Birth Control in Light of Islam and Science

Birth control, also known as contraception and fertility control, are methods or devices used to prevent pregnancy. For the last 50 to 60 years, discussion about birth control or population control has increased so much that it has become a discussing point on Television, Radio, Internet and all other various platforms.

Ahmad and Abu Dawood reported on the authority of Ma’qil Ibn Yasar (May Allah be pleased with him) who narrated that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and said:

“I have found a woman of rank and beauty, but she does not give birth to children. Should I marry her?” He said: “No.” He came again to him, but he prohibited him. He came to him third time, and he (the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Marry women who are loving and very prolific, for I shall outnumber the peoples by you.”

This Hadith indirectly calls to abstaining from birth control and similar practices.

Consequences of Birth Control Methods on Mother’s Health

It has been established scientifically that the use of birth control methods has dire consequences on the mother’s health. The woman’s reproductive system controls a group of reproductive hormones secreted from the frontal lobe of the pituitary gland and the ovary. In the normal state, these hormones are produced in measured degrees. Any increase or decrease in this could lead to illness. Hence, medical scientists admit that all contraceptives adversely affect their users. This is the result of many researches carried out in this regard. Some of the dire consequences of using contraceptives are as follows:

1. Imbalance of body hormones

2. Gaining weight and fluid retention in the body.

3. Severe inflammation in the woman’s reproductive system.

4. Increase in vulnerability to fatal heart attacks for those who are over thirty, more so for those who are over forty.

Death of a women who took Contraceptive Tablets

News agencies once reported the case of a British woman who died as result of using contraceptive tablets. She had been using the tablets known as Valdan for eight years before changing to another known as Mithoclore on medical advice. After a few weeks of the change, she fell ill and became bed-ridden. Later, her health deteriorated and she died.

Lately, it was established that the use of contraceptives especially tablets can lead to some cases of cancer.

The Most Balanced Advice

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) had wanted to prohibit breastfeeding a child if the mother became pregnant had he not known that the Romans were doing so. This is because such breastfeeding could harm the suckling and inhibit the infant’s growth.

If we ponder deeply over this Prophetic guidance, we would realize that the space between one pregnancy and another takes three years, especially if we go back to Allah’s statement:

“The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling.” (Soorah Al-Baqarah 2:233)

We would then discover that giving a mother the opportunity to fully regain her health (after delivery of a child) is a matter that the religion enjoins, as opposed to absolute prevention of pregnancy through contraceptive methods.

Condition in Muslim and Arab Countries

It is strange that most Muslim countries have been swept away by the so-called birth control campaign under the guise of facing economic and social challenges. Huge amounts of money that could be used for more useful economic and social projects are earmarked for this campaign. Here it is very important to note that the real problem is not the scarcity of the resources but the unequal distribution of the resources amongst the people. Now a day the wealth and resources are circulating and concentrated amongst the rich, therefore the masses of population are unable to get their due right.

Classified reports in one of the Arab countries confirm that what is spent on birth control campaign in a single year in terms of vehicles purchased, physicians and nurses recruited, drugs and other materials bought, operations performed and hospitals used was enough to take care of more than a million children at a time when the birth rate in that country did not exceed half a million births.

In addition to this, there are some Muslim countries that have projects and work opportunities where there are not enough workforces thereby forcing these countries to import workers from Asian and European countries to help them execute their projects.

On the other hand, there are other Muslim countries that are overpopulated but lack enough capital to establish projects in which their teeming population could find gainful employment. Can’t these countries benefit from the former so that brotherhood of humanity can be fostered? In fact, human resources are the foundation of progress and development if they are properly used instead of lamenting that there are not enough potentialities.

Failure Rate of Contraceptives

The Prophet’s saying in the Hadith, “If Allah wanted to bring something to existence, nothing can prevent Him”, is also a perfect miracle that could only be understood by those who have studied contraceptive methods and their success percentage. In spite of all these different methods, pregnancies still occur sometimes, if Allah (SWT) wishes and decrees so.

A gynecologist said: “A female patient came to me and informed me that she underwent tubal ligation in London and yet found herself getting pregnant a few months after.”

The failure rate of these contraceptives is 55 percent if they are barrier and intra-uterine methods, and the rate falls to 1 percent only if they are done through surgical operations and by an experienced surgeon. However, many researchers still record a failure rate of up to 37 percent in operations done by even experienced surgeons. There are even cases of pregnancy after the removal of the uterus. Therefore, the noble Prophetic Hadith is a perfect miracle in establishing this scientific fact. And Allah (SWT) knows best.

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