Praise be to Allaah.
Yes, some scholars are of the view that it is permissible to
abort the foetus before forty days, and others are of the view that that is
Among those who regard it as permissible, Ibn al-Humaam
al-Hanafi said in Fath al-Qadeer (3/401): Is it permissible to abort
it after becoming pregnant? It is permissible, so long as no features have
begun to appear.
It may be that what they meant by features appearing is when
the soul is breathed into the foetus, which happens after one hundred and
twenty days of pregnancy. Or it may be that what they meant is the
appearance of features even though the soul has not yet been breathed into
it, which does not happen before eighty days of pregnancy, and most likely
occurs at ninety days.
In Haashiyat Qalyoobi wa ‘Umayrah (a Shaafa’i book)
(4/160) it says: Yes, it is permissible to abort it, even by using medicine,
before the soul has been breathed into it, unlike what al-Ghazaali said. End
Al-Mardaawi said in al-Insaaf (a Hanbali book)
(1/386): It is permissible to take medicine to abort a nutfah. That is
stated in al-Wajeez. Ibn al-Jawzi said in Ahkaam al-Nisa’: It
is haraam. It says in al-Furoo’: The apparent meaning of the words of
Ibn ‘Aqeel in al-Funoon is that it is permissible to abort it before
the soul is breathed into it. He said: There is some validity in this view.
End quote. Shaykh Taqiy al-Deen said: It is better for a woman not to use
medicine to prevent the sperm from taking its course. End quote.
Among those who do not allow it, al-Dardeer said in his
commentary on Khaleel (a Maaliki book) (2/266): It is not permissible
to expel the maniy from the womb even if that is before forty days, and once
the soul has been breathed into it, it is haraam according to consensus. End
Al-Ramli said in Nihaayat al-Muhtaaj (a Shaafa’i book)
(8/442): al-Muhibb al-Tabari said: The scholars differed concerning the
nutfah before forty days, and there are two views. It was said that it is
not proven that it comes under the same ruling as abortion and infanticide,
and it was said that it is protected and it is not permissible to harm it,
and it should not be expelled after it has settled in the womb, unlike ‘azl
(coitus interruptus) which occurs before it reaches the womb. Al-Ghazaali
referred to this matter in al-Ihya’ and said, stating that ‘azl is unlike
the former case: This is not like abortion and infanticide because those are
offences against a living being. The first stage of existence is when the
sperm reaches the womb and mixes with the woman’s water, so harming it is an
offence. If it has become an ‘alaqah or a mudghah, then the offence is more
serious, and if the soul has been breathed into it and it has become a human
being then the offence is even worse. Then he said: It is unlikely that it
is not forbidden. End quote.
To sum up, the fuqaha’ differed concerning this issue, so you
should not do that unless there is a good reason, so that you will avoid
falling into haraam and will be on the safe side with regard to your
There is another matter which should not be ignored, which is
that you should appreciate the blessing of Allaah in giving you a child. His
blessing should be accepted with joy, gratitude and contentment. No one
knows, if he rejects this blessing, whether it will come to him again or
Hence we advise you to keep this pregnancy and to accept it
and appreciate the blessing of Allaah. Perhaps this will open the door to
greater provision, both material and spiritual, and it may bring mental
stability and marital harmony. If you choose the other option, that should
be after paying istikhaarah and asking Allaah for guidance, because no one
knows where goodness lies. That should also be done with the wife’s consent,
because she has the right to a child, and the fuqaha’ have stated that a man
cannot withdraw (‘azl) from a free wife without her permission.
And Allaah knows best.