Answered by: Maulana Burhaan Rahman
If during pregnancy (14 weeks), the scans and tests identify that the baby has a rare but serious condition – Edwards Syndrome – trisomy 18 – where the baby will most likely not survive til full term or will not live for a long time, what are the options that we have regarding this?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
I want to mention two points, (A) and (B)
(A) Aborting the foetus before 120 days in Islam is permitted.
Allah SWT blesses the foetus with his/her soul 120 days from the day the mother conceived.
Our beloved prophet (SAW) has mentioned:
إن أحدكم يُجمع خلقه في بطن أمه أربعين يوما نطفةً ، ثم يكون علقةً مثل ذلك ، ثم يكون مضغةً مثل ذلك ، ثم يُرسل إليه الملك فينفخ فيه الروح ، ويُؤمر بأربع كلمات : بكتب رزقه ، وأجله ، وعمله ، وشقي أم سعيد . فوالله الذي لا إله غيره
For forty days, the seed of one of you remains in the womb of the mother in the form of a nutfah (sperm). Then it behaves like alaqah (a clot) for the same number of days and then behaves like a Mudqhah (lump of flesh) for the same number of days. Then the soul is blown into him and four things are written down; his provision, his time (one Earth), what he will do, and if he shall be fortunate or not. By Allah, there is no one like him. [Hadith 4, 40 Hadith an-Nawawi bukhari and Muslim]
It also mentions in Rad-Al Muhtar:
بقي هل يباح الاسقاط بعد الحمل؟ نعم يباح ما لم يتخلق منه شئ، ولن يكون ذلك إلا بعد مائة وعشرين يوما، وهذا يقتضي أنهم أرادوا بالتخليق نفخ الروح
Is it permissible to miscarry after pregnancy? Yes, it is permissible as long as nothing is created from it, and that will not happen until after one hundred and twenty days, and this implies that they wanted by creation to breathe the soul. (Rad-Al Muhtar Vol 3 page 129)
14 weeks is equivalent to less than 100 days.
The law states that abortion after the soul enters the fetus, which is (as mentioned) 120 days, is completely unlawful and is equivalent to murder because it results in the taking of innocent life. Such a heinous act has been universally denounced by scholars.
(B) Many doctors have said things regarding babies being born having conditions etc., but they have been wrong. Although we respect their assessments and judgments, only Allah knows the best about everyone’s condition.
So you can wait for the baby to be born etc. and see how Allah plans the life of the child if he/she is born. And every second of you taking care of the baby with the condition (if it will have this condition), you will get a reward of it due to your perseverance and patience.
Every Muslim/Muslimah has his/her lawful (Halal) choice.
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Maulana Burhaan Rahman
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham