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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES-04

0710-Contraception

Background material for Year 3 PPSD session on Thursday 25th October 2007

FERTILITY

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.

 

MALE CONTRACEPTION

The permissible reversible methods for males are the condom, coitus saxanicus, coitus reservatus, and coitus interruptus.

 

FEMALE CONTRACEPTION

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

 

SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC IMPACT

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.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. October, 2007