Pregnancy While Breastfeeding a 7-Month Old Baby

Question and answer details
S. T. Ahmed
As-salamu `alaykum. My second baby is 7 months old, again born after a major surgery. Is it permitted to go for abortion as my wife is again pregnant since 40 days while lactating her 7 months baby? Please, reply quickly.
Ahmad Kutty

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

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Dear brother, thank you very much for your question. We are really recommending your commitment to Islam's rulings.

In fact, abortion is not allowed except for valid medical reasons. In the early days of pregnancy committing it is less grave than committing it after 120 days of conception. In your case, you need to consult reliable physicians and act according to their medical advice.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states,

If your doctor recommends that pregnancy for your wife in her specific condition will have adverse effects on her health, then she may undergo abortion at this early phase.

Abortion after 120 days is akin to taking a life, for that is the time when the soul is breathed into the fetus; abortion before that is considered sinful unless there are reasons warranting it; the health challenges of the mother can be one of those conditions.

On details on abortion in general, I cannot do any better than citing one of my earlier answers below:

“Abortion or termination of pregnancy is generally considered abominable, and therefore as haram since it involves interfering with life-process once it has started. There are, however, differences of opinion about the permissibility of abortion in special circumstances depending on the stage or stages of pregnancy. 

1) There is a unanimous consensus among scholars that abortion is considered as absolutely forbidden after twelve weeks of conception (i.e. one hundred and twelve days); this is the point when ensoulment (breathing of soul into the embryo) takes place. To abort pregnancy from this point onwards is akin to committing infanticide, which has been condemned in the Qur’an.

Scholars, however, have made a single exception to this rule: If continuation of pregnancy and carrying it through full term proves to be risking mother’s life, abortion shall be considered as permissible.

2) Abortion after the expiry of the first forty days of conception is considered as haram except in the following exceptional cases:

a) If carrying the pregnancy to the full term exposes the mother to unbearable health problems during or after delivery;

b) if, as determined by the reliable medical practitioners, the child shall be borne with such physical and mental deformity as would deprive him/her a normal life. This decision must be based on the opinion of at least two reliable medical experts in the field.

3) While many scholars consider abortion before expiry of the first forty days of conception as haram, a number of them, however, consider it as either permissible or at least not as haram.

In conclusion, as Imam Al-Ghazali has observed, one is discouraged from tampering with the life-process once it has started; the intensity of sin, however, varies according to how advanced the pregnancy is. Thus while it may be considered as less sinful in the very early days, it is considered as absolutely haram after the ensoulment."

Coming to your specific case, if there is no medical necessity that compels you to seek an abortion; you are best advised to carry it through to full term. Meanwhile, turn earnestly and sincerely to Allah to ease your burden and pain and grant you patience and strength to surrender to His will.

Allah has certainly promised to bring relief to all those who turn to Him for assistance. {Whoever remains conscious of Allah, He will grant him/her ease/relief in his affair.} (At-Talaq 65: 4) The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever consistently asks forgiveness of Allah, Allah will appoint for him/her a way out of every conceivable trouble and provide for him/her sustenance in ways he or she can never foresee.

Allah Almighty knows best.