My take on family planning.

"And Allah has made for you spouses of your own kind and has made for you, from your wives, sons and grandsons, and has bestowed upon you good provisions."                  {Surah An-Nahl, verse 72}
I have been meaning to write an entry about family planning, and I think it is about time.

Especially after reading the latest entry from a fellow blogger, Hannah Johary. She also linked her post to another entry, which you can read here.

It is not uncommon in our culture that whenever we get married, people will start pressuring us on when we will bear children. Even when you already had one, the pressure keeps on coming. When is the 2nd one? And when is the next?

Some newlyweds get too stressed out on having children as soon as they tied the knot. It is good if they immediately conceived. However, the thing is if it turns out the other way, they get very frustrated and exhausted with anticipation. At that point it is mentally and physically exasperating.

I will say this straight, I am all for strategic family planning and responsible parenting.

I admit that I have been planning my family ever since before we got married. I’ve got to say the stigma of family planning still exists in our society, and during my early months of marriage, I did get the pressure. However, I am very grateful that at least my family were not the ones who created them.

There are many reasons as to why family planning is being done. I am not sure about other people, but for me, I always believe in preparation. In the first few months of marriage, we were busy preparing for a child, instead of getting busy making one. I was living apart from my husband, and that was one of the major reasons that it was not the right time for a baby. Hubby also was just settling down with a secured job, and we allowed a little time to build up our financial strength.

And then, we find ways to settle down and live together. I was willing to make certain sacrifices, like living further from work, and leaving the town that was so convenient to live in. And so did hubby, he also had to live further away from work, and he had to drive 45-50 minutes every day. Just so that we can live together, and ensure that our child is born into a settled-down family. Once we found a place to call home, we decided that it was time, and not long after, Bella was born.

Bella has turned 18 months now, and I can feel that the pressure for the 2nd one has already started to build up. I have to admit that I do once in a while feel like having another, but then again I have to make sure that we (Bella inclusive this time) are all prepared.

Now, back to the stigma of family planning. I personally think that there is a certain misconception when it comes to family planning, in our society per se. Some people say that it is haram. But do think again, it actually falls back on the reasons, the intentions and the method.

Family planning is not about “removing” a child that has already exists, it is about planning out the occurrence of pregnancy itself, and making sure that a child is conceived at the readiness of the family.

"…In 1980, Islamic scholar Dr Yusuf Qardhawi said that a Muslim is allowed to plan his family for reasons such as the delivery may endanger the mother’s health, the burden of children may strain the family’s means to the extent that the couple might accept or do something haram to satisfy their needs and the children’s health and upbringing may suffer"

As for the method of planning, the use of contraceptive is OK because it does not kill a foetus/fertilized ovum. Contraception is a method of barrier, and reduces the probability of conception in the first place.

"It is permissible to control the timing of births with the intent of distancing the occurrences of pregnancy or to delay it for a specific amount of time, if there is some Shari'ah need for that in the opinion of the spouses, based on mutual consultation and agreement between them. However, this is conditioned by that not leading to any harm, by it being done by means that are approved in the Shari'ah and that it not do anything to oppose a current and existing pregnancy"

Permanent fixes like vasectomy or hysterectomy on a perfectly healthy women/men, however, is forbidden.

If a couple happens to “accidentally” conceive an unwanted child, and did an abortion, then yes it is haram. No matter if it is was only a fertilised ovum or a fully grown foetus. If a couple kills their children for fear of not being able to sustain them, then again, it is haram. This has been clearly stated in a verse in the Quran :

"Kill not your children because of poverty - We provide sustenance for you and for them"
[Surah Al-An'Am, verse 151]
"And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin"                                                             [Surah Al-Isra', verse 31]
That’s it, my 2 cents on family planning. And the reason why I am not having a 2nd baby yet, in case you were wondering. And if it so happens that the child comes sooner, I always have my faith in God. Who am I to deny His blessings? :)


The Black Jubah said…
I do agree with you, when I first got married, I did not conceive until after 5 month after that.
Alhamdulillah, after a very bad car accident I was like immediately pregnant, 5 weeks after accident I was 5 weeks pregnant and twins too. After that my hubby said just let it be (no family planning).
6 month after that pregnant again...then, I started to plan...Alhamdulillah I have 5 all together.
Ayuni A. said…
Wsalam kakak..Alhamdulillah u have a bunch of beautiful kids :) saw it on ur blog :)
ryyhan said…
Btl..mulut org xleh tutup.asik tnya bila nk tmbh...myself blk maternity leave no 2 pun kena tnya bila no 3...pdhal 2 taun berturut bersalin...

But with nowadays cost of living and so on lbh baik klu Allah bg lbh awal, rezeki drNya
Ayuni A. said…
Gotta agree with you Ryyhan :) Kalau dapat lebih awal, maknanya Allah tahu kita mampu. He has the best plans.

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