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CONTRACEPTION AND FAMILY PLANNING.

In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful.

Having a child is the right of both the spouses and is a given expectation of marriage which both the husband and wife are entitled to. If a wife wants a child, the husband does not have the right to prevent her from doing so and vice-versa. One of the aims of marriage is to have children/offspring that are righteous. Narrated by Maqil-ibn-Tasaar: The Messenger of Allah said: “Marry those who are loving and fertile, for I will be proud of your great numbers before nations”

Islam teaches us that childbearing is a blessing but also recognizes that circumstances may not always allow for it. It can be the health issue of your wife or maybe a man living far away from the wife for some undetermined time. In such situations, childbearing can be postponed for some time but abandoning it altogether is not encouraged.
The most of the Islamic jurist are of the opinion that putting off the childbearing temporarily is permissible on the individual basis but not as an idea for a whole society or a community to follow. This permissibility comes from the fact that Prophet Muhammad (saw) approved of 'azl (coitus interruptus) or withdrawing before ejaculation.
In the most famous tradition regarding this practice, Jâbir b. ‘Abdillâh (may Allah be pleased with him) says, “We used to perform ‘azl during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), and if it were something denunciable, the Quran would have prohibited us from it.” al-Bukhâri (5208) and Muslim (3497)

However, the permissibility of ‘azl is dependent upon certain conditions. The most stressed condition is the agreement of the spouses since reproduction is entitled to both the spouses. Some traditional scholars also agree upon the fact that sexual gratification is another shared entitlement in marriage between spouses and wife may not experience the pleasure of intimacy when husband withdraws before ejaculation and thus should be done only when both the spouses have agreed mutually.

The various contraceptives that are used in modern times, especially those that prevent fertilization altogether are somewhat similar to ‘azl and hence are permissible when its conditions are met, and especially when warranted by pressing logistical circumstances.

Some jurists prefer particular contraceptive methods, such as condoms and IUDs (intrauterine devices), as superior alternatives to other birth control methods, such as some oral contraceptive pills that may have more negative side effects on the woman’s health or those that intervene after fertilization.
If fertilization has taken place and after that, a method is used to stop pregnancy the matter becomes more contentious and in some cases unlawful abortion, which is haram and not permissible at all.
Conclusion

1.       If the decision is because of cultural or societal norms than it is considered destructive and is not permissible as it will lead to negative consequences.

2.       If one is avoiding having children because of the fear of poverty or future then the person has a much serious issue regarding his faith and belief in Allah and such an act is considered impermissible.

3.       If the reason for not having a child is arguments and dispute between the spouses, where one is willing to have a child and another is not ready than the one who is refusing has no right to so because having a child is right of both the partners and an expectation of marriage and it is not permissible for one of them to refuse without a sound reason.

4.       If the motive to delay children is to follow the cultural norms of non-Muslims and their imitation then without a doubt, it is not allowed. One must not follow customs and nations blindly.

5.       If the preventing measure is a surgical procedure that will put off having children altogether so that the partners loses the ability to have children then this is a serious transgression and ingratitude towards the blessing of Allah aza-wajal. Thus unacceptable.

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade such things. This is the case concerning which there is no difference of opinion among the scholars that it is prohibited, for it is the undermining of one of the most important aims of sharee‘ah and a blatant violation of one of the five necessities that Islam came to protect, which are: religious commitment, life, honour, wealth, and offspring.

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