Burying miscarried fetus
Fatwa No: 363259

  • Fatwa Date:3-1-2018 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 16, 1439
  • Rating:

Question

I am sorry to bother, but I need some help. I had a miscarriage at 7 weeks 2 years ago, and they washed my fetus off. We did not bury it because the baby was not formed. Is that a sin? Can you please tell me what should have been done? I know that it is too late to ask, but it is really heavy on my heart, and I am really worried. And could this miscarriage save me from Hellfire?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger. 

As for the fetus that was miscarried in the seventh week and which did not take human form, there is no funeral prayer on it, and it is not washed or enshrouded, because it is less than four months old.

Imam An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"Al-‘Abdari said, 'If the miscarried fetus is less than four months old, then there is no funeral prayer on it, and there is no difference of opinion on this; which means that there is a consensus of the scholars on that. If the miscarried fetus is four months old but it did not move [i.e. there was no sign of life in it], then there is no funeral prayer on it as well, according to the view of the majority of the scholars. Ahmad and Daawood  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them however, are of the view that a funeral prayer should be offered for it."

We have already explained in fatwas 84561 and 84998 that the miscarried fetus that is less than four months old is not washed or enshrouded but only wrapped in a cloth and buried. Its burial is recommended and not obligatory as long as it is less than four months old and did not take human form.

Zakariyya Al-Ansaari, from the Shaafi'i School of jurisprudence, said in Al-Ghurar Al-Bahiyyah fee Sharh Al-Bahjah Al-Wardiyyah:

"If the miscarried fetus is less than four months old, then it is not obligatory to wash it or cover it or bury it; because these are the rulings that apply to the person who was alive or who was expected to have been alive. What was said, that the fetus should be wrapped in a piece of cloth and buried, means that it is desirable to do so with it, contrary to those who claimed that it is obligatory (to bury it) if it had reached four months and vice versa. They based their view on the fact that human form usually appears at four months; otherwise, what should be taken into consideration is whether human form appeared on it or not, as pointed out by Ar-Raafi’i."

Accordingly, there is no sin on you for not burying the miscarried fetus as long as it did not take the human form as you mentioned.

As regards whether or not it would be a protection for you from Hellfire, then it is hoped that you would get the reward of this calamity if you are patient. But the miscarried fetus into which the soul is not breathed is not considered a human being so that it would intercede for someone or be resurrected on the Day of Judgment.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "The miscarried fetus into which the soul is not breathed is not a human being, and it will not be resurrected. It is only the one into which the soul is breathed that will be resurrected."

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa