Narrated ‘Abdullah, I asked the Prophet (SAW), ‘What is the greatest sin in the Sight of Allah?’ He said, ‘That you set up a rival unto Allah though He Alone created you.’ I then asked, ‘What is next?’ He said, ‘To kill your son lest he should share your food with you.’ I asked, ‘What is next?’ He said, ‘To commit illegal sexual intercourse with the wife of your neighbour.’ Sahih Bukhari Book 65, Hadith 4517
I had an encounter with a patient in an IVF (in-vitro fertilization) centre. She had had one-too-many induced abortions for her husband-to-be prior to their marriage. She conceived again just before the wedding but they decided to terminate the pregnancy again because they are Muslims and did not want to ‘give a bad impression of pregnancy outside wedlock.’
Fast-forward to a couple of years later, she is in our clinic seeking to get pregnant. The same husband who was encouraging her to abort earlier and perhaps financing the procedures, was nowhere to be seen. He had fathered a child with another woman, physically and emotionally abuses his wife and does everything within his might to provoke her to leave. She refuses to leave because she is now in her 40’s, still childless with nowhere to go.
If you are in a relationship with a fornicator who is trying to rope you into sin, be rest assured that his fornication will not stop with you. Why rope yourself into such a future? Are you an adulteress too?
Fornication and adultery are sins on their own but exacerbating it with killing the foetus is plainly digging our grave. Times are hard, without a doubt. Nurturing children we are not prepared for can be a daunting challenge but the maxim ‘Prevention is better than cure’ holds sway here too. If prevention fails, know that it is what Allah (SWT) has ordained so let it be.
Abstinence may be hard, particularly with someone you intend to get married to, but Islam has taken various steps to nip premarital intimacy in the bud (hijab, lowering our gazes, avoiding co-mixing and intoxicants, travelling with a mahram, no dating etc). The world may have changed since 1400 years ago but if we make sincere effort and exercise restraint, Allah will strengthen us and make it easier, in sha Allah.
We are much stronger than we imagine.