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Quran condemns killing of girls

Scholars agree that the act of female foeticide after the sex determination test is an offence.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2006 12:05 IST

Today is celebrated as International Women’s Day, yet in our country, female babies are still being killed on the pretext of being "socio-economic liabilities".

In the spirit of sharing from each other’s good traditions, here is what we could teach and learn from the Quran: God detests this heartless custom that seventh century Arabs were guilty of when Prophet Mohammed came to reform them.
The Quran speaks manifestly against female infanticide. Surah Al-Nahal (16: 58, 59) says, Wa-iza bushra abaduhum bil unsa zalla wajhuhu muswaddauwahuwa kazeem. Yatawara minal qaumi min suie ma bushera bihi umsikuhu ala hunin am yadussuhu fiturrab ala saama yahkumum (And when a daughter is announced to one of them, his face becomes black and he is full of wrath. He hides himself from the people when it is announced to him. Shall he keep it with disgrace or bury it (alive) in the earth? Now surely evil is what they judge).

In Surah Bani Israel (17: 31), it was revealed, Wala taqtulua auladakum khashyata imlaqin nahnu narzuqohum wa-ayakum inna qatlahum kaana khitan kabira (Don’t kill your children for fear of poverty; we give them sustenance and yourself (too); surely to kill them is a great wrong).

A similar verdict was given in Surah Al-Inaam (6:151) and Surah Al-Inaam (6: 40) says, Qad khasiral-lazina qatalu auladahum safa ham baghaire ilmi (They’re lost indeed who kill their children foolishly).” It was revealed in Surah Al-Takwir (81: 8, 9), Wa izal maodatu suilat (And when the female infant buried alive is asked), beayie zanbin qutilat? (For what sin was she killed?) Religious scholars unanimously agree that the act of female foeticide after the sex determination test is the same offence.

Prophet Muhammad was blessed with only one child, Fatima, and had profound love for her. Indeed in the Quran (42: 23), it was revealed, “Say (O Muhammad, unto mankind) I don’t ask you any reward for (enlightening people with the message of peace) except love for nearest of kin.”