Shaykh i’m asking on behalf of a brother asking for a formal fatawa. His family is having a medical emergency and we would appreciate it if you could reply back asap.
His wife is pregnant but the baby has two major abnormalities.
The doctors are saying it would be better to abort the baby but they have given them the option of continuing the pregnancy and operate on the child to rearrange the internal organs and hope for the best, but they are not sure how to do this because there is not enough skin to close the stomach and even if they could, there would be know stomach muscle to hold everything in place.
The medical team is expecting the child to die before the wife can actually give birth. What should they do in this situation. Abort the baby or pray to Allah and hope for the best?
We would really appreciate a response from you. Please keep this family in your prayers.
I’m certainly not a qualified Mufti, nor do am I able to answer such a question. However, I took this question to two different muftis here in Egypt and will provide you with their feedback:
The Hanafis and Shafis hold that one could abort a child before the fourth month [with conditions] while the Malikis hold it absolutely forbidden. However, after the fourth month the above mentioned schools are in agreement, that abortion is not an option and is forbidden. Ibn ‘Abieen, the great Hanafi scholar, stated in his Hashiyah that “Even if there is fear for the woman’s life” one is not allowed to abort. However, he based this, as well as others, on the fact that, during those days, such information would be more of an educated guess than a fact. With today’s medicine and technology, we are living in a different reality. al-Ghazzali in al-Mustasfah echoed this saying that, ‘At times the faqih could be a layman, and the specialist [doctor, engineer etc] could be the faqih.” Meaning, that both, at times go hand in hand and, at times one will effect the out come of the fatwa.
I quoted Ibn ‘Abideen’s contention to an Azhari mufti and he responded, “Yes, that is what suited him. But today this issue is different and almost certain.”
Then he mentioned the following conditions:
- If she has not reached four months than she can abort
- If she has reached four months or more, than the only way she can abort is if her life in in danger, or there is a suspicion that her life could be in danger.
Along with the statment of current medical experts he based this on the axioms:
- “Harm is removed.”
- “A greater harm is removed with a lesser harm”
Such an issue, as another one of my teachers stated, “Needs the advice of medical experts. And a scholar of Fiqh who is skilled in his craft.”
May Allah grant her sabar, make her strong and raise her status.
Allah knows best