QUESTION: As-Salaam-Alaikum Brother Imam and Ramadan Mubarak. My question is regarding the issue of “abortion” that is currently in the news cycle. I am aware of IWDM’s caution when it came to addressing issues that were especially contentious for the society at large. How does the Quran address the matter of human society demonstrating the proper understanding and appreciation for the newly forming human life? For those of us who are active in the public sphere and may at times have to address these matters head on, how might we present our reasoning on this issue in manner that provides leadership for all who are listening?
IMAM EARL ABDULMALIK MOHAMMED: It is a contentious issue. It is also a defining one. Imam W. Deen Mohammed wanted us to have a voice and a role in addressing such issues. His caution was in recognition of the role that leadership has in speaking with clarity and purpose, so as not to contribute to discord or confusion. We will interpret his words as cautious. In reality, his instructions and commentary were reflecting the true care that leaders have for their people and the societies they live in. The care that a womb has for that which is to be delivered to its purpose. We see the recklessness that is and can be associated with such powerful social issues as this one because leadership has acted irresponsibly and opened the door for extreme reactions to be seen as acceptable.
We can see how forces in society will study and measure the potential for these issues to disrupt society. The corrupt among the commercial establishment will study to see if there is some money to made from the issue. That will be driving their interest in it. They are not governed by any responsible caution. The corrupt among the political establishment will study it to see only if there are some votes to be gained. They are looking for support at the polls to drive the agenda and language given them by the corrupt in the intellectual order. The corrupt in the intellectual order, where the Satan rules, will manipulate the language of it all to influence the political and commercial order through media and culture. Our religious teachings do not give us any pathway to participate in this recklessness. We are taught to address all of our obligations. These are the words of the Holy Qur'an: "O you of faith, fulfill the obligations."
Responsibility and respect for the order of society is one of the very important obligations. If we act recklessly or we say things that incite reckless, irresponsible acts then we have ignored the weight and obligation of a serious duty that we have in the society. Those who are responsible to teach society on the human moral interests have this weight on them more than the political or commercial establishment. It is here where we differ with the secular and their permanent separation from the religious. This separation is law not to separate the moral teaching from the secular authority. It is there as law to prevent the rise of a tyrannical authority associating itself with religion. The Greeks and the Romans, where this society says it gets this separation idea from, they had their religion. We may not see it as religion, or it may not qualify as faith as Muslims understand it, but they understood themselves to have religion, and it had a central role in their idea of society. So, al-Islam will not permit that G'd's rule be taken out of our conscience as citizens. This is our religion. And we know this is our religion not from these that we have now in leadership. They have no sound or intelligent interest in this discussion. They would rather criticize than contribute. Because they have nothing to contribute. We know this is our religion not from them, but from Imam W. Deen Mohammed's teaching. And you are hearing it in its correct emphasis now from me, his true successor. There are maybe a few others you will hear it from, but they are reaching for the clarity. They will take a great burden off of themselves when they tell the whole truth to themselves and their congregations about who I am.
The Holy Qur'an shows us G'd's Plan for human society and shows that Plan to human society. That is to say that G'd has planned man's best, optimum, most productive existence. If man resists that, then he will not have his best life. Man building his own world may attempt to restrict what G'd wants for him, or man may try to reinterpret G'd's Plan. G'd gives man the authority in his world to construct human society in the picture he wants. But, man's society is best when it acknowledges and respects G'd's rule in his life. So man's picture of his world may or may not respect G'd's Plan for man. We can look closely at the language that we use to see if we are respecting G'd's Authority. The term 'abortion' tells us something about the act. It tells us something about the nature of the decision to act or not to act. The language itself tells us something about those who created it and how they want us who are discussing it to narrow the discussion to the parameters they have defined. G'd gives no license to man to take life without just cause. This is the Holy Qur'an teaching. What life are we speaking of? We are speaking of Muslim life.
Our Islamic teaching is that all human life that has the human origin and human destiny is intended in its nature to be obedient to the design G'd, Who fashioned it, is Muslim life. So, we have to have moral license, just cause, to authorize our institutions of society to decide on life and death issues. G'd, Himself, Highly Glorified and Praised is He, is the Giver of Life and Death. Only He can authorize our approach to this discussion. There is an element in man's society which wants to challenge G'd in this authority. The Holy Qur'an says that G'd is As-Samad, the Eternal Supporter of all He has Created. And the Qur'an says that G'd is Al-Hafeeth, the Protector of the Purpose of Creation.
So, we are speaking of 'abortion.' And this is mixed in with some competing and unclear political language of pro-choice and pro-life and Roe v Wade. In the language of the society the discussion is about a 'women's right to abortion.' So, what are they saying? What is the Schemer saying? They are saying that the discussion is on the womb that forms the human mind having a fundamental right to disrupt the logic that brings that life from its origin to its fulfillment. Someone will say, "No, that is not the discussion. The discussion is on respecting women. The discussion is on terminating an unwanted pregnancy. The discussion is on whether the unborn has a human right. The discussion is on when do the unborn become human." Yes, all of this is in the discussion. But, the correct characterization is understanding what those who have created and govern the language are saying above our heads about human life, and G'd's plan for that life. Roe verses Wade, in the life of human society. What is Roe? Eggs in a mass. What is Wade? The act of pushing against influences to get to a destiny. So, is this not a discussion on the origin of human life and what influences it must pass through or how it has been empowered to get to its destiny, and who determines that or what mind is trusted to determine that?
The Prophet of Islam, Muhammed, G'd's choicest blessings and peace be on him, said that what is forming in the womb of the mother is formed in 40 day intervals in three specific stages, and then G'd breathes a spirit into the form, and then the angel records 4 details of that life. So, what mind then, according to the Prophet's teaching, completes the human? The complete human, the perfect human, is the one who has been breathed into by G'd's influence and then has a material destiny in the earth that is related to his spiritual origin. This is the only true human. This is the only true human mind. The human origin is created for a human destiny fulfilled spiritually in heaven, and materially in the earth. The life is in heaven, then earth, then heaven. Only the womb under G'd can carry, or miscarry that. If it is not on that heavenly track then the healthy womb under G'd will not deliver it. Only that which produces the true human mind created to fulfill the true human purpose can be trusted with that authority, and can determine if that life is of such strength and faith to achieve its full term. Is it the heart beating that signals the true human life? No, it is the heart functioning as the seat of intelligence that signals the true human life. When we are in the position of sajdah in our Islamic prayers, the heart is above the head. And the head is making contact with the natural world. This is the 40 and the 4. And this is the position of the unborn in the womb. If we take a picture of the baby in the womb, we see them in the position of sajdah. It is the functioning heart sending and pumping blood to the head which is mating with G'd's creation that can be trusted to deliver the new human life. Anything other than that cannot and is not trusted to achieve the life that G'd intends. Anything other than that is abortion.
G'd is over the Life. He created it for His purpose. This is what we say to society as Muslims, even while they are wanting to abort this logic.