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Family Planning in Islam

Family planning as a private measure to space or regulate the family size for health or economic reasons is permissible in Islam. There is neither any verse in the Qur’an or hadi-th against birth control, nor is it obligatory to have children in marriage. Moreover, there are several ahadith which categorically prove that birth control is permissible. It is narrated from Ima-m ‘Ali- (as): “One of the two (means) of affluence is to have few dependents.”‘ 66

It is narrated from Ima-m as-Sa-diq (as): “(Ima-m) ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn saw no problem in coitus interruptus and he used to recite the verse that ‘When your Lord took from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their descendants…’ 67 So from whatsoever (seed) Alla-h (swt) has taken a covenant, it is sure to be born even if it is (spilled) on a hard rock.” 68

According to the above tradition, creation is in the hand of Alla-h (swt) alone. Whether or not we practice birth control, if Alla-h (swt) wills, the child will be conceived.

In conclusion, the above aha-dith demonstrate that birth control is permissible.

Notes:

66 Nahj al-Bala-gha, Saying 141

67 Su-rat al-A‘raf, Verse 172

68 Wasa-il ash-Shi-‘a, vol. 14, pg. 105

Adapted from the book: "From Marriage to Parenthood; The Heavenly Path" by: "Abbas and Shahin Merali"

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