The Shari'ah's Stand on Abandoned Children
Muslim jurists have addressed the issue of an abandoned child (laqit) from different angles beginning with the existence of a basic obligation to save its life. There is general consensus that it is a collective obligation (fard al-kifayah) of the community to save the abandoned child, and it is an obligation in the first place of the individual who finds it. That obligation is elevated to an emphatic personal duty (fard al-ayn) of the finder in the event of imminent fear over the death and injury of the child. This is due to he explicit Qur’anic emphasis on the sanctity of life contained in the injunction that “one who saves one life is as if he has saved the whole of humankind”. It is accordingly regarded as an act of great merit and service to humanity for the one who actually saves life.