Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
I would like to know if my wife’s condition would make it permissible for her to take the dispensation (offered by the Hanafi and Shafi schools) to terminate her pregnancy before 40 days.
This is an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. We have two young children already and through the course of both pregnancies my wife suffered severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) which led to her needing continuous medication and care; and resulted in regular hospitalisation.
Following both pregnancies she has suffered from long spells of post-partum depression which have led to the breakdown of our marriage (near divorce) and two recent incidences of self-harming.
In summary she is in poor physical and mental health which is almost certain to turn for the worse if she goes ahead with this pregnancy. All of this risk is exasperated by my unemployment, lack of appropriate accommodation (rented 1 bedroom flat).
I pray you are well.
This is a very difficult situation you find yourself in, as is the question itself. I pray Allah grants you all ease, wellbeing, and a strengthening of the bonds between you all.
Preventing Further Harm
Yes, it would be permitted for her to terminate the pregnancy given all the detrimental results you have mentioned. Her physical health, her mental health, the effect on your marriage, your young children, and other matters all fall under the situations the Jurists have mentioned would make this permissible before the 120 day point. (Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al Muhtar, al Mawsu’a al Kuwaitiyya)
You need to take all the relevant precautions to prevent this happening again, as it could likely occur. You should also look into the practical means to help your wife regain her physical, emotional, and mental health as soon as you are able to.
Such matters have a deep effect on our lives and our relationships. It is important for a parents to be on top form, otherwise, they just pass their trauma and problems onto their children.
Get some marriage counselling some therapy. No doubt, this will be an emotionally draining experience. May Allah facilitate it for you.
Ask For Forgiveness
It would a be good time to turn to Allah and ask fo forgiveness too. Although the is permissibility in general, this is something that is seen as a grave matter. Ask Allah for forgiveness and display your human weakness, expressing that you would have gone ahead with it if matters were different. ”Indeed, Allah loves those who repeatedly repent and purify [themselves].” (Qur’an, 2:222)
May Allah protect us all.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.