَّ أَنْ يَصَّدَّقُوا﴾ [النساء: 92].

The meaning of the verse:

And whoever kills a believer by mistake, then the freeing of a believing slave and a compensation payment presented to the deceased’s family [is required] unless they give [up their right as] charity﴿ [An-Nissâ' (The Women): 92].

In case the fetus, against whom the crime is committed, does not reach four months, there is no expiation to make for him, because soul is not breathed into him yet. Actually, it is obligatory to make expiation only when the person who is killed by mistake has a soul. However, if the fetus is an embryo so that he got a human shape or some of his limbs are formed, in such case, he will take the same ruling regarding the fetus [who has a soul] in relation to the obligation of giving the blood money.

Furthermore, the woman who committed the crime has to repent before Allah عزَّ وجلَّ [of what she has done] and to increase good deeds and acts of obedience, for it is authentically reported that, “Regret is repentance”(2) and that, “whoever repents of a sin is like the one who has not done it”(3). Moreover, Allah عزَّ وجلَّ says:

﴿قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لاَ تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللهِ إِنَّ اللهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ﴾ [الزمر: 53].

The meaning of the verse:

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah fogives all sins. Indeed, it is he who is the Forgiving, the Merciful”﴿ [Az-Zumar (The Groups): 53].

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers, Jumâda Al-Ûlâ 17th, 1427H.
Corresponding to: June 13th, 2006.

(1) The blood money [in this case] consists in giving five camels, or fifteen golden dinars, or six hundred silver dirhams. All these values are equal to ten percent of his mother’s blood money.

(2) Reported by Ibn Mâjah, chapter of “Asceticism” (hadith 4252), by Ibn Hibbân (hadith 614), by Al-Hâkim (hadith 7612), by Ahmad (hadith 3558), by Abu Ya`lâ in his “Musnad” (hadith 4969), by Al-Bazzâr in his “Musnad” (hadith 1926) and by At-Tabarâni in “Al-Mu`jam As-Saghîr” (hadith 80) on the authority of `Abd Allâh Ibn Mass`ûd رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged Hassan (good) by Ibn Hajar in “Fath Al-Bâri” (13/479) and it is judged authentic par Ahmad Châkir in his “Recension of Musnad Ahmad » (5/194) and by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh Al-Jâmi`” (hadith 6802).

(3) Reported by Ibn Mâjah, chapter of “Asceticism” (hadith 4391) and by Al-Bayhaqi (hadith 21070) on the authority of `Abd Allâh Ibn Mass`ûd رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged Hassan (good) by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh Al-Jâmi`” (hadith 3008).