Abortion – prematurely and proactively ending a pregnancy – is an extremely sensitive issue in the religious sphere. Approaching it theoretically requires a very fine balance between empathy for special circumstances and preserving sacred principles. Within Muslim academic discourse, by being linked to life, abortion automatically demands the right to be handled with the utmost precaution and care – this is due to the divine legislator’s special efforts in relation to the protection of innocent life’
As the age old legal maxim goes ‘the ruling in relation to blood (life) is based upon complete precaution’.
The legal status of the discussion has been pretty clear for most Shia jurists through the centuries. Despite this fact, with the advancement of modern science, and the increasing detailed information about fetuses in the womb, new factors have presented themselves for consideration.
Under normal circumstances, Shia jurists unanimously agree that abortions without justification are impermissible. However, the stages of pregnancy can influence the reason behind the prohibition, and as such, discussions around potential exceptions to the law. Before exploring the legal discussions, it is useful to understand where the jurists derive their understanding about the stages of pregnancy.
The Quran and Stages of Development During Pregnancy
Prior to the discoveries of the modern world, the Qur’an had presented an account for the various stages of embryonic and fetal development. The description provided in the holy book and Prophetic reports were the point of reference in discussions related to abortion and related laws. The Quran seems to introduce several developmental stages for the prenatal period;
- nutfah (seminal fluid/zygote),
- ‘alaqah (leech-like form/suspended mass),
- mudhghah (fleshy tissue/small lump),
- ‘idhaam (bones/skeletal),
- lahm (flesh/muscle),
- nash’ah (to rise).
These are the stages as described in verses 13-14 in surah al-Mu’minun (23).
Then We made him a drop of fluid in a secure abode. (13)
Then We made the drop of fluid a suspended mass. We then formed the suspended mass into a fleshy tissue. Then We structured the fleshy tissue with bones. Then We clothed the skeleton with flesh. Then We produced him as another creature. So blessed is Allah, the best of creators! (14). (Quran, 23:13-14).
Additionally, the account presented in surah Hajj (22), verse 5, may suggest that the stages of mudhghah, ‘idhaam and laham happen simultaneously, not consecutively.
We indeed created you from dust, then from a drop of fluid, then from a suspended mass, then from a fleshy tissue, partly formed and partly unformed. (Quran, 22:5).
Muslim scholars have offered a variety of interpretations for what the phrase ‘partly formed and partly unformed’ signify in this verse. The understanding above is an attempt by the author to interpret the phrase in a manner that remains loyal to the text but also takes into account the evolving understanding of this phenomenon.
The most significant legal development for the fetus is when it gains a soul; ensoulment.
The earliest and also latter important Shia works of jurisprudence differentiate between a fully formed fetus ready to grow, and that fetus when it possesses a soul. This understanding has led to the majority of Shia jurists speaking about the prenatal period as one of two major phases; before/pre and after/post ensoulment.
To suggest a time frame, some Shia jurists of later centuries have mentioned the end of 4 months as the time that the fetus is complete, and the end of 5 months as the time that the soul is breathed into the fetus. The 5 month mark is likely inspired by the report recorded in al-Kafi of al-Kulayni. Numerous Shia narrations also state the end of 4 months as the time of ensoulment, and as such, a number of pre-modern and contemporary scholars have conceded that it is not possible to know for certain when these stages or phases, particularly ensoulment, take place through the measurement of days. Nonetheless, the phase starting from 120 days onwards is now widely accepted as a rule of thumb for that of ensoulment.
Ensoulment is a crucial matter in legal discussions. Scholars of the Quran have understood the nash’ah stage to be when the soul is connected with the fetus, and it is from this moment that the fetus can be considered a living being (nafs), or a protected life (al-nafs al-muhtaramah). After this phase, the fetus is subject to the full, same amount of blood-money as a living adult. Scholars have opined that this may be why God refers to it as a ‘new creation’ in relation to the fetus (Quran, 23:14) – because it now possess the quality of the soul.
The legal discourse around abortion pertain to the aforementioned categories (stages and phases) in two ways:
- In relation to blood-money amount associated with aborting the embryo/fetus in a particular stage.
- In relation to the permissibility of an abortion during a particular stage due to exceptional factors.
In this paper, we will only examine the second item.
The reason that the determination of ensoulment remains important is that now the fetus is subject to separate laws in terms of blood-money (diyah) and right to life, even if there is no type of Qisas/corporal punishment for abortion per the majority view.
Aborting the fetus at this late stage would constitute as killing a ‘nafs’ – which is unquestionably prohibited in normal circumstances. The only exception that can be considered is when another life (the mothers) is also in fatal danger. In this case, scholars are divided on whether the 5 month-plus fetus can be aborted to save the mother or not. Some believe that the mother’s life must be saved if continuing with the pregnancy would cause her to lose her own life. Others say that if both the mother and the fetus will die without an abortion, then the mother should be saved. A final group says that there is no preference and it should be left to fate to see who survives.
Shia and Sunni scholars have offered different arguments for their positions, ranging from the prohibition of killing a protected life, to the present certainty of one life (the mothers) versus only the potential human life of the fetus (as such preference being given to that which is certain).
There are also discussions around who can administrate the abortion in various scenarios, and whether they will be liable to pay blood-money or not. The above rulings are accessible in the contemporary manuals of religious law, and as such, their references have been omitted.
Lives of a Fetus
Within this discussion lies another important one – the reality of the lives associated with the fetus. The words of numerous Sunni and Shia scholars suggest that there are two types of life involved in this process; a category of life before ensoulment, and a category of life post-ensoulment. This is based on the fact that the embryo shows quality of a living entity before 5 months, however, human life is only associated to entity after ensoulment, or the second creation.
In accordance to this prominent view, the two lives do not carry all the same rules, particularly in relation to blood-money/compensation and being a protected life. Al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr refers to the two lives as ‘al-hayaat al-sha’niyyah’ (potential life) and ‘al-hayaat al-fi’liyyah’ (actualized life). Sayyid Ali Sistani uses the term ‘al-ruh al-insaniyyah’ (human soul), possibly suggesting the fetus before ensoulment does not have a human life. While most scholars accept a distinction in the blood money owed for different stages of the embryonic journey, only those who accept this classification are left with the question as to whether the rules of killing a soul applies to the embryo stage, or only the fetus that has experienced ensoulment. If it only applies to the latter, then what is the reason for prohibiting the abortion before ensoulment if not the impermissibility of taking a protected life?
To respond to this question, scholars have resorted to various principles and rules. A group propose that the potentiality of life is enough to make abortion prohibited, and stopping the embryo from completing its course towards becoming a full human is condemnable. Another opinion is that it is prohibited to kill any living being without reason, and as such this living entity cannot be aborted without good reason. A considerable number of scholars rely simply on the unqualified statements of the narrations – which in a few instances do not differentiate between the stages of pregnancy when issuing a ruling on abortion.
For those who cite the argument that potentiality of life is reason enough for prohibition, they must define the parameters for the extent of this principle. As an example, is the potentiality of life principle extended to birth control and contraception, meaning one cannot stop sperm from traveling towards the ovary because this would be preventing life? Interestingly, some Shia hadith mention the issue of abortion and contraception together. Scholars who have discussed this topic in detail also cover birth-control when speaking about abortion.
As previously mentioned, many Ja’fari Shia scholars are of the opinion that different stages of the prenatal process are subject to different rulings in relation to the amount of blood-money and even atonement (kafarah). The examination of blood-money related laws are a central part of the abortion discussion. In fact, most early Shia explorations of the subject covered only this aspect of terminating the pregnancy.
The blood-money is paid by the party or parties involved in the abortion, to the guardian or inheritors of the fetus that were not involved in okaying the termination. If the mother aborts the child in an unjustified case, without the consent of the father, she must pay him blood-money. If the father forcibly makes the woman abort, he is liable. In the case of impermissible abortions, any doctors involved in administrating the medicine or carrying out the procedure, is also liable and must pay blood-money to the rightful uninvolved party.
There is no doubt that the view of almost all Shia scholars is that after 5 months, the only legitimate cause for abortion is in the case of a genuine concern for the life, and in some instances, the health of the mother.
Because this view is widely known and clearly digestible for those who understand the sanctity of life in Islamic law, I will not be focusing on this aspect of the ruling further.
What I wish to explore is the opinion of 4 contemporary Shia jurists from different hermeneutical and methodological backgrounds, on the exceptions for the abortion ruling within the first 5 months of pregnancy.
Abortion Before and After Ensoulment
The four main scholars whose views I will present are: Sayyid Muhammad Ridha Sistani, Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini, Shahid Sayyid Muhammad Behishti and al-Sayyid Kadhim al-Ha’eri. The reason being is that these scholars have either covered abortion in greater detail than others, or they have shared alternative opinions to those widely known.
The views of the scholars will be presented but not critiqued or countered.
Sayyid Muhammad Ridha Sistani
Muhammad Ridha Sistani is heavily influenced by the works of Ayatullah Khu’i, and quotes him heavily in his works. He often critiques the view of Ayatullah Khu’i, but there are many epistemic and methodological similarities in their approaches. Muhammad Ridha is the second son of the marja’, Sayyid Ali Sistani.
Muhammad Ridha has produced a detailed work on abortion, which is published alongside a number of other extremely important topics he meticulously examines. The level of research in his study on abortion has brought it into the attention of this current piece. The summary of Sistani’s views have been presented without including his comments on individual Quranic and hadith based evidence cited in this discussion.
Ridha Sistani speaks of two situations in which abortion is permitted before ensoulment.
- If the pregnancy’s continuance causes more harm (dharar) than that which is a common part of pregnancy (e.g headaches, vomiting, lightheadedness). If the pregnancy causes harm, damage or illness that is much more severe and dangerous than that which is normally expected from the first trimester of the pregnancy (e.g. heart related diseases or diabetes), then abortion is permitted before ensoulment.
The harm does not have to be absolutely unbearable. It is enough that it qualifies as a harmful condition that is deemed ‘considerable’ by common reasonable people. This is in contrast to those who stipulate that only harm which is completely unbearable justifies the abortion (e.g. Sayyid Khu’i). This permissibility is based on the principle of ‘no harm’ (la dharar).
- If the continuation of the pregnancy causes the mother more difficulty (haraj) than that which is generally bearable. The same is the case for the fetus that is severely deformed and caring for it (financially and physically) after birth will cause difficulty which is commonly intolerable, unless delegated to another person. The difficulty must be established. This permissibility is based on the principle of ‘no difficulty’.
In both cases (harm and difficulty), abortion before ensoulment is permitted, and the pregnant lady may seek the help of a doctor to abort the child. This is an important point because some scholars only permit the woman to relieve herself of the potential difficulty or harm, without receiving the help of another.
Muhammad Ridha Sistani does not believe that there is any exception for the prohibition of aborting the fetus after ensoulment – even in the case that the mother’s life is in danger.
In response to the question as to when ensoulment takes place, Ridha Sistani speaks of two types of life:
- a life characterized only by growth,
- a life characterized by movement influenced either by conscious decisions, or non-conscious ones.
The first type of life is shared by animals and plants, the second is specific to animals.
The fetus before ensoulment has the same form of life possessed by plants, and after it becomes endowed with a soul, it receives the ‘spirit of life’ and enters a new state of being.
Sayyid Muhammad Ridha believes that it is proper movement that signifies ensoulment – not a particular number of days or months. Ridha Sistani relies noticeably on the findings of medical experts and the experience of the mother in feeling movement, when speaking about the indication of life.
Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
Asif Muhsini is a student of al-Khu’i, who arguably takes his teachers views on the authentication of transmission chains to their logical conclusions. In practice, and at times, theory, Muhsini appears stricter than al-Khui.
Shaykh Asif has authored a book on ‘Jurisprudence and Medical Matters’, and in it he covers the topic of abortion in relative detail.
Muhsini argues that ‘human life’ begins in the fetus after ensoulment. Before ensoulment, the fetus is the fetus of a human, but not a human itself – it does not become human until after it is associated with a soul. Life and death are defined by the presence and absence of the soul in the body – and it is the soul that makes a human, not simply the body. Muhsini does not deny that the fetus has a form of life – in fact he refers to the ‘life of the fetus’ – but he does differentiate between human life and other forms.
After discussing the compensatory blood-money amount for different stages of the male and female fetuses, Shaykh Asif turns to the subject of potential reasons for the permissibility of abortions according to Twelver Shia scholars.
“There is no doubt in the invalidity of a number of accepted reasons for abortion among the Westerners – they are legally unsanctioned and we will not lengthen our discussion by mentioning them. We will suffice with mentioning possible scenarios in which abortion may be permissible, according to us
- The mother’s life would be in danger if the pregnancy continues.
- The mother’s health would be in detriment if the pregnancy continues.
- The pregnancy and birth will necessitate extreme difficulty for the mother.
- The death of the fetus.
- The fetus has a disease or disability.
- The pregnancy is a result of fornication or an illegitimate conception – whether through rape or consent by the female
In the first case, before ensoulment, there is no question about the permissibility of abortion in my opinion – in fact, it is arguably necessary. After ensoulment, the discussion becomes complicated and lengthy.”
Al-Muhsini continues to mention the views of renowned Shia scholars who believe that after ensoulment, the mother’s life does not hold more value than the fetus’s life – and so an abortion cannot be justified. In this situation, those scholars argue that the matter should be left to fate – and after patience, we should see what God has decided after the birth has taken place.
Muhsini’s own opinion is that it is permissible to abort the child to save the mother, even after ensoulment.
In the case of the second and third, while he disagrees with the reasoning of the other Shia scholars about the prohibition of abortion in these cases, he ultimately does not give a verdict permitting abortions after ensoulment in the two situations. The health of the mother or extreme difficulty are not reason enough to permit an abortion if the fetus has a soul.
However, before ensoulment, both circumstances (2 and 3) legitimize an abortion.
For the fourth case, abortion or removing the dead fetus is allowed, and necessary if it is harmful to the mother.
Muhsini continues to examine the case of when there is something in the womb that does not qualify as a fetus or a living entity that will develop into a human. The rule for such an instance would not be the same as the rule for a fetus.
Muhammad Asif Muhsini then proceeds to speak about the fifth and sixth case:
“In the fifth scenario, if we accept the assumption that after birth, the severely sick or disabled child will cause extreme hardships for the parents, then abortion is allowed before ensoulment… After ensoulment, abortion is not permitted because the fetus becomes a protected person.
In the final case, if we assume that birth of such a child (out of wedlock) will cause severe difficulty for the mother, if the pregnancy is a result of consensual intercourse, abortion is not permitted… If the pregnancy is a result of rape, then it seems permissible to have an abortion before ensoulment, but not after.”
Sayyid Muhammad Behishti
Sayyid Behishti was a student of the Qom methodology in Islamic studies. He attended the classes of Ayatullah Burujerdi and Muhaqqiq Damad, among others. He also studied with Allamah Tabataba’i. Ayatullah Behishti directed a large part of his activities towards social political matters, and was eventually martyred. Nonetheless, his strength in legal discourse was undeniable, and he continued to research on various topics alongside his political commitments.
Behishti presented a number of talks and essays on the topic of family planning and health. These were transcribed and collected into a book titled ‘Health and Family Planning’. In this work, Shahid Behishti’s detailed discussion on abortion has been preserved.
Sayyid Behishti says that while a large number of Twelver Shia scholars spoke about the compensatory blood-money for an abortion, there is almost no independent exploration of whether abortion is a sin or not. Meaning, while there are repercussions for abortion (one’s that do not necessitate a sin, in and of themselves), the scholars have not delved into the legal state of abortion and whether it was a sin.
Speaking about the stages of the pregnancy, the blood-money, atonement, the views of the Shia jurists and the definition of ‘killing a soul’, Behishti says that aborting a fetus before ensoulment is not considered ‘killing a soul’, per the view of Shia scholars. Shahid Behishti establishes that abortion before ensoulment cannot be likened to killing or ending the life of a human, even if it is killing something living (which isn’t itself prohibited, e.g. bugs, animals, etc). In fact, Sayyid Behishti states that aborting the fetus before ensoulment is like killing an animal. Behishti puts forward the view that abortion before ensoulment can still be a sin basd on secondary considerations, even if it does not constitute purposeful murder, but not necessarily.
Ayatullah Behishti states that the sin would be associated to violating someone else’s rights – in this case the fathers (if the abortion is done without his permission). However, if both parents are in agreement of the abortion, we cannot use this as an argument for it being sinful anymore, because the narrations are limited to this case. As a result, we must explore other angles to deduce whether abortion prior to ensoulment is a sin. Shahid Behishti ends the discussion stating that there is no other primary reason for abortion before ensoulment being a sin, but there could be secondary ones.
Before ending his talk, Muhammad Behishti puts forward a fascinating prospective issue to explore: Can the leader of the Muslims decide, due to sociopolitical needs, that the Muslims need to decrease their population, and hence, must use birth control methods, including abortion of the fetus pre-ensoulment, where possible?
After examining all the arguments, Shahid Behishti concludes that as a primary ruling abortion is only prohibited after ensoulment, and not before – due to lack of evidence. It can become prohibited if both parents don’t agree to the abortion, or for other secondary reasons like the devaluing of human life, etc., – which should always be kept in mind.
Essentially, the distinction of human and non-human plays a very big role in Sayyid Behishti’s formulation. Before becoming a human, the fetus is a living entity which belongs to both parents, and thus, is treated, in some regards, as an owned entity (where the owners have certain rights and scope of authority). It is only once the fetus becomes human that it becomes a protected life.
Furthermore, Ayatullah Behishti leans on the generally excepted, but sometimes overlooked understanding, that the necessity for blood-money does not equate a sin being committed.
Shahid Behishti discusses abortion in 3 places of the book. The first is in a multi-day seminar which included Shia and Sunni scholars, and medical doctors. Shahid Mutahhari and Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Jafari were also present. The second occasion is in an Arabic paper, while the third is a Persian paper. In the conference, Sayyid Behishti states that he has not come to a final conclusion at that point and needs to do more research, but in the final paper presented in the book – he has clearly arrived at a verdict.
He was possibly the first Shia scholar to discuss abortion from numerous angles that had not previously been explored with the same depth and attention. He was also the first to state abortions, as a primary rule, are not prohibited before ensoulment – even though it should be discouraged (unless the religious ruler decides otherwise).
Sayyid Kadhim Hussaini Ha’eri
Sayyid Kadhim Ha’eri is an Iraqi marja’ based in Qom, Iran. He was and remains the leading student of the martyr, Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Sadr. Kadhim Ha’eri is considered one of the leading Usuli religious authorities in the Shia world.
In this section, I would like to share some noticeable verdicts by al-Ha’eri. As the views of Kadhim Ha’eri have been taken from his sites Q&A section, they will be presented here in the same format.
Q 112: Can a Muslim female assist a kafir female in providing her medication to abort her fetus? And will the Muslim lady be required to pay blood-money in the case that such assistance is impermissible? Does the fetus having a soul or not make difference?
A: It is permissible for the Muslim female to assist the kafir female by providing her a pill to abort her fetus. The Muslim is not required to pay blood-money as a result of this assistance.
There could be several reasons for why al-Ha’eri differentiates between an abortion for Muslim female versus an abortion for non-Muslim females. Because of the numerous potential principles at play, we will not speculate on which one was employed.
Q 114: If a woman is impregnated as a result of rape and force, can she abort the fetus due to it being born as an illegitimate child (child of an illegitimate sexual act)?
A: It is not permissible for her to abort the fetus unless there will be extreme social difficulty for her. If there will be extreme societal difficulty for her, she cannot delay the abortion until ensoulment (for after ensoulment it is no longer permissible).
Q 119: If we come to know that the fetus is struck with a disease, is it permissible to abort the fetus – whether there is a treatment for the disease or not?
A: It is not permissible in normal circumstances (or situations that are not extraordinary). However, the severity of the fetus’s sickness/disease or the extreme negative social repercussions that will come, both limit the absolute nature of prohibition for abortion (as stated in religious scripture) before ensoulment – per the understanding of common (‘urf).
Q 122: Is it permissible to abort a fetus that hasn’t experienced ensoulment if doctors have identified that the fetus has a deficiency that will result in any of the following: mental disabilities, handicap, blindness or a loss of limbs?
A: Abortion isn’t allowed after ensoulment. However, before ensoulment, it is not farfetched that it is permissible in cases where the child will have the above disabilities, as this will result in difficulty for the parents.
Q 123: One of brothers who is active fighting the enemy is being chased by the unjust regime. Due to the harassment that his family suffered from the authorities, they claimed that he has vanished and they do not know his location. During this time, the brother secretly frequented his family and had sexual intercourse with his wife and she became pregnant. If this pregnancy continues, the family (tribe) will be harmed by the regime, and she will face severe embarrassment before the family that she lives with. Is it permissible to abort the pregnancy, knowing that it is in the fourth month? Will blood money be required of the brother if he orders his wife to do so?
A: If the situation is as such, then they may abort before ensoulment, and there is no blood-money if both parents agree on the abortion.
In this fascinating scenario – the abortion is permitted on the basis of the difficulty it will cause the tribe and the father – not just the mother.
Ayatullah Nasser Makarem Shirazi also permits abortion in the case where the mother’s life is in danger – even after ensoulment. He allows abortion before ensoulment in the following cases only:
- The mother’s life is in danger.
- There is a threat of a serious and sever illness befalling the mother as a result of continuing the pregnancy.
- There has been a verified (certain) identification of a deficiency in the fetus that would make the life of the parents and those around the child very difficult.
In these cases, before ensoulment, abortion is permitted.
It is clear that Twlever Shia jurists hold a strong stance on the prohibition of abortion. Ending a pregnancy in normal circumstances, or in situations that do not cause unbearable burdens for the mother or family, are not allowed – particularly after the phase of ensoulment.
Before ensoulment, there are special and exceptional circumstances where an abortion may be permissible. However, in most cases, blood-money may still be required for those involved.
The discussion on abortion brings about many fascinating questions for Shia jurists – including what it means to be a human, what ensoulment entails and consists of, and even the conundrum of how to decide which life has more priority when two are in danger and only one or neither can survive.
There are many other linked issues too, and each aspect of the abortion discussion deserves its own paper. Explorations of the narrations or meta narratives derived from narrations were outside the scope of this piece.
Discussions around blood-money and atonement were also not included in any detail, as the major points could be made without delving too deeply into those matters.
Lastly, some intriguing related issues were also abandoned for the sake of brevity: issues such as the ruling on whether or not it is necessary to preserve and protect the fetus. If someone is pregnant, and they are not allowed to end the pregnancy through directed medication – are they also required to refrain from anything which could endanger the pregnancy (e.g. foods or activities)?
As a point of clarity, such rulings discussed here do not indicate a leniency in relation to abortion, as the primary ruling per the near unanimous view of the scholars remains that abortion is impermissible. Despite their difference of opinion regarding the reason for this rulings, it is only under secondary considerations that such scholars have spoken about exceptions.
Abortion is rightfully surrounded by red-tape, however, this does not mean that it should be an issue for women to deal with alone. Major cultural and educational work needs to happen so that unplanned pregnancies for those not ready are severely reduced. This can range from promoting a shift in lifestyle to taking other preventative measures for serious cases where families may lack the maturity required to parent. Additionally, resources for those who choose to continue a pregnancy, even when unplanned or forced, should be made available. Societal difficulties should not be an additional issue that a pregnant mother has to think about during such an already life changing time.
Finally, we should remain open to discussions developing as many of the issues that we believe are set in stone are still up for discussion in scholarly circles.
The purpose of this paper was to show the complexity of the considerations and alternative perspectives on the issue of abortion, within contemporary Twelver Shia scholarship. The paper should not be taken as an alternative to reading the quoted works in full, for each of them are filled with countless invaluable details that were not included here. The works quoted all go into granular details, which are necessary for a specialist understanding. This humble essay seeks only to bring attention to the dynamic nature of the scholarly discourse.
 Majma’ Al-Faa’idah, Al-Muhaqiq Al-Ardabeeli, v.13, p.90.
والأصل ما ذكرناه من اعتداد الشارع بحفظ النفس
 Jaami Al-Maqaasid, Al-Muhaqqiq Al-Karaki (d.940 H), v.9, p.200.
والحكم في الدماء مبني على الاحتياط التام
 Al-Muqna’ah, Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid, p.763. فإن ألقت جنينا و هو الصورة قبل أن تلجه الروح كان عليه مائة دينار
Al-Nihaayah, Al-Shaykh Al-Tusi, p.778. ثم يصير مكسوا عليه اللحم خلقا سويا شق له العين والاذنان والانف قبل أن تلجه الروح، وفيه مائة دينار، وفيما بين ذلك بحسابه
ثم تلجه الروح، وفيه دية كاملة
Tahrir Al-Ahkham, Al-Allamah Al-Hilli, v.2, p.279. إنّما يجب الكفّارة بقتل المسلم و من هو بحكمه من الأطفال و إن كان جنينا لم تلجها الرّوح بعد تمام خلقته
 Muhazzhab al-Ahkhaam, al-Sabzwari, v.29, p.311.
فإذا تمَّ أربعة أشهر كملت خلقته و إذا تمَّ خمسة أشهر ولجته الروح
 Al-Kafi, Al-Shaykh Al-Kulayni, v.7, p.346. إذا مضت الخمسة الأشهر فقد صارت فيه الحياة
 Al-Zhikra, Al-Shahid Al-Awwal, p.40. Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Sistani: https://www.sistani.org/arabic/qa/02793/, Al- Muneer Al-Khabbaz: https://www.almoneer.org/?act=av&action=view&id=1294
 Muhazzhab al-Ahkhaam, v.29, p.310.
 Sharh Al-Urwah Al-Wuthqah, Al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr, v.3, p.151.
 Wasaa’il Al-Man’ Min Al-Injaab, Muhammad Ridha Sistani, p.105-107.
 Ibid, p.126.
 Ibid, p.127.
 Ibid, 135.
 Al-Fiqh Wa Al-Masaa’il Al-Tibiyyah, Al-Shaykh Muhammad Asif Al-Musini, p.56.
 Ibid, p.58.
 Ibid, 72-74.
 Ibid, 75.
 Ibid, 76-77.
 Behdasht Va Tanzim Khanavadeh, Sayyid Muhammad Husain Behishti, p.51.
 Ibid, 61, 67.
 Ibid, 180-182.
 Ibid, 85.
 Ibid, 87-90.
 Ibid, 91-92.
 Ibid, 92, 173.
 Ibid, 183.
 Ibid, 187-188.
Syed M. Hadi is an independent researcher in Islamic Studies, with a particular focus on the Shi’i tradition. He carried out his Hawzah studies in London, UK, and Qom, Iran between 2007-2017.