Islamic Perspectives

Infanticide

Obaidur Rahman Nadwi

According to a survey, around one lakh female foeticides are carried out each year in UP. The situation is worse in some other states The question is how to combat this menace. The Supreme Court directed the Central and state governments sometime back, to enforce strictly the Prenatal Diagnostic Technique (PNDT) Act to put an end to female infanticide. But the Health and Family welfare Department is oblivious of this directive.

It is true that no law can effectively stop this practice. Still social organiations and NGOs must come forward to check this menace and make the people realise its horrors.

The Holy Qur’an strictly prohibits such practice. It says: “whoso kills a person, except for a person or for corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso brings life to one it shall be as if he had brought life to all mankind."

It is unfortunate that female foeticide has become a common practice. It is a heinous crime. It seems we are reverting back to dark ages. In pre-Islamic Arabi people buried their female infants alive, and today we kill female foetuses by adopting the device of foeticide. The holy Qur’an depicts this dreadful and dismal condition of female in the following thoughtprovoking words: “When news is brought to one of them, of the birth of a female child, his face darkness, and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on sufferance and contempt, or bury it in the dust? Ah! What an evil (choice) they decide on?" (16:58-59)

We may recall the admonition of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). When this verse of the holy Qur’an, “For what crime she was killed (81:9)" came, the Prophet and his companions  fanned out into the streets of Makkah, imploring people to shun the old practice of female infanticide. Then the Almighty God revealed this verse. “We have bestowed dignity on the children of Adam"(17:70).

It is time we come forward and raise our voice against this unholy act. The holy Qur’an says: “Kill not your children for fear of want : We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin” (17:13). Prophet Muhammad said :"He is a perfect believer who is best in morals and the best among you are those who are nice to their womenfolk."

The writer teaches
at Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2016 on page no. 20

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