As a result of the drop in the ratio of girls to boys among an Indian Muslim community, an Islamic seminary has passed a fatwa banning the selective abortion of a female foetus.
Darul Uloom of Deoband, the largest Islamic seminary in India, issued the fatwa (Islamic ruling) against selective abortion of female foetuses, calling the act unlawful and against Islam. This is the first fatwa against sex-selective abortions.
The seminary in Uttar Pradesh state is considered among the most influential schools for Islamic law in Asia and has adherents from all over Afghanistan, Pakistan and South-East Asia.
The Islamic institution passed the judgement after taking into account individual queries and media reports on skewed sex ratio among Muslims.
Their statement reads;
“We have issued a ‘fatwa’ (death sentence) against aborting a female foetus due to its sex because that is unlawful according to Islam. Girl is also a boon from Allah which Islam asks to value.”
The fatwa said “The selective abortion of a female foetus is haram, or forbidden. During ignorance era, people used to bury their daughters alive which the Holy Quran condemned severely. Islam orders us to treat our daughters well.”
Spokesman for the Darul Uloom seminary, Maulana Usmani, said recent data from the national census report has shown that sex ratio number of females per 1,000 males has dropped even among Muslims.
He appealed to Muslims to refrain from any act that discriminates against the girl child. Report says that the selective abortion of females is widespread in India, despite laws prohibiting even the determination of sex of a foetus.
According to the 2011 census, the sex ratio for children aged 0-6 years was 919 girls for every 1,000 boys, lower than the natural ratio. In the Muslim community the figure was 943 girls to 1,000 boys in 2011, a drop from the 2001 figure of 950.