Nearly all the religions of the world have their own understanding and approach towards the matter of abortion. Different approaches have been used to explain the logic and reason for the permission of abortion or otherwise. Among other religions, Islam is one of the major religions of the world today. Muslims constitute nearly 25% of the population of the world and Islam is the second largest religion that exists on the face of the Earth. The teachings of Islam are based on the Holy Qur’an (Word of ALLAH i.e Muslim name for God) and Hadith (word of the prophet Muhammad). The concept of abortion when viewed in the light of the teachings of Islam has some very interesting aspects, as we shall discuss in the following lines.
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Abortion may not only serve the purpose of family planning, contraception or means of controlling population growth, but also a means of saving the life of a mother whose health is at risk. There are three main methods used for the purpose of abortion (Willke, 1985).
All the methods mentioned above, revolve around the central idea of preventing the birth of a “live” child. ALLAH has revealed in the Holy Qur’an, “Say: "Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from": Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to shameful deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom” (Ali, 2000).
It is therefore clear from the above verse of Qur’an that taking a life is not allowed in Islam, except for just and