Reproduction fulfils a human desire for self-perpetuation, enjoyment of children, and strengthening the ummat. Contraception negates these objectives and is undertaken for very strong reasons. Marrying and getting
offspring are obligatory, wajib, for the community and fulfils the purpose of protecting
and preserving progeny, hifdh al nasl. Procreation for the individual couple is mubaah
or mustahabb in normal circumstances but becomes wajib in situations of military or economic weakness. There is basic permissibility of contraception from the
hadith on coitus interruptus, tarkhis fi al ‘azal. Decisions on contraception must be by mutual consent of the
spouses. If contraception is a dharuurat for preserving the life of the mother,
the husband’s agreement is not required. Choice of the method of contraception must be based on the purposes of the
Law (hifdh al ddiin, hifdh al nafs, hifdh al ‘aql, & hifdh al nasl) and
principles of the Law. There is no consensus among jurists on sterilization. Contraception as part of a national population
control policy is prohibited by Law.
HISTORY OF POPULATION AND BIRTH CONTROL
The motivations for population control at the community or national level are based on greed not to share wealth. There
is no basis in Law for instituting population control as a community or national policy. Allah provides for all creatures
and the argument that the resources of the earth are limited is not true. The problem in the world today is not limited resources
but inequitable distribution of resources. Contraception was practised by past civilizations of ancient Egypt, ancient
Greece, and the Roman Empire. Arabs in
the pre-Islamic period used coitus interruptus, ‘azl. The sex revolution of the 1960s was made possible by the
development of the contraceptive pill. Abortion was used in the past and continues to be used by those who do not want to
bear children and find themselves pregnant. Pharaonic Egypt
instituted a population control policy when the number of Banu Israil increased. Selective infanticide of boys was carried
out. Ethnic cleansing and other forms of genocide have been a characteristic of the 20th century and are likely
to continue into the next century.
The permissible reversible methods for males are the condom, coitus saxanicus, coitus
reservatus, and coitus interruptus.
Permissible reversible methods for females are either mechanical (the diaphragm, the cervical cap, the vaginal sponge)
or chemical (spermicides, oral contraceptive pills). Some forms of IUD are not permitted because they cause early abortion.
The safest and perhaps the least effective is the rhythm method
Availability of safe contraception removes the fear of pregnancy and encourages sexual promiscuity. It also encourages
temporary sexual unions devoid of child responsibilities. Wide spread use of contraception will eventually cause population
imbalance by age and gender. Widespread practice of birth control makes it easier to accept and practice genocide by decreasing
respect for human life.