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As far as all permanent methods of family planning are concerned, it is unanimously agreed upon by all Islamic scholars that they are prohibited. Tubctomy, Vesectomy are prohibited. Even abortion is prohibited, unless it is done to save the life of the mother. For instance, if the mother has a heart problem and if she conceives again it may be a danger to her life. Or if she has had multiple scissor incisions and one more might be detrimental to her health. In such cases abortion and all permanent family planning methods are permitted to save the life of the mother. Otherwise all permanent methods are prohibited. 

Abortion is prohibited because Allah (God) says in the Qur'an in Sura al Anaam Chapter 6 Verse 151, "kill not your children for want of sustenance for it is Allah (God), Who will give sustenance to you and your child." The message is repeated in Sura al Isra Chapter 17 Verse 31, "kill not your children for want of sustenance for it is Allah (God), Who will give sustenance to your child and you."

Family Planning
How can one kill such beautiful children, be it even at any age or even as a zygote? That is inhuman!

As far as temporary methods or contraception is concerned, the most common is copati. It is taught that it is a contraception, but it is not a contraception, it is a contraimplantation. Because the sperm and egg have already met and they have formed a zygote and it prevents the zygote from clinging to the utrine wall so it is nothing, but early abortion and even copati is prohibited. Oral contraceptives are also prohibited because many complications occur and they change the physiology of the body and Allah (God) says in the Qur'an in Sura al Room Chapter 30 Verse 30 that do not change the physiology of your body.

As far as other temporary methods are concerned, there is a difference of opinion. Once a companion came to the prophet and said that he practiced coetusinteruptus (breaking the sexual act early and not allowing the male's fluid to enter the female body). The prophet remained silent to this. So a group of scholars say that since the prophet remained silent, it is permitted. While another group of scholars say that since the prophet remained silent, it is prohibited. So there is a difference of opinion concerning the temporary methods.

But lets get back to the cause that why do we need family planning. Broadly there can be two major reasons why a person would want to do family planning. One, because he is poor and can't look after the financial needs of many children. Two, that maybe the person is rich, but he wants to have a gap between his children so that he can make them doctors, engineers, etc. Lets look at both these causes.

First reason, if a person is poor, Islam has the solution to poverty. And it is Zakat, that every rich person who has the savings equal to 85 grams of Gold, should give 2.5% of his savings every lunar year in charity. If every rich person in the world pays Zakat, poverty would be eradicated and not a single person would die of hunger. So the solution is Zakat, not killing the people.

Second reason is that may be the person is rich, but he wants to give spacing between his children so that he can make them doctors, engineers, etc. Almighty God has given a natural spacing between children known as "Lactational Amenorrhea" that if a woman breastfeeds her child there occurs a natural spacing between them. But modern women do not want to breastfeed their children because they will lose their figure.

Rich People Doing Family Planning
How can you know that the child you are killing is a genius or not?

There is a falacy that if you have less children you will be able to educate them better. If you check the history of Noble Prize winners, all of them were not the single child of their parents. Some were the second child; some were the third; some were the fourth and even some were fifth child of their parents. And they were intelligent and were Noble Prize winners.

I quoted two verses of the Qur'an in the begining. First verse is of Sura al Anaam Chapter 6 Verse 151, "kill not your children for want of sustenance for it is Allah (God), Who will give sustenance to you and your child." This verse is referring to the first group, the poor people who think if they have another child they will die and even their children will die. But Allah (God) promises them that He will give sustenance to them and their children. The second verse is of Sura al Isra Chapter 17 Verse 31, "kill not your children for want of sustenance for it is Allah (God), Who will give sustenance to your child and you." In the first verse Allah (God) says, "I will give sustenance to YOU AND YOUR CHILD". In the second verse the order is reversed and Allah (God) says, "I will give sustenance to YOUR CHILD AND YOU". Why is the order reversed? The order is reversed because the second verse refers to the rich people. He is worried about his children, so Almighty God says that He will take care of his children as well as him.

In America they encourage population. The children wear a T-shirt saying "I am my father's tax saver." The more children you have the less tax you have to pay. Same in Canada. Same in Australia. But it is in the third world countries that they discourage population. The problem is not with population. The problem is with the govts of these third world countries and their wrong policies. China has the biggest population in the world and India has the second biggest population in the world. These two countries are two future super powers of the world only because of their big populations. China and India are developing at a rapid pace and are competing neck to neck to become the biggest super power of the world in the future and the developed countries of the world are nowhere to be seen in this race. Population is a boon not a bane. The countries should only know how to utilize this man power.

Raising Children
How can you kill a life to enjoy your own life?

There is a third category of people who are rich and who are not worried about the up-bringing of their children; they are not worried about their children becoming doctors or engineers, but do not want to take care of children. They want to enjoy life. There are certain communities, such as Gujratese in India, who get married earlier; have children early and by the time they turn 35 to 40, their child gets 15 to 20 years old and takes over the family business. By the time the father turns 45, he can retire. He does not have to wait till he becomes 60. So the parents can set back and relax and enjoy life. So even if you are among this third category, you should get married early; have children and let the children take care of the business and then you can enjoy life.

So as far as planning is concerned, Allah (God) says in the Qur'an in Sura ale Imran, "they planned; Allah too planned and Allah is the best of planners." So if you think Almighty God can plan your family better, then leave it to Almighty God. But if you think that you can plan your family better, then the choice is yours. I believe in Almighty God and I will let him plan my family.

Personal Note:- My cousin and his wife decided to do family planning after having 2 children and last year their one year old son passed away. It is a year since then that they are praying for another child and regretting their earlier decision. So please let this not happen to you! And pray that may my cousin soon have another child, Ameen!

About Liaqat Qazi

Student of BA in Islamic Studies at the Islamic Online University. Can be reached at @LiaqatQazi
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