Ask a Scholar January 24

Ask a scholar January 2024

Assalamu 3alaykom, I am in need of a fatwa regarding abortion. My husband and I have incompatible blood types and When I got pregnant with my first child I developed a condition that would put a future pregnancy at risk of fetal anomalies if it the fetus blood type is incompatible with mine. These Fetal anomalies prevent the child from having a normal life. There is no cure for the disease, only medical intervention to try to reduce the impact on the fetus as much as possible. Outcome is only known at birth. Is it permissible to abort a fetus before 120 days if it’s blood type is incompatible with mine? I am struggling to decide as I really want to have another child. Thank you in advance.

I am sorry to hear about your predicament. I also pray to Allah to inspire you to face your test with patience and to guide you to make a decision that pleases Him.
Abortion is considered Haram (and forbidden) after the ensoulment (breathing of soul into the fetus), which takes place when the pregnancy reaches 120 days.
Once it has reached this stage, abortion is akin to taking an innocent life.
The question remains how about abortion before 120 days?
Scholars rule abortion as Haram unless necessitated for saving the life of the mother. In such a case, it is allowed because of unavoidable necessity. Allah says, “But whosoever is compelled by necessity, without willfully disobeying or transgressing, truly thy Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Qur’an: 6:145).
Some scholars are of the view that if the team of experts determines that there is an untreatable condition in the embryo, then abortion is allowed before the 120 days. They also base this ruling on the verse mentioned above. However, I must add this view is not shared by all.
I would advise you against going through the pregnancy unless it poses a real risk for you or the embryo.
Before concluding, I would rush to add: In the future, you ought to preempt such a situation by resorting to safe methods of contraception. I pray to Allah to forgive our sins and shower us with His mercy.

Is taking a shower the same thing as making wudhu? I have been told that taking a shower only does not substitute for wudhu in the Hanafi School of Jurisprudence. Therefore, a person must make wudhu separately and if he does not do so, his salah is not valid. Is this true?

A simple shower by itself, which does not fulfill the specific conditions and requirements of wudhu, cannot be considered a substitute for wudhu. Prayer is invalid in such a case and one must repeat his salah.

Wudhu is an ‘ibaadah or act of worship and as such, like any act of worship, it must be accompanied with proper niyyah or intention. It is therefore necessary for a person to formulate the niyyah first and then fulfill all those specific requirements/ essentials that are necessary for wudhu. Besides washing the external parts of one’s body as in a shower, mouth and nostrils must also be cleansed.

Thus if a person simply washed the external parts of his body during the course of his shower or ghusl and did not formulate the niyyah, his shower or ghusl cannot be considered sufficient to replace wudhu.

On other hand, if he were to complete all of the above details, his shower and ghusl is quite sufficient, and he does not need to make wudhu again.

What we have said above is the general position accepted by all of the great schools. It is not a point of controversy among schools. However, according to some schools and scholars, if one were to touch his private parts, after this type of complete shower, he would need to renew his wudhu again.

I work in a bank were I encode checks. I want to know whether my earnings are halal or haram?
Encoding checks itself can be considered as a neutral service and like all other services it can be considered as halal or lawful. Originally all things are considered halal unless proven otherwise.
Checks belong to the category of essential services in today’s society; much of our economic life is dependent upon it in an industrialized society, and as such there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it; it can either be used beneficially or abused wrongfully.

If all people stayed away from making this service available much of the economic activity will be paralyzed. Hence there is no legitimate ground for a Muslim to stay away from being associated with this service. Although this may be associated with a bank, it still can be treated in itself as a halal service.

In light of the above, I don’t think your earnings fall under the category of haram—provided that your intention is good. However, I must add a further word of caution: if it does bother your conscience, then you are better advised to leave it.

Does Islam allow us to prevent pregnancy by using birth control pills or condoms? I am married but still in school.
One of the major purposes of marriage in Islam is procreation, as it is the divinely appointed method of propagating human species on the face of the earth. Furthermore, Islam considers children as a source of blessing. The Prophet, therefore, exhorted his people to “marry and procreate.” Married couples, therefore, must not consider marriage simply as an avenue of sexual or emotional fulfillment and satisfaction, but also for purpose of procreation.

While procreation through marriage is highly recommended, Islam equally stresses the importance of rearing and nurturing children who are the future leaders and assets of the community and humanity. Parenting demands adequate care and attention on the part of parents, in the absence of which, children will simply become a burden. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “A strong believer is superior to a weak believer.”

Therefore, if both of you are students, and you strongly feel that you are not prepared to shoulder the heavy responsibilities of parenting because of your special circumstances, you are allowed to resort to safe methods of contraception in order to delay conception. However, I should remind both of you that it is allowed only as a temporary measure. In other words, you are permitted to resort to family planning only as a temporary measure to delay conception until such time that both of you have settled down.

The above ruling of scholars is based on a certain precedent in the time of the Prophet and his companions: According to authentic traditions, many of the Prophet’s companions practiced coitus interruption in order to prevent conception. As reported by Jabir, one of the eminent companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), “We used to practice ‘azl (coitus interruption) while the Qur’an was being revealed; had it been forbidden to do so, the Qur’an certainly would have declared so.” In other words, the silence of the Qur’an about coitus interruption is considered as an indication of its permissibility.

Modern methods of contraception are no different from ‘azl practiced by the Companions. It is on this basis that the scholars have declared it permissible to make use of them–through the consensual agreement of both spouses– as a temporary method of preventing pregnancy.

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