Learn what Islam says about the significance of conception, life, death, and beyond.
Discover what Islam says about abortion and when it is allowed.
Know about the scientific marvels found in the Qur’an.
Discover the main duty of the angels who watch over us.
Find out what happens to a person’s soul after death.
There has been a lot of controversy in recent times about the meaning of life and death. When does life begin? When does it end? Does our quality of life determine how long we should live? Islam would say that all of these issues are wrapped up in a larger one—our purpose for being alive. Given that the Qur’an teaches that people are alive to learn to surrender to God, it stands to reason that Islam’s answers on many of these tough issues would be framed in that context.
Islam puts forward the proposition that human life begins at conception, that the unborn attain person hood at a definite time, and that life is a testing ground. However,Islam goes even further by asserting the existence of our soul after our physical body has ceased to function. We will live while we’re waiting for Judgment Day, but unlike the fun-loving ghosts in Beetle juice or the vengeful spirits of Poltergeist, Islam tells us that we will be put into a kind of storage bin, so to speak, and will get a foretaste of our eventual fate. This is called the Life of the Grave. As you’ll see, Islam has quite a lot to say about what will happen there.
Four Lives for Each Life According to Islam, we all have four well-defined segments of life that we will pass through from our conception in the womb until our death and beyond. These are the stages from the time a soul is joined with the flesh in the womb until we are in either Heaven or Hell. Each of our life stages has its own unique challenges and features, and each is considered separate from the ther, like a series of doors we must pass through on our journey back to our Lord.
Indeed, the whole concept of life in Islam is that our soul is on loan to us from God.
Remember that primordial spirit lump from which all of our souls came and that accepted free will eons ago? Well, that’s Allah’s property, and when we die He takes back our souls. Of course, now that we have become individuals we won’t be stripped of our uniqueness.
He has a different purpose for us then.
The stages of life are in the heaven (Lau Ho Mahfuz).
Life in the womb.
Life in this world.
Life at death.(Transition)
Life in the grave.
Life at Kiyamat (Judgement day)
The next life (Heaven or Hell).
As you learn about each stage, notice how the Islamic emphasis on our utter dependability on God is interwoven with the events and features therein.
Life in the Womb.
Physical life begins at conception, according to Islam. This is the beginning of the second stage of life for us. In the womb we are in our most vulnerable state. Our bodies are growing and developing, and our soul becomes one with our physical self. It is understandable, then, that Islam has teachings concerning the welfare of the fetus.
Islamic Law recognizes the right of the mother to have a protected pregnancy and the right of the fetus to be brought to term. If anyone assaults a pregnant woman and the fetus dies, the criminal must pay penalties and compensation, though the act is not classified as full murder in the same sense of killing an already born person. But the very fact that there are penalties for harming a person in the womb shows that Islam considers this stage of life important and worth protecting.
Abortion and Islam (The Shari’ah Law)
(Islamic Law) states that the fetus has rights. No one has the right to kill a baby in the womb, especially when it has no defense. Abortion is quite forbidden.
Islam considers it to be taking away the right of Allah to allow—or not to allow—a pregnancy to come to full term. Despite popular ideas today about personal choice and freedom to birth or abort, Islam does not change with the times and stands firm. There is no trend or tradition, however, of opposing abortionists through individual acts of violence, so in that regard Muslims have been hesitant to fully embrace all of the tenants of the Right-to-Life movement, which is known to have a radical fringe element.
As a rebuttal to the main reason given for people aborting their babies, the Qur’an has formulated this reply: A lack of resources is no excuse to harm a fetus. The Qur’an commands people not to kill their offspring because they are afraid of being poor or because they feel they won’t be able to take care of them. God will provide for the newborn somehow, the Qur’an states, so let the baby live.
Equally forbidden, as an excuse for abortion, is the desire to have a male child over a female one.
Throughout the world, many people misuse sonograms (ultrasound)to learn the gender of the baby in the womb, aborting the baby if it will be a girl. This problem is especially prevalent in India and China, and Muslim scholars, basing their decision on clear and direct Qur’anic principles, have denounced the practice as sexist. A pregnancy is considered a gift and a trust from Allah not to be terminated by our choice. The Prophet Muhammad said, “Be kind to daughters and treat them well, for I am also the father of daughters.”
Are there any exceptions to the rule that abortion is forbidden in Islam? Yes, but only one. A principle of Islamic Law is that if there are only two bad choices, then take the lesser of the two evils. While the Law does not accept abortion, the law does makes an allowance when it is necessary to save the life of the mother. The principle behind this exception is that it is better to keep the life of a wife and mother than to prefer someone who has no social relations yet. So in very clear terms, Islam is extremely pro-life. Only God can decide whether the developing fetus should proceed to term, not us. Even rape or incest is not grounds for an abortion, because the unborn child can’t be killed simply on account of the horrible way he or she was conceived. Why should the baby have to pay for the crime?