The Ruling on Using Emergency Contraception
Fatwa No: 461434

Question

Is a Muslim woman allowed to use Emergency Contraception (EC) if was forced to have intercourse (rape) with mysterious man

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallAllaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

Firstly, it should be noted that a Muslim woman should beware of whatever may put her at risk of rape such as staying alone with a non-Mahram man or walking alone in a town or place she cannot be safe from such a peril.

We believe that there is no religious impediment to using such emergency contraceptives when needed like the case with the rape. Some scholars held that it is permissible for the woman to have an abortion before the soul is breathed into the fetus and they held different opinions regarding some details.

Al-Mawsooʻah Al-Fiqhiyyah Al-Kuwaytiyyah (Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence) reads, "Scholars held a wide range of different opinions regarding the ruling on abortion before the soul is breathed into the fetus even within the same School of Fiqh. Some Hanafis maintained that it is absolutely permissible; they underlined that abortion is deemed allowable as long as it is done at the early days of pregnancy before forty days of conception (before the soul is breathed into the fetus). The Maaliki scholar Al-Lakhmi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was the only Maaliki scholar who held that abortion is permissible before forty days (of conception) have passed. The Shaafiʻi scholar Abu Is-haaq Al-Marwazi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him held that abortion is allowable as long as the pregnancy is in the first stage, which is the first forty days of conception."

Ar-Ramli  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “If the pregnancy is the result of an adultery, it is possible that they may get married before the soul is breathed into the fetus. One of the opinions of the Hanbalis in this regard suggests that abortion is permissible in the early days of pregnancy; they maintained that it is allowable for a pregnant woman to consume a lawful medication in order to cause an abortion when the fetus is in the phase of the Nutfah and not the ʻAlaqah. It has been narrated that Ibn ʻAqeel  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, 'As long as the soul has not been breathed into the embryo, it shall not be resurrected and it is deduced from this fact that abortion is not prohibited at that stage of pregnancy. The author of Al-Furooʻ underlined that Ibn ʻAqeel's view was a good opinion that has authoritative weight.

Hence, it is allowable to use such emergency contraceptives before the impregnation for a greater reason.

The pharmacist Hanaan Khalaf penned a paper on emergency contraceptives and underlined that the emergency contraception is a precautionary means to prevent or minimizes the chances of pregnancy after unprotected sex, when the common contraceptives are believed to be ineffective, or in emergency situations such as rape.

She also highlighted that statistics have shown that the two kinds of the emergency contraception pills may prevent pregnancy by temporarily blocking eggs from being produced, by stopping fertilization or keeping a fertilized egg from becoming implanted in the uterus.

Allah knows best.

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