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Body, in law

(1,907 words)

Author(s): Krawietz, Birgit
Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) has always been concerned in multiple ways with the human body (jasad, jism)—not with the body per se (either as a physical entity or as an overarching concept, as opposed to the soul or the person), but rather with certain concrete aspects of the body and its parts. Three of the five basic values of religious law (maqāṣid al-sharīʿa)—reason (ʿaql), life (nafs), and progeny ( nasab)—are strongly related to the body. Relevant opinions can be found in the legal manuals in chapters on rituals of worship (ʿibādāt) and legal relations with other human beings (muʿāmal…
Date: 2019-08-29

Abortion

(1,993 words)

Author(s): Krawietz, Birgit
Abortion (Ar. usually ijhāḍ, saqṭ, or isqāṭ al-ḥaml) is frowned on by Islamic law, although many jurists accept that it may be permitted in certain cases. The different schools of law agree that abortion is permitted if continuing the pregnancy would put the mother’s life in real danger, but they hold different views on whether any other reasons for abortion are permitted, and, if so, at what stage of pregnancy. Neither the Qurʾān nor the Sunna deals explicitly with abortion. Muslim jurists hold life to be one of the five basic legal values, but the exact Islamic …
Date: 2019-08-29