What does Islam says about killing of unborn babies?

Story by  Eman Sakina | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 25-11-2022
Beautiful world: Muslim girls enjoying  iftar at Delhi's Jama Masjid (Image: Ravi Batra)
Beautiful world: Muslim girls enjoying iftar at Delhi's Jama Masjid (Image: Ravi Batra)


Eman Sakina

Female infanticide, the deliberate killing of female fetuses, dates back to antiquity. The killing of unborn females has been a prevalent practice not only in ancient times but also in the contemporary era. In the pre-Islamic era, Arabs used to bury their daughter alive for the fear of poverty and shame. Quran and Hadith strictly condemned this practice. This repugnant custom of killing infants was deeply rooted in Arabs after Islam there was a significant decrease as Infanticide either male or female is unlawful according to Islamic jurisprudence.


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You will be shocked to know that according to the World Health Organization, roughly 73 million induced abortions occur worldwide each year. 61% of it is due to unintended pregnancy. Russia’s abortion rate is 53.7 percent (2004) and the abortion rate of The United States is 20.8 abortions per 1,000 women. Many Muslim women nowadays casually force their daughter-in-laws to abort. Many women in the fear of raising multiple children opt for abortion and let us not talk about the children of Zina. The rate at which Zina (illegal sexual intercourse) is increasing is also alarming.

This is what Quran says about female infanticide:

Whenever one of them is given the good news of a baby girl, his face grows gloomy, as he suppresses his rage.(16:58)

He hides from the people because of the bad news he has received. Should he keep her in disgrace, or bury her ˹alive˺ in the ground? Evil indeed is their judgment! (16:59)

Islam not only prohibits female infanticide, but it forbids all types of infanticide, irrespective of whether the infant is a male or female. It is mentioned in Surah Al-Anam chapter 6, Verse 151 (6:151).

Kill not your children on a plea of want. We provide sustenance for you and for them. Come not near shameful deeds, whether open or secret. Take not life that Allah has made sacred. “A similar guidance is repeated in Surah Al-Isra Chapter 17, Verse 31 (17:31). “Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you.

Islam prohibits infanticide or the killing of female infants. This is considered a serious crime of murder. In Quran 81:8-9): “When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned, for what crime she was killed?

Female infanticide is an extreme form of harassment towards women and their society and community. Enlightenment will only come through the spread of education and improved economic conditions, underpinned by government social and health welfare schemes.

With a combination of education and government incentives for girls, the situation could slowly be reversed. The bias against daughters arises largely because of economic reasons.

Sons are viewed as “social security” in areas where resources are scarce, avenues for savings limited, and public support for the elderly is non-existent. Daughters, on the other hand, require large dowry payments at the time of marriage.

What is the solution?

First, educate the young. Second, provide social security for the elderly. Young folks with higher self-esteem and greater potential in the job market will not have to resort to paying or receiving dowry. And old folks will stop viewing sons as old-age insurance.

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Families with more girls should be given allowances. Over time people will accept the fact that females are just as competent as males and may well contribute more financially to the family.