Will you give information about the sustenance of children?

The Details of the Question

Will you give information about the sustenance of children?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

A child is born with his sustenance. The polytheists did not believe in this; and some Arabs did not want to have children due to the fear of poverty and not being able to feed them; therefore, they killed their children as soon as they were born. There also some people who have the same mentality in this age too. Allah Almighty states that He guarantees sustenance for everybody, forbids this act and condemns them severely:

"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." (al-Isra, 17/31);

"Lost are those who slay their children, from folly, without knowledge, and forbid food which Allah hath provided for them, inventing (lies) against Allah. They have indeed gone astray and heeded no guidance." (al-An'am, 6/140).

"Say: ‘Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from": Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to shameful deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.’" (al-An’am, 6/151)

"Do not kill your children for fear of poverty." This indicates that killing children due to the fear of sustenance means doubting that Allah's treasure is rich enough to give sustenance to everybody. Besides, it should be noted that the verse does not mean the practice of killing children in the Era of Jahiliyya, which is mentioned in old tafsir books, only; it also prohibits killing the child in the uterus as the phrase "for fear of want" or "on a plea of want" states. In addition, it can be thought that such a practice existed in the Era of Jahiliyya.

It is regarded as a crime today for a father or mother to kill their own child though it occurs rarely but those verses and similar ones are also closely related with the issue of abortion, which is widely carried out today and causes serious discussions. The majority of the scholars today hold the view that miscarriage and abortion are haram in any phase of pregnancy. (see Diyanet Tefsiri, Kur’an Yolu, Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı Yayınları: II/383-384)

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