Engaging in the Abortion Debate: Considerations for Muslims in the West

In light of the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade, American Muslims are increasingly engaged in the abortion debate, yet their contributions thus far consist of little more than superficial claims to shari’a. There remain significant chasms and oversights in our understanding, ranging from the exact scope of Roe to seriously grappling with the question of abortion as a moral question. What is most often ignored is the clear imperative that before arriving at a position on abortion rooted in sacred law, we must acknowledge the moral premises of an Islamic worldview.

When restrictive abortion laws are compared to the shari’a (via political memes or claims of a “Christian taliban”), many Muslims respond with this refrain that skews substance: “Islam is the most liberal religion on abortion!” Esme L.K. Partridge critiques this “inversion” of orientalism to explain this phenomenon. However, such declarations also evade the theological and legal considerations which are fundamental to our understanding of positive law and theological ethics. These claims betray an underlying assumption that secular-progressive morality is the gold standard which Islamic law must meet.

Popular discussion on abortion among Muslims in the West often neglect three key nuances surrounding the issue of abortion: first, that in Islamic law, the legal construction of abortion still prioritizes the preservation of life (of both mother and fetus) over bodily autonomy. Second, the Islamic legal imagination actually delineates certain rights of the unborn child which are usually non-existent in pro-abortion discourse. Finally, the ethical, philosophical, and spiritual underpinnings of the pro-abortion movement are entirely divorced from Islamic understandings of the human and its ideal flourishing.

The Legal Construction of Abortion

This article is more concerned with the premises underlying abortion law in Islam than with negotiating the fiqhi minutiae. However, there exist several key points in understanding Islamic theology and law vis-à-vis conclusively arriving at a stance on the permissibility of abortion.

Firstly, it is clear that regardless of which Islamic legal school one follows, the strongest substantive factor in the abortion question remains the preservation of life. For example, classical opinions within the Hanafi school have a wider allowance for abortion during the first 120 days after conception. However, their position is not premised on a disregard for the sanctity of life, nor does it favor post-Enlightenment constructs of individual autonomy. According to Shaykh Salman Younas’ article, Reflections on Muslim Approaches to the Abortion Debate: The Problem of Narrow Conceptualization (often referenced for his academic exercise in explaining the development of fiqhi positions on abortion), some early Hanafi scholars took a position of broader allowances for abortion during the first trimester “as long as some physical human features are not clearly discernible”.[1]

Yet, as Shaykh Salman himself notes, no living Hanafi jurist has given a fatwa on unconditional permissibility during the first trimester. Rather, he posits that “most Hanafi rulings require determining whether a fetus is a ‘person’ or ‘human.’ All such rulings rely on considerations of fetal development, i.e. the physical form of the fetus.”[2] As medicine and medical knowledge evolves, knowledge of fetal development and biology will further aid jurists in reaching particular conclusions of sacred law. Given the deference to modern scientific advancement, it seems ironic to consult a classical position, sometimes championed by those who otherwise undermine scholarly authority and madhahib (schools of thought) in the first place.

Second, one undermines the rigorous interpretive methodologies of the tradition by citing hadith about ensoulment occurring by 120 days (post-conception, not gestation as commonly assumed), and then on that basis concluding that abortion is allowed in the first trimester. Claims to this, again, ignore the fact that opinions on permissibility may or may not take ensoulment into account, as Shaykh Salman explains.[1][2] Such conclusions also betray a lack of interpretative insight. For example, the delimiting “by 120 days” does not necessarily include “at 120 days.”[1] Furthermore, while 120 days is the majority opinion, other scholars hold that ensoulment occurs at 40 days, and disagree over whether ensoulment equates personhood.[1][3] All of this suggests that one cannot simply look at a hadith prima facie and derive a conclusion – history, methodology, revelation-based evidence, linguistics, etc. are all necessary considerations. Otherwise, we engage in interpretation piecemeal and inaccurately.

As noted in a previous article, the Hanafi jurist’s allowances towards abortion may very well exceed those of the anti-abortion movement, yet this does not reflect a conceptual agreement with the pro-abortion movement; that is, the Hanafi approach does not adjudicate abortion from the position of bodily autonomy or women’s emancipation from the difficulties of child-rearing. Rather, it approaches the issue with a substantive and foundational focus on upholding the shari’a both in its concerns and its rulings. For example, 18th century scholar Ibn Abidin states,

I would not say that it is permitted [to abort the fetus before its body parts are formed], because a person in the state of pilgrim sanctity (muḥrim) is liable to pay a penalty by merely breaking the egg of the hunted animal. … Thus, if by merely breaking the egg one has to pay the penalty, then there can be nothing less than committing a sinful act here [in the case of aborting the fetus] if the fetus was aborted without a valid excuse, except that one will not be committing the sin of murder…[4]

Certainly, there are circumstances for which societies and the law must allow abortion – such as dangers to the mother’s health – but these are also defined through legal processes. That difficulties exist do not in themselves validate an abortion. This discussion must first acknowledge the theological constraint upon the arbitrary or unjustified taking of life. Unlike the pro-abortion movement today, the shari’a does not weigh the preservation of life against a woman’s right to choose, or against other bases that are seen to usurp the preservation of life. For example, certain justifications in the contemporary abortion movement, such as the fear of poverty,[3] are categorically rejected in the Islamic tradition:

And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin. [Qur’an 17:31].

This verse contains a subtle nuance: that it is not only killing on an account of poverty that is rebuked by Allah (ﷻ) (in Qur’an 6:151), but also fear of it.[3] Fearing financial uncertainty should not detract one from raising children, a task reflecting a greater ethical good. Additionally, certain fiqhi positions may find additional requirements to an abortion – such as mutual agreement between the spouses – which would be categorically rejected in the current pro-abortion movement, which views abortion as a decision for the woman alone [1] (this is the case legally too: the plurality in the 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood struck down a spousal notification requirement as unconstitutional [5]).

The fact that Islamic law may not be as prohibitive, for example, as Pope Francis’ position on abortion and birth control [6], does not entail that “Islam” agrees entirely with the premises or conclusions of contemporary discourse on abortion. Ultimately, as Muslims, we are aligned with a premise that values life.[1][3] In this context, presenting Islam as “neither pro-choice nor pro-life” avoids the central issue that, in fiqhi discourse, it is the sanctity of life (not “my body my choice”) that constitutes a valid premise in the abortion debate.

The Rights of the Vulnerable

Conceptually, Islamic law approaches the issue of “rights” from an entirely different metaphysical and legal perspective from that of contemporary progressivism (developed from the Western liberal tradition of rights, justice, law, and politics). In Islam, the vulnerable are designated certain rights: those with more power are bound by responsibility to those with less.[7] The strong and powerful also have rights too, yet contemporary discourse on abortion is lacking in its disregard towards the rights of the vulnerable. The rights of the vulnerable include, amongst others: “the rights of the poor over the rich” in zakaat (obligatory charity upon those who have a minimum level of wealth), the “rights of the sick over the healthy,” and the “rights of the fetus over the parents.” Rather than deeming one unworthy of rights, the state of vulnerability provides one with an entirely new substantive set of rights; the duty of the less-vulnerable is to justly and excellently adjudicate these rights (with the normative Islamic considerations of ‘Adl (justice) and Ihsaan (excellence)).

This idea conflicts with several refrains of the contemporary pro-abortion movement: “the fetus cannot survive on it’s own,” “it is a parasite,” “it does not deserve its own ethical considerations,” etc. That a fetus – or any child, or any person – cannot survive on its own, does not render the duty towards them moot. Rather than reducing our ethical responsibility or justifying violence upon it, the vulnerability of the unborn child increases that responsibility and the threshold of justification for such violence. It is specifically the vulnerable towards whom we have greater responsibilities. The unborn child has no say in their conception; rather, the parents voluntarily and knowingly engaged in intimate acts. For them to then enact violence upon the resulting fetus, without a daruri (a valid excuse/necessity) basis, seems appalling from any consideration based in ethics or law. Legally speaking, stronger parties have fiduciary or special duties towards their weaker counterparts; the party able to protect its own interests bears responsibilities towards that which is not.

Instead of conceptualizing the unborn child’s vulnerability as a justification for violence upon it, we should understand it as the very factor which limits the substantive capacity of an agent to harm it. If there is not equal or greater harm that would occur to the mother (such as risking her health, forcing her to carry a child conceived of rape, etc.), violence upon the unborn child would require immensely strong and pressing ethical justifications. 

The parents are not only responsible for the conception in the first place, they are almost always in a stronger position to protect both their own rights and those of the unborn child. Why, then, should they not be responsible for fulfilling the unborn child’s rights when it cannot do so? Even in situations where a couple uses contraception and the child is still conceived, they still bear more responsibility for the situation than the unborn child. Engaging in intimacy, even with contraception, always carries the reasonably foreseeable possibility of conceiving a child; to escape this responsibility by outsourcing all harms and violence towards the fetus, in violation of the rights that Allah (ﷻ) has given them, is manifestly unjust.

Another concern within contemporary discourse is the implication that, because abortion is so intimately tied to personal agency and bodily autonomy, the state simply has no right to adjudicate it, or any interest in doing so. However, such a view cannot be substantiated even within American jurisprudence, let alone in the broad discourses of fiqh, which are more concerned with ethical action at the level of personal agency. From the perspective of enforcement and the use of law as a functioning signal of morality, it is entirely legitimate for the law (and, by extension, the state as legitimate legal authority) to enforce restrictions on something like personal agency or bodily autonomy in justifiable circumstances, which are ethically, socially, and politically constructed in any given society. In other words, many laws infringe on personal agency (criminalizing the intake of certain drugs, for example). Roe too acknowledges a state interest in protecting the fetus, yet is commonly invoked as though it establishes a blanket constitutional right to abortion. Rather, the court found a fundamental right of privacy such that abortion could not be regulated or banned by states during the first trimester (though this framework for whether a regulation was constitutional during the first trimester was subsequently altered in Planned Parenthood).[8] The state’s interest in protecting the fetus becomes compelling at the “point of viability.” Hence, states can also enact regulations during the first semester if they passed the ‘undue burden test’ – i.e. the law does not place a substantial obstacle to in the path of a woman trying to seek an abortion of a non-viable fetus – to determine constitutionality.

Roe and Planned Parenthood‘s framework produces a problem: the point of viability does not equate to the beginning of life, and changes as medical technology evolves. As Norman Finkelstein suggests, “life” as the beginning of legal personhood and “viability” as a technical-medical term referring to the fetus’ sufficiency outside the womb, are not necessarily synonymous. By conflating them as such, or by corresponding the fetus’ right to legal protections with its viability, the court essentially decides when life begins, contradicting Roe’s claim that a court is unable to make such a determination (Finkelstein also criticizes the Alito leaked draft opinion as sharing the same problem of arbitrarily determining when life begins).[9] 

It is commonly asserted in defense of Roe that the state has no right, until the third trimester, to prohibit a woman’s personal choice to abort. This implies that even the right to life, presumptively the greatest right in a liberal theory of justice, exists entirely outside the adjudicative scope of the state or law. That is, the determination of life is a question for personal conscience – one which the state has no right to answer (despite Roe’s attempt to do exactly that, as Finkelstein argues). The argument proceeds: because it cannot determine when life exists, the state has no right to adjudicate abortion. This reasoning presents profound ethical problems, but suffice it to say: if the state as the ultimate enforcer of the law and legitimate authority cannot determine when life begins, all of its legal protections or prohibitions surrounding life become incoherent. If the state cannot determine when “life” begins in relation to the fetus, why can it suddenly determine issues of life and death for a fully grown adult? He asserts, perhaps correctly, that one must presumptively side with caution when “life” cannot objectively be defined (such as in the issue of pregnancy); regardless, it’s clear that the law has the right and, to a large extent, the responsibility of determining some standard of when “life” begins. 

Practically speaking, the law requires the state for legitimate and consistent support. Considering fiqh and its relation to a given political structure, a system of adjudication through state-administered courts imagines an ideal of state enforcement. It would be very strange, for example, if a murderer apprehended by the victim’s family, could argue that neither the state nor the Qadi (judge, who is presumably relying on independent legal expert opinions) have any right to determine when life begins, which is simply a choice for the personal conscience. Although the law and the state are in constant theological and political tension throughout Islamic history, this is not meant to create independent structures of enforcement (which may seriously threaten the unity and stability of the state). The law must still be enforced by legitimate rulers and authorities when necessary, such as through the setting up of courts and enforcement of court decisions.

In barring the state from the adjudication of life in the context of abortion, pro-abortion discourse rejects the state’s primary responsibility of protecting life: by arbitrarily denying protection to the fetus, such arguments reduce the state’s responsibilities to incoherency. Negating the rights of the fetus has another disturbing consequence, as Peter Singer points out [10]: the radical denial of personhood to the fetus logically and coherently extends to early newborn infants, who share essentially the same cognitive and conscious makeup (the basis upon which its personhood is denied) as the fetus. The only possible distinction is that the fetus is in the womb whereas the newborn infant is not, but this is not a coherent differentiation in regards to personhood. If one denies personhood to the fetus, they must also provide some coherent distinction between the fetus and the newborn infant, to escape Singer’s conclusion on the moral permissibility of infanticide until personhood can be established (for him, somewhere between 6-9 months after birth, and his specific qualifications as to what defines a person have developed since his 1979 work Practical Ethics). 

To avoid this conclusion, the fetus must be assigned personhood and offered the associated legal protections at some point prior to birth, and the law must make this determination. Denying the state’s right to adjudicate the question of life or, conversely, denying personhood to the fetus absolutely until birth, both contain ethical and logistical problems for Muslims to consider. This is not to definitively answer the question of when life begins, nor to deny the juristic complexity and breadth of this question, but only to account for the considerations relevant to any constructive discussion of the issue. 

Nihilism, Anti-Natalism, and Transhumanism in the Contemporary Pro-Abortion Movement

Notwithstanding the conceptual problems discussed above, contemporary arguments for abortion pose several spiritual concerns for Muslims due to their paradoxically nihilistic and transhumanist visions of life itself. Though there are tensions between these two underlying ideologies, they conveniently support the same policy goals: to the nihilistic anti-natalist, who wishes to cease human life until we can somehow make it bearable, abortion is simply an extension of sterilization rather than a necessary but (ideally) rare procedure. For the transhumanist, abortion is beneficial to the mission of complete gender abolition and humanity’s liberation from gendered reproductive differences. Despite their foundational disagreements on the purpose of human life or the flourishing of humanity, these two sentiments coalesce at a common policy conclusion in the abortion debate. 

First and foremost, then, we must compare the Islamic conception of “life” with the implicitly nihilistic and anti-natalistic conception of life underlying pro-abortion rhetoric. Many pro-abortion arguments are rooted in the notion that human life derives value from its lack of suffering – yet what actually constitutes adequate suffering is ill-defined. This notion, intertwined with vague concerns about the impact of overpopulation on the planet, justify abortion as a noble act of terminating a life before it can suffer or cause more suffering. Such anti-natalism assumes that human life is not worth living, thus it is actually a morally good act to reduce the amount of human life in the world by not having kids. This is entirely removed from the Islamic conception of life as a blessing or gift from God.

Throughout various passages of the Qur’an, prophets such as Zakariyya (AS) and Ibraheem (AS) make dua for offspring, which is presented as a noble gift to them.[11] There are also exhortations to not to kill one’s offspring, which is not necessarily determinative of the abortion question, but more generally establishes the value of children. There is also a hadith of the Prophet, peace be upon him, which expands upon the imperative when he exhorts Muslims to marry and have many children “for I will boast of your great numbers” [12]. The act of procreation is understood as inherently good, and Muslims are morally encouraged to have kids and raise them to be ethically virtuous people. The ultimate virtue in Islamic theological ethics is not the reduction of suffering but obedience and submission to God.

The second, explicit mission underlying much of the support for abortion is the transhumanist project to liberate the human subject from any kind of limitation, responsibility, or obligation. By hypothesizing a human subject without responsibilities to others, this mission is the antithetical opposite of the Islamic emphasis on purpose, life, good, and flourishing. Transhumanism – as seen in works such as Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto” – aspires to a post-gender, post-human future where childbirth is not bound to women at all (for example, through artificial wombs). Transhumanist authors commonly identify the female reproductive system as the source of women’s oppression, and equality reached only when women are “freed” from the tyranny of their reproductive biology.[13]

The entire idea of “motherhood” is instead relegated to “parenthood” – an increasingly amorphous term that encompasses little more than a relation between consumers and products. Rather than the father’s sperm conceiving the child between two people, a couple – or even a single person – can simply select the sperm from the best possible donor and obtain a baby X months later via surrogacy. The idea of undertaking any physical relationship or stress in relation to the child is apparently outdated; it’s much preferred, for example, that people engage in mindless consumerism while their child is dutifully provided nutrients in a laboratory vat. According to the transhumanist vision, this is the moral progress we should champion.[14]

This new vision of the “insaan” (mankind) is entirely alien to the Islamic conception of humans as those living with “ihsaan” (spiritual excellence). This is moving outside the legal debate to conceptions of what it means to live with excellence and dignity. It is entirely possible that future Muslims may justify the use of the artificial womb, perhaps appropriating Islam’s prescription of ease to not only make permissible but encourage the use of an artificial womb. Meanwhile, the “parents” will spend their time doing the “truly important things” in life. And admittedly this may be our ticket as Muslims to another appearance on the Samantha Bee show as another dubious “expert on Islam” explains how actually Islam is more pro-artificial womb than every other religion, all without any sources or theological correspondence.

However, it is clear we cannot so easily remove all responsibilities and difficulties from oneself, as this is not what God intends or prescribes for the “insaan.” The encouragement to reproduce is not simply a functional instruction to produce children at any cost. It is accompanied by specific ethical, legal, and spiritual methodologies and limitations. For example, one cannot use this command to justify adultery, since doing so would contradict the God-given legal and spiritual bounds that structure the fulfillment of His command. Fulfillments of a command, even if technically legal, may not be spiritually ideal. Yet, there is nothing illegal which can also be spiritually ideal or beneficial, since the shar’ia grounds the boundaries of ihsaan (as in nothing that is ethically ideal can be outside the boundaries of the law, which for Muslims grounds much of theological ethics to begin with). It is possible for something to be legally permissible but not ideal, but impossible for that which is illegal to be spiritually ideal or beneficial to insaan

The notion of a completely liberated human, without any difficulties or distress, directly opposes the Qur’anic descriptive and prescriptive conception of the human. Not only is the human created weak (“…and mankind was created weak.” [Qur’an 4:28]), but humanity is, to some extent, meant to act in accordance with its weakness; that is, certain flaws are necessary to the human condition. For example, consider the weakness of sin, the complete absence of which would prevent any person (excluding the Prophets) from an elevated state of repentance. The following hadith in Sahih Muslim exemplifies this: “By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin, Allah would replace you with people who would sin and they would seek forgiveness from Allah and He would forgive them.” [15] Not only do distress, difficulty, sin comprise a descriptive analysis of the human, they are also crucial to the prescriptive analysis of human nature.

On the other hand, various transhumanist trends – such as the concept of “moral enhancement” posited by James Hughes and Julian Savulescu – place on humans a moral obligation to technologically remove various “unethical” characteristics from humanity as a whole, through the genetic modification and engineering of children en masse.[16] We must first determine what ethical values are worth preserving, and then mass-engineer society at the genetic level to ensure that every human adheres to these ideals. Setting aside the considerations of public policy and class stratification, “moral enhancement” is radically divorced from our understanding of a “good life” as first and foremost a struggle against the self, which ultimately reflects a synthesis of moral perfection in overcoming various evils.[17] The Islamic vision of the insaan includes the capacity to sin and to do evil. This very capacity to reject one’s duty to God differentiates insaan, for example, from the angels and ultimately allows the human to achieve spiritual fulfillment. The complex ontological considerations of free-will aside, Islam assumes the physiological capacity of humans to engage in free actions, good or bad. The drive to remove this capacity from the species via “moral enhancement” – through some bureaucratic utilitarian calculus and elitist determination of what ethical values are worth preserving – rejects the Islamic concept of moral perfection and human dignity. 

We are not meant to live in convenience, ease, and irresponsibility if this is the cost. Of course, we have a duty – as family members, neighbors, and a society – to make motherhood as easy as possible. Few, man or woman, voluntarily seek out an immense hardship undervalued and ignored by others. However, there exist inherent difficulties in motherhood, as Allah (ﷻ) Himself describes:

“And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months…” [Qur’an 46:15]

Certain commands and obligations, such as parenthood, become meaningful precisely through the difficulty they involve. For example, the saintly example of Maryam (AS) in the Qur’an. When she was going through the vivid ordeals of pregnancy, she made du’a to Allah (ﷻ) for relief, and that relief came in the form of the nearby date tree (which she herself then had to shake). As in, the relief was specifically the strength to overcome the ordeal, and although in the case of Maryam (AS) she was already of a high status, her character and status only increased as a result of this ordeal. Routinely, the Islamic conception of help or relief comes in the form of being able to bear the difficulty, in that one then becomes able to reap the benefits of this process (and a constant repetition of this creates resilience, patience, forbearance, reliance, trust etc). To simply outsource all difficulty to a third-party, say an artificial womb in regards to motherhood would only deny a person some of the true gifts of motherhood: expiations of one’s sins, a greater appreciation for the status of motherhood, an emphasized physical bond and connection between mother and child, and the realization of the fruits of one’s efforts through the new birth of a child. 

The anti-natalist assumes that life itself is a curse, thus it is better off for all humans to be denied. The transhumanist imagines a world where one takes a pill at suhoor that removes all feelings of hunger, thirst, and arousal until sunset, at which point they cheerfully break their fast, having fulfilled all of its legal obligations without any benefit to the spiritual ambition or excellence of the believer. The transhumanist vision of removing all pain from human life – including the absolute negation of motherhood as simply too painful – breaks from the Islamic legal and ethical framework, as well as the spiritual pursuits and excellence that the believer is meant to undertake.

Conclusion

In combining a radically anti-insaan and anti-ihsaan transhumanism with anti-natalist nihilism, the pro-abortion movement departs not only from the legal foundations of Islamic rulings on abortion (even the most lenient ones) but also from the entire ethical and spiritual framing of the question. The pro-abortion movement in the United States reflects an almost unhealthy obsession with autonomy, choice, control, mastery, and domination; it more accurately reflects an ever-expanding human ego and drive for convenience than it does any meaningful conception of Islamic ethics. An Islamic “leniency” in regards to abortion, as mentioned in prior Traversing Tradition articles, must be understood not as a concession towards woman’s individual autonomy, but as the complex determination of the practical path of submitting to Allah (ﷻ) with daruri realities – a much different question and approach than that acknowledged by the contemporary pro-abortion movement. The critical mass of online Islamic discourse on abortion ignores the fact that the philosophical, ethical, and legal assumptions behind the pro-abortion movement entirely contradict the Islamic conception of dignity itself. From an Islamic perspective, any society which derives its laws and morals from the foundational principles of convenience, autonomy, and choice is profoundly undignified. For Muslims, these considerations should be front-and-center when engaging in the abortion debate in the United States or elsewhere: Rather than debating what the majority Hanafi position on abortion might be or attempting to construct the Islamic legal tradition as “liberal” on the issue, we must first ask what usul and maqasid, spiritual and theological considerations, underly the different approaches to abortion in our contemporary moment.

Works Cited

[1] Younas, Shaykh Salman. “Reflections on Muslim Approaches to the Abortion Debate: The Problem of Narrow Conceptualization.” Muslim Matters, 19 Aug. 2019, https://muslimmatters.org/2019/08/19/reflections-on-muslim-approaches-to-the-abortion-debate-the-problem-of-narrow-conceptualization/.
[2] Younas, Shaykh Salman (@salyounas). “Few points to note: (a) I know of no living Hanafi jurist who gives fatwa on the view of unconditional permissibility; (b) “the first trimester” is a simplification as a significant number of Hanafis framed abortion not just in terms of a period of days but fetal development.” 31 May 2019, 7:34 PM (UTC), https://twitter.com/salyounas/status/1134543685775974400.
[3] Yusuf, Shaykh Hamza. “When Does a Human Fetus Become Human?” Renovatio, 22 Jun. 2018, https://renovatio.zaytuna.edu/article/when-does-a-human-fetus-become-human.
[4] Ibn Adam al-Kawthari, Muhammad. Birth Control & Abortion in Islam, White Thread Press, 2006, p. 57-58 (quoting Radd al-Muḥtār 6:591).
[5] Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. Supreme Court. 1992.
[6] “Pope: Abortion Is Murder, the Church Must Be Close and Compassionate, Not Political.” Vatican News, 15 Sept. 2021, https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2021-09/pope-abortion-is-murder-the-church-must-be-compassionate.html.
[7] Ali, Dr Abdullah bin Hamid. “A Word on Muslim Attitudes toward Abortion.” MuslimMatters.org, 29 May 2019, https://muslimmatters.org/2019/05/28/a-word-on-muslim-attitudes-toward-abortion/.
[8] Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. Supreme Court. 1973.
[9] Finkelstein, Norman G. “Norman Finkelstein on Abortion, Roe, and the Alito Opinion”, Norman G. Finkelstein, 5 May 2022, http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/norman-finkelstein-on-abortion-roe-and-the-alito-opinion/.
[10] Singer, Peter. Practical Ethics, 2d ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 142.
[11] Qur’an 21:89, 3:38, 37:100
[12] It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said: “Marry, for I will boast of your great numbers.” (Sunan Ibn Majah 1863).
[13] Victoria Margree Principal Lecturer in the Humanities. “Shulamith Firestone: Why the Radical Feminist Who Wanted to Abolish Pregnancy Remains Relevant.” The Conversation, 16 Nov. 2021, https://theconversation.com/shulamith-firestone-why-the-radical-feminist-who-wanted-to-abolish-pregnancy-remains-relevant-115730.
[14] Istvan, Zoltan. “Transhumanist Science Will Free Women from Their Biological Clocks.” Quartz, https://qz.com/1515884/transhumanist-science-will-free-women-from-their-biological-clocks/.
[15] Sahih Muslim 2749
[16] “Moral Enhancement.” Philosophy Now: a Magazine of Ideas, https://philosophynow.org/issues/91/Moral_Enhancement.
[17] Mobayed, Tamim. “Immortality on Earth? Transhumanism through Islamic Lenses.” Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, 11 Dec. 2017.


About the Authors: Faizan Malik is a student studying political science in Toronto. He is interested in modernity, liberalism, critical theory, and the role that these play in framing contemporary discourses on Islam. He is particularly interested in how critical theory can be utilized from a traditionalist Islamic perspective and to what extent such a marriage is possible or desirable (conclusion still pending).

Heraa Hashmi is best known for her project, Muslims Condemn. She is a law student based in the US with a background in Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology and Linguistics. Her interests include the Islamic sciences, cognitive linguistics, and bioethics. You can follow her on Twitter here.

Disclaimer: Material published by Traversing Tradition is meant to foster scholarly inquiry and rich discussion. The views, opinions, beliefs, or strategies represented in published articles and subsequent comments do not necessarily represent the views of Traversing Tradition or any employee thereof.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s