Reprisal for Termination of Pregnancy

(Waseema H Qureshi, United Kingdom)

All scriptures are clear in renouncing termination of a pregnancy on the bases of family planning, or self-interests. Quran puts this prohibition in the 3rd place in a list of commandments for actions, deserving a reprimand: “Do not associate anything with Allah (1), and be good to parents (2), and do not kill your children because of poverty (3) - We will give provision to you, and to them as well…” (6:151). The Bible, before the Quran, also regarded abortion as a vile act of child murder in the womb. In simple words, Allah is unswerving in his agendas regarding the creation of life.

Calamities involving progenies occur as a hit-back, for children as individuals, are below the age of accountability. For instance, in an analogous response to the Egyptian pharaoh’s massacre of Hebrew firstborns (Bible: Ex: 1:22); Allah correspondingly beleaguered his nation by giving sudden death to the Egyptians’ firstborns. The pharaoh released the Hebrews, only after being fraught by plagues and the personal loss of his own firstborn: “Allah is Exalted in Might and the Owner of Retribution.” (Quran: 3:4) Allah’s schemes mustn’t be meddled with or else: “Those who strive against Our verses (seeking) to cause failure - for them will be a painful punishment of foul nature.”(34:5).

On the other hand, “…If you help (the cause of) Allah, He will help you and make firm your feet. (47:7; 22:40). In this respect, the most prominent example of selflessness is that of Miriam (Mary), who willingly endorsed her uniquely atypical pregnancy, even when publically slandered notwithstanding her inward mortification and loss of face as an unmarried girl. God did not enquire about Mary’s disposition in the matter of His ruling. Instead, she was casually informed of His peculiar blessing - in a way - equally mysterious and enigmatic. She was briefed about bearing a male child, regardless of the petrified state, in which she listened all alone and very aghast!

The sudden presence of an emissary and his awkward message were indeed upsetting: “She said, ‘How can a boy be born to me when no man has even touched me, nor have I ever been unchaste?’ The angel said: ‘Thus shall it be. Your Lord says: ‘It is easy for Me, and We shall do so…This has been decreed’…Then the birth pangs drove her to the trunk of a palm tree and she said: ‘Oh, would that I had died before this and had been all forgotten;’ (19:20-23). Cornered and stranded, had she tried to give unverifiable justifications to counter defamation, vilification of her character would‘ve spiralled, and she for one knew that God was not going to voice in her defence!

No gestation is possibly comparable to Mary’s: in the endurance of social, emotional and physical troubles. The anxiety of self-interrogation in alienation and the zipped tolerance of humiliating public curiosity that implicated her parents must have been an increasingly torturing test of her devotion. Eventually: “…She came to her people, carrying her baby. They said: ‘O Mary! You have committed a monstrous thing. O sister of Aaron! Your father was not an evil man, nor was your mother an unchaste woman;’” (19:27-28). However, even under the most extraordinary pressure, she was steadfast, supported only by her faith.

Allah has willed a levelling of the score for ingratitude and hence infliction of permanent infertility after induced abortion is not uncommon. In more exacting instances of reprisal, death snatches away an existing child. We are always at a loss when we rule out Allah’s will. So when an issue develops an incurable disease or a disabled child is born: There’s “A fitting recompense (for evil deeds) (78:26); for “Whoever commits a sin only earns it against himself…” (4:111). As when: “…He …denied and turned away. Woe to you, and woe! Again woe to you, and woe! What, does man reckon: he shall be left to wander at will? (75:31-34).

The aborted unborn or the ‘born but buried’ children will be asked to stand as witnesses against their needless killing: “When the souls are reunited (with their bodies), and when the infant girl, buried alive, is asked for what crime she was slain, and when the records are unfolded…then each person shall know what he has brought with him.” (81-6-14) The Omnipresent knows when: “Anyone of them is given the good news of a daughter, his face grows dark and he chokes with inward gloom: he hides from people because of this disgrace, asking himself whether he should suffer his daughter with disgrace, or bury her alive.” (16:58-60)

Inducing an abortion refutes Allah’s involvement in the conception, as He actively proposes the gender, personality, perception, appearance and a verdict in: “Whatever form He willed, has He assembled you;” (82:8). Quran: 6:140 notes: “Most surely they became losers, who, in their folly and ignorance killed their own children…Surely they went astray and were not at all rightly guided.” Well, “How shall it be when the angels take their souls…smiting their faces and their backs; that made Allah angry, and hated to adopt the way of His pleasure...” (47:28) “…It is for what your own hands have earned…You cannot frustrate your God…He may drown them in consequence of a few of their misdeeds…and then those may realize that they have no refuge;” (42:35).

The offence of killing a foetus or an ‘unwanted’ infant provokes Allah’s wrath to no end. A foetus of 120 days, is considered a conscious being with intact sensibilities, in Islamic law. Therefore abortion decimates Allah’s works in progress, under His ardent surveillance. No wonder, the penalties are intensely horrible and no sane woman must knowingly aspire for such an abhorred act of defiance: “How many populations that insolently opposed the Command of their Lord and of His messengers, did We not then call to account - to severe account? And We imposed on them an exemplary Punishment.” (65:8)

Disciplinary rules are vital to establishing an impartial and righteous system. Therefore, “Have you ever considered the case of the person who made his lust his god, and Allah, in spite of knowledge, let him go astray and set a seal upon his heart and ears and laid a covering on his eyes? Who is there after Allah Who can guide him? Do you learn no lesson? (45-23) When: “Many a settlement has rebelled against the commandments of the Lord and His Messengers; We called it to a stern account and punished it severely. They tasted the evil results of their misdeeds and consequently, they have nothing but loss in store for them…” (65:8-9).

Waseema H Qureshi
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