Most mothers describe the birth of a child as one of the happiest moments of their lives. However, for UK Muslim Fatima Ali, this simply wasn’t the case. She had been having a relationship outside of marriage, which is viewed as haram (forbidden) in Islam. Ali’s parents had given her a lot of flak for the relationship. She kept the child a secret from her parents, and was still living with her aunt and uncle by whom she was raised. Her boyfriend had given her money to have an abortion, but that’s also haram. So, Ali had the baby in secret.
But it didn’t stay secret for long. After giving birth to a healthy child, Ali cut the umbilical cord herself and left the baby in the room unattended to die. Having a baby born out of wedlock would bring great shame upon any devout Muslim, and would lead to them being excommunicated from the Islamic community. She took its corpse and buried it in a nearby garden. After disposing of the body, Ali went out with her parents later that evening. No mention of the infant was made.
The child’s body was found and was traced back to Ali. She was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison plus a year under supervision. The local Islamic community distanced itself both Ali and her family, considering both the death of the child and the haram relationship Ali had been in.