حكم الجنين إذا سقط قبل الشهر الرابع
I was pregnant – then during the third month and a week, I miscarried. I don’t know which stage the foetus was in. Some people told me: “You should give the foetus a name, and sacrifice an animal for it (‘aqeeqah).” I did not know the correct ruling at the time – and I did nothing of what they suggested. So was the naming an obligation in the state mentioned, and likewise the sacrifice?
Shaikhul-Islām Abdul-Azeez Ibn Bāz (رحمه الله) answered:
If the foetus miscarries before four months (i.e. before 120 days), then it is not given a name nor is an ‘aqeeqah carried out. The ‘aqeeqah and naming is for the foetus that is miscarried in the fifth month or thereafter, (i.e. after 120 days) and this is after the soul is blown into it – because at this stage it is considered a person, which carries the rulings of a person. So [in this case] an animal is sacrificed and the child is named. As for a foetus that is miscarried in the fourth month (before 120 days) or the third month, then it does not carry the ruling of person. However, if the miscarried foetus (before 120 days) had a defined body that is clear, i.e. it has the attributes of a person: a head, hands, legs, and so on, then the mother’s bleeding is considered as post-natal blood (nifās). So she does not pray or fast [until the bleeding ceases or the forty days expire after miscarriage – whichever of the two comes first]. As for the foetus itself [that miscarries before 120 days], then it does not take the ruling of being a deceased person, or the ruling of a baby. It is buried in any location, and that is sufficient for it. There no washing, [shrouding] or funeral prayer for it because it is not considered a person, and therefore does not carry the same rulings as the deceased, except if the soul has been blown into it, which is in the fifth month (i.e. at 120 days).
So if it is miscarried in the fourth month (prior to 120 days) or the third month, then it is flesh – and maybe the limbs are distinct such as a head and legs and so on; in this case the mother does not pray or fast during her post-natal bleeding of forty days or less [if she stops bleeding]. So when she becomes pure at forty days, she resumes prayer and fasting. And if she completes forty days, but continues to bleed, she must bathe and start praying. That is due to the fact that bleeding beyond forty days is due to a bleeding vein and not due to post-natal bleeding (nifās). So with that bleeding, which is not post-natal (nifās), she can pray and fast – but she must perform wudoo (ablution) before each prayer, just like a woman who has continual non-menstrual bleeding (a mustahādah).
However if she is pure at forty days, then she can pray, fast and have sexual relations with her husband. On the other hand, if the miscarried foetus is not discernable, meaning: it is morsel of flesh or a clot of congealed blood, not having any distinguishing limbs, then the mother’s subsequent bleeding is not post-natal bleeding (i.e. it is not nifās). She does not stop praying, or fasting or withhold from sexual relations with her husband. So that is when there are no distinct human limbs: no head, no legs, no hands – so in this situation, her bleeding is not considered as preventative. It is upon her to pray, fast and have sexual relations – and she makes wudoo for every prayer if she is bleeding just as the woman who has continuous non-menstrual bleeding.
Source and audio: binbaz.org.sa/
The Shaikh, the Imām and Jurist, Muhammad Ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaimeen (رحمه الله) said:
If the foetus is miscarried before the completion of 120 days, there is no janāzah prayer to be prayed for it. Rather it is taken and buried in the earth in any place without a funeral. However if the 120 days are completed, i.e. four months, then it is considered to be a person. So if the foetus is miscarried after that point, then it is washed and shrouded, and it is given a funeral prayer. Even if it is only the size of a hand, it is prayed over, and buried in the graveyard of the Muslims, if it was counted amongst the Muslims. However, if it was a child of the Christians, meaning that it’s parents were Christians, then the child is not buried in the graveyard of the Muslims. It is merely buried without the ritual bath and shrouding. That is the case even for a baby, due to the fact that when the Prophet (ﷺ) was asked about the children of the polytheists, he responded: “They are from them.”
The point is that if the four months are completed (120 days) and then the foetus is miscarried: it is washed, shrouded, and the janāzah is prayed for it, and then buried in a Muslim graveyard – it is also named and an ‘aqeeqah performed, in the most correct opinion of the scholars, so that it will intercede for its parents on the Day of Resurrection. (1/751)
(Source: Fawā’id ‘ala Riyādhis-Sāliheen, Dar Ibn Atheer, no. 75, pg. 132)
Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaimeen also said:
Abdullāh Ibn Mas’ood narrates from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) the three stages of darkness: “Verily the creation of each one of you is brought together in his mother’s womb for forty days in the form of a nutfah (a drop)…”
So when a man and woman have sexual relations, he plants in her womb a watery liquid that remains there for forty days as a nutfah – in that state. It is a watery liquid – however it changes, slowly but surely, becoming gradually redder in colour until the forty days are complete. So when it reaches forty days, its redness becomes complete, and it becomes a red clot of blood, an ‘alaqah – and it remains as such for further forty days, meaning as clot of blood that is a congealed substance. It then thickens gradually over time, slowly but surely, until eighty days are completed. When eighty days have been completed, it is then a mudghah, which is a morsel of flesh. Allah, the Most High said: “A lump of flesh, some formed and some unformed.” [Al-Hajj: 5] So it remains as such for forty days. So [the foetus with limbs] is formed from day eighty-one through to day one hundred and twenty, and its distinct form is not apparent and clear until ninety days in most cases. (1/750)
(Source: Fawā’id ‘ala Riyādhis-Sāliheen, Dar Ibn Atheer, no. 74, pg. 130 – slightly abridged for brevity and ease of reading)
Here is the hadeeth that Shaikh Ibn Bāz and Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen were referring to in their rulings:
عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم -وَهُوَ الصَّادِقُ الْمَصْدُوقُ-: “إنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ يُجْمَعُ خَلْقُهُ فِي بَطْنِ أُمِّهِ أَرْبَعِينَ يَوْمًا نُطْفَةً، ثُمَّ يَكُونُ عَلَقَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ، ثُمَّ يَكُونُ مُضْغَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ، ثُمَّ يُرْسَلُ إلَيْهِ الْمَلَكُ فَيَنْفُخُ فِيهِ الرُّوحَ، وَيُؤْمَرُ بِأَرْبَعِ كَلِمَاتٍ: بِكَتْبِ رِزْقِهِ، وَأَجَلِهِ، وَعَمَلِهِ، وَشَقِيٍّ أَمْ سَعِيدٍ؛ فَوَاَللَّهِ الَّذِي لَا إلَهَ غَيْرُهُ إنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إلَّا ذِرَاعٌ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا. وَإِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إلَّا ذِرَاعٌ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا”.
On the authority of Abdullāh ibn Masood, who said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), and he is the truthful, the believed, narrated to us, “Verily the creation of each one of you is brought together in his mother’s womb for forty days in the form of a nutfah (a drop), then he becomes an `alaqah (clot of blood) for a like period, then a mudghah (morsel of flesh) for a like period, then there is sent to him the angel who blows his soul into him and who is commanded with four matters: to write down his rizq (sustenance), his life span, his actions, and whether he will be happy or unhappy (i.e., whether or not he will enter Paradise). By the One, other than Whom there is no deity, verily one of you performs the actions of the people of Paradise until there is but an arms length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him, and so he acts with the actions of the people of the Hellfire and thus enters it; and verily one of you performs the actions of the people of the Hellfire, until there is but an arms length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him and so he acts with the actions of the people of Paradise and thus he enters it.” [Bukhari & Muslim]