We have reviewed request no. 2119 for the year 2003 which includes the following questions:
1- In East Turkistan, the Chinese government has limited the number of offspring born to peasants and carpenters to three infants over a period of nine years. The parents pay an outstanding fine if the number of their offspring exceeds this, or if they are born within a short period of each other. However, civil servants/government employees are entitled to two children only over a period of six years. In the context of this law, Allah blessed a couple with two children and the wife is pregnant with their third. The government issued a resolution to fire them both if she does not terminate the pregnancy. The fetus is three and half months.
Is it permissible for them to abort the fetus, or should they be fired? They have no other means of income.
2- An individual built a building. The ground floors are suitable for shops, but not the top floors. Is it permissible to rent the top floors to be used as restaurants, keeping in mind that immoral activities abound within such places – as I was informed by several persons who are pious and trustworthy.
1- If the case is as mentioned in the question – that the government resolved to fire the couple from work if the wife does not terminate the pregnancy, the fetus is three and a half months pregnant, and their job is their sole source of income – then our opinion is the following:
It is established in the Shari‘ah that necessity causes forbidden acts to be lawful. There is no objection to conducting an abortion if this couple are forced to terminate the pregnancy to keep their jobs and if they have no source of income other than their wages. Allah Most High says:
"But if anyone is forced to eat such things by hunger, rather than desires or excess, he commits no sin: God is most merciful and forgiving." [2:173]
Ibn ‘Abidin comments on the Hanafi opinion concerning the permissibility of abortion before 120 days since the soul has not yet been blown into the fetus:
No compensation [Ar. ghurrah] is owed when a woman [who has been injured] passes flesh without discernible human features and trustworthy midwives testify that it is the beginning of a human…. No sin is committed if there are no discernible human features.
2- The Shari’ah has established that it is permissible to use something that can be used for unlawful purposes, provided it is not restricted to unlawful usage. Based on this, it is permissible to deal with anything that is dual-purposed, whether selling, renting, or so forth. The onus for its use is on the user: if he uses it for lawful purposes, then it is permissible; if he uses it for prohibited purposes, the prohibition applies to him.
God the Almighty knows best.