gives great sanctity to human life. After conception, once the spirit has been
blown into a human embryo thereby making the embryo a living soul, it cannot be
destroyed unless on some medical grounds given by a doctor. Before this spirit
is blown, the human foetus is actually not a human in the true sense; it is
rather a ‘non-living’ mass of flesh and may be aborted.
question arises as to how this period should be determined. For the moment, the
only data we seem to have is a Hadīth attributed to the Prophet (sws). It tells
us that it is after 120 days (four months) that an angel comes and blows the
spirit in the human embryo:
creation of each one of you is brought together in the mother's womb for 40
days in the form of a sperm,; then he is a germ cell for a similar period,; then
an embryonic lump for a similar period; then there is sent an angel who blows
the breath of life into him... (Bukhārī, Kitābu’l Qadr)
If this Hadīth
is authentic, then abortion after 120 days can take place only and only if a
doctor advises it on medical grounds.
In the light of
this, if the mental deformity of the foetus can be determined before 120 days,
it may be destroyed. After this period, one should not even think of tampering
with the process of birth unless of course the mother’s life is in danger.