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Islamic View On Contraceptives

Islam is a strong advocate of marriage and the act of marriage is considered a religious duty through which the family is established and it is only permissible as a way for men and women to engage in intimacy and welcome children as a gift from Allah.

Sexual ethics in Islam forbid copulation outside marriage, so its teachings about contraception should be understood
within the context of husband and wife and not the other way round.

Few Muslims choose to remain child-free (by choice) but many prefer to plan their families through the use of contraception. Qur’an does not explicitly refer to birth control or family planning but there are verses forbidding infanticide, “Do not kill your children for fear of want.” “We provide sustenance for them and you” (Qur’an 6:151,17:31).

Some Muslims have interpreted this as a prohibition against contraception as well, but this is not a widely accepted
view.

Islamic scholars differ in their opinions about contraception, but only the most conservative scholars prohibit birth
control in all instances. Fundamentally, all scholars consider allowances for the mother’s health and most allow for at least some forms of birth control when it is a mutual decision by husband and wife. Birth control is also becoming a necessity in Islam to regulate intervals during which pregnancies are to be conceived. Medically, it has been proved
that pregnancies should be spaced to give the mother a long lifespan as it has been proved that pregnancies at short
intervals endanger the life of the mother and put the health of the children at risk.

During the lifetime of the noble Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), some forms of birth control were practised and the Prophet did not object to their appropriate use such as to benefit the family or the mother’s health or to delay pregnancy for a certain period.

For example, there are several hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) which indicate that the Prophet knew of birth control of coitus interruption with wife’s consent) and approved of it in appropriate circumstances. Therefore, the teachings of Islam in this regard serve as a basis for a woman to have legitimate reasons for using contraceptives such as being
sick and unable to bear a pregnancy or being physically weak, or having other reasons why getting pregnant would be
harmful to her.

Above all, the woman should seek her husband’s permission because the husband has the right to have children. This must also be done in consultation with a medical doctor to find out whether using contraceptives will be harmful to her or not. However,the use of contraceptives to have a permanently child-free marriage is not accepted in Islam. So sterilization is wrong, partly because it prevents children permanently.

In conclusion, Islam encourages Muslims to have children. There is a great benefit to the individuals in having children because they help in maintaining healthy communities and societies. It is for this reason, that the
Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Marry and multiply.” [Abu Dawud and Nasa’i]. But if getting pregnant puts the life of the mother in jeopardy then the use of legitimate (Islamic) contraceptives is allowed.

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Islamic View On Contraceptives

Islam  is  a  strong  advocate  of marriage and the act of marriage is considered a religious duty through which the family is established and it is only permissible as a way for men and women to engage in intimacy and welcome children as a gift from Allah. Sexual ethics in Islam forbid copulation outside marriage, so its teachings about contraception should be understood within the context of husband and wife and not the other way round.

Read more: Islamic View On Contraceptives