Family Planning and Islamic Jurisprudence

By: Azizah al-Hibri, Esq.

“To understand the fullness of the Islamic position on family planning, we need to look more carefully at the total picture. Its departure point, of course, is to encourage the life principle. Hence, the Prophet’s exhortation to multiply and the Qur’anic prohibition of infanticide, a wide-spread pre-Islamic practice involving born children which was motivated mostly by economic and gender considerations. But such a basic position does not necessitate the conclusion that contraception, or even abortion, is prohibited. Indeed, historically, the majority view among Muslims scholars on contraception has been that it is permissible with the wife’s consent, though perhaps disliked in certain cases.”

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