Choosing the Lesser Evil? English Sunni E-fatwas on Abortion Cover Image

Choosing the Lesser Evil? English Sunni E-fatwas on Abortion
Choosing the Lesser Evil? English Sunni E-fatwas on Abortion

Author(s): Ewa Górska, Marta Woźniak-Bobińska
Subject(s): Contemporary Islamic Thought, Sociology of Religion
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: Islam; Islamic law; e-fatwas; abortion; Muslim diaspora;

Summary/Abstract: There has been an academic interest in fatwas regarding abortion since the 1980s (Anees 1989; Rispler-Chaim 1993, 2003; Faúndes, Barzelatto 2006). With the globalisation of ummah – the Islamic community – and the expansion of the internet, online fatwas have started to provide normative answers to inquiries from Muslims from all over the world. Van den Branden and Broeckaert researched non-voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide expressed in English e-fatwas (2009, 2011). Using their approach and framing e-fatwas in the context of Roy’s view on the virtual Islamic community (2000), we have selected and analysed eightyEnglish Sunni e-fatwas on abortion. On the level of structure, these e-fatwas are very similar – often rooted in the Quran and Sunna but not classical jurisprudential discussions on the subject. On the level of content, they do not deviate from Islamic jurisprudence, which does not encourage abortion but permits it in particular circumstances during specific stages of fetal development – generally, before four months or 120 days of gestation. In the light of our study, English Sunni e-fatwas on abortion constitute an important part of Islamic bioethical teachings and thus deserve further research.

  • Issue Year: 55/2022
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 119-136
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: English