Ads by Muslim Ad Network

Aborting Baby With Down’s Syndrome in Islam

19 November, 2023
Q Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. I am a mother of 4 children, and I am 5 months pregnant. When I did ultrasound, my doctor told me that I have a baby with Down's Syndrome. The first time I didn't believe her, so I went and took the amniocentesis test, which gave me a positive result, which means the baby has Down's syndrome with heart defects and other problems. My faith in God is bigger than ever. My question is what is the fatwa about the abortion? Jazakum Allahu khayran.


Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

  • Abortion can only be permitted when there is an actual threat to the life of the mother, and this is determined by a medical examination that reveals that if the pregnancy advances any further, the mother may die.
  • Aborting the fetus when it is not threatening the life of the mother would be tantamount to killing what Allah has granted.
  • Muslim parents should never abort 5-month-old fetus that is not threatening the mother’s life. Rather, they should depend on Allah and receive Allah’s test patiently, trusting that they will be rewarded for their patience.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Ash-Shinqiti, Professor of Political Ethics and Religions History at Qatar University, states:

Ads by Muslim Ad Network

First of all, let’s define the “Down’s Syndrome“. According to the electronic version of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition,  1992, by Houghton Mifflin Company, Down Syndrome (or Down’s Syndrome) is “A congenital disorder, caused by the presence of an extra 21st chromosome, in which the affected person has mild to moderate mental retardation, short stature, and a flattened facial profile.

Once I was approached by a brother from the community who himself was a doctor by profession, and all the medical consultants agreed that his baby would be born with severe anomalies that were even worse than what you described.

The fetus was 4 months old when he came to me. He asked me about the ruling on abortion, taking into consideration the real stress that the whole family was exposed to. My advice was to be patient and to accept the decision of Allah and not to bother himself with thinking of what only Allah knows. We highly discouraged him from committing such a serious crime — abortion.

The baby was later born with severe problems, of course. But given the advanced medical interventions, they performed a number of surgeries and, by the help of Allah, the daughter is now living a normal life. The family visited me and we shared a very good time contemplating how Allah compensates those who are patient and rely on Him.

Even though the doctors said there was almost no chance of the baby surviving, given the serious problems she would be born with, their prophecy failed and was defeated by divine miracles.

Therefore, my advice to you is to put your trust in Allah, know that all souls belong to Allah alone. Never think of aborting the 5-month-old baby, who is considered to be a living human being whose life is sacred. Even if he was born with Down’s Syndrome, there are many children in the world who are like him and many of them live a happy life. You should depend on Allah and receive His test patiently, anticipating His great reward in the hereafter.

Almighty Allah knows best.

About Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Ash-Shinqiti
Professor of Political Ethics and Religions History at Qatar University