According to 'fatwa" of our late Mujtahid, Mohsin Al-Hakim contraception (birth control) is allowed on three conditions, viz. If both partners agree, if it does no harm to either and if it does not affect the child (if it is born). Recently, Rabetat al-Alam al-Islami (Muslim World League), put out a 'fatwa" that birth control is forbidden in Islam. This view is also held by
Abul A'la Maududi: the Muslim scholar of Pakistan (see his book 'Birth Control' published by Islamic Publication Ltd. Lahore); also S. V Meer Ahmed Ali in the translation of the Holy Qur'an states that birth control is forbidden in Islam. I should be grateful if you could please provide me from Ahadith and Qur'an, to support the view that birth control is allowed in Islam.
A. Birth Control, as a principle, is well-accepted in Islamic jurisprudence since the very beginning. Arabs used to prevent unwanted pregnancies by withdrawing the organ at the time of ejaculation. It is called 'Azi in Arabic, which in medical paralence is termed Citus interruptes and it is allowed in Islam. There are traditions, narrated by at least 10 companions that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) allowed it or did not object to it. These traditions are in Sunni books. Of course, there are some traditions (also in Sunni books) which show that it was "not liked" by some companions of the Holy Prophet. Also, there is a tradition which shows displeasure of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w ). But that tradition has a weak "Rawi" (narrator) in it and as mentioned above there are at least 10 traditions against it. So far as the Sunnis are concerned, they are not clear on this subject. Some years ago a large body of world Sunni scholars. gathered at Jakarta, decided this question in almost the same way as Agha-e-Hakim had done. And that was considered a verdict based on consensus. Our Sunni brethren some times fail to distinguish between "undesirable" and "unlawful". Also, they some times fail to differentiate between legal and ethical concepts. And that is the root-cause of this controversy in Sunni circles. Agha-e-Khoui has given his ruling in a mopre clear term. He has written :-
“Mas’ala 1378 : The women may use what prevents pregnancy if there is not much harm in it, even if husband does not agree with it.
“Mas’ala 1379 : Abortion (even when it is in stage of “Nutfa” only) is forbidden,….”
I think it clarifies your question that you “Know of no contraceptive which does no harm.”
In Bombay they have started a new scheme. If a couple cannot produce, and after medical checkup it is found that the fault is with the man, then they insert the sperm into the woman by instrument. The couple is not told whose sperm is that. Is the child born Haram or Halal.? Is this type of production allowed? The sperms are inserted only after the husband himself consents. It is the husband's wish He is ready for that.
A It is Haram; and the child will not be affiliated to the husband of its mother although it will be affiliated to the mother only. Of course, if the semen is that of the husband himself, then it is all right..
Q 93: IS BREAST-FEEDING WAJIB
Is it wajib for a mother to feed her infant child from her breast?
If the answer is 'Yes', then, if the mother gets trouble health wise etc what should she do?
If the answer is No', then I came across a book which says that if a mother doesn't feed her child with her breast then on the Day of Judgement the child would refuse to recognise its
mother, saying that the mother never fed him from her breast.
A. The mother is not obliged to breast-feed her child. In fact, she may demand remuneration from her husband for breast-feeding his of -spring. Of course, as now everybody knows, breast-feeding is very beneficial both to the mother and the child. It helps in bringing the uterus to its normal size and acts as a sort of natural birth-control. And the love and sense of protection which is thus generated and transmitted from the mother to the child can never be obtained by any other means. This is quite apart from the fact that the mother's milk is the best food for the child Even medicated cows' milk can not reach the standard of perfect harmony with the child's body system.
It is for these reasons that Islam puts great emphasis on breast feeding. But if the woman is not able for any reason to do so, there is no sin at all. I have not yet come across any hadith saying that a child would refuse to recognise its mother on the Day of Judgement if she did not give it her milk from her breast. Even supposing that there is any hadith to that effect, it would be treated as a mere exhortation and not as a law
Q 94: HOW CAN A WOMAN GET HER MARRIAGE DISSOLVED?
If a husband refuses to give talaq to his wife, what course is open to the woman, under Islam. And on what grounds can she get her nikah nullified?
A (a) She can ask the husband to give her Khula' in lieu of some payment (which is usually the amount of the Mahr).
(b) If the husband has disappeared without leaving any trace or is neglecting to maintain her, or is cruel to her then she can refer her case to the Mujtahid, who has authority to give her Talaq.
(C) In case of insanity of the husband (whether it was from before marriage or occurring after marriage) she has the right to break of the marriage without any need to refer the case to the Mujtahid.
(d) If the husband was impotent from before the marriage, then she will refer the case to the Mujtahid The Mujtahid will give the husband a grace period of one year for treatment If at the expiry of that time, he still remains impotent, the wife may nullify the marriage herself
Q 95. ADULTERM OF EYES?
Islam says that 'a person has already committed adultery if he looks at a girl with lustful eyes' Then what Is wrong in committing adultery physically?
A Islam also says: "nor backbite each other Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother; ye lothe it" (Qur'an 49:12)
Well, if you have already indulged in backbiting against someone, then what is wrong if you eat his flesh after he is dead and buried? And for your information, the full "hadith" is as follows:
"The Prophet (s.a w ) said: Every organ of a human being has a share in fornication : the fornication of eye is 'looking at', and fornication of tongue is 'talk', and fornication of ears is 'listening' and fornication of hands is 'assault', and fornication of feet is 'going to', and it is the genital which either confirms all the above or cancels it.”
I think there is no need to explain further the above hadith.
Q 96 : USING HAIR-DYE
I have heard that there is great thawab (reward) in dyeing the hair,- and that it is beneficial to eyesight and gums There are many hair-dyes in market nowadays, but many of which cause more harm than benefit to the hair and the gums. So, how is that?
A Using the hair-dye (Khidab) is Sunnah. Its actual benefit is to improve the appearance of man; he looks younger because his hair becomes black. And this benefit is obtained from any dye or colour. Other benefits depend upon the
ingredient used in that dye In old times, henna was mostly used for colouring the hair; also some black dye was used, but it was made of herbs and non-poisonous ingredients.
Nowadays, the dyes are made of powerful chemicals, and if it is poisonous then those additional benefits will not necessarily be found in them.
Q 97 : LIMIT OF THE BEARD
Is it sufficient to have the beard on the chin only, instead of keeping the full beard from ears to the chin?
A. Yes; it is sufficient.
It is said that receiving interest is haram. If it is so, in these days of inflation one loses the value of his money as the inflation increases. Then doesn't interest compensate it (though not fully)? Does it seem logical to say that Islam does not approve interest?
A. I am enclosing two past issues of "Light", in which you will find an article "Why Interest Is Forbidden?"
If you ask some really knowledgeable economist, he will tell you that it is the banking system which is to be blamed to a great extent for the recurring cycles of depression and inflation. So, what you consider as the remedy is actually the disease.
Q 99 : INTEREST AND NON-MUSLIMS
Is interest allowed from a non-Muslim institution?
A. There are two categories of 'Kafirs': Dhimmi and Harbi. Dhimmi means those Jews and Christians who are under the protection of an Islamic state All others are called Harbi. According to Agha-a-Khui, a Muslim cannot take interest from a Dhimmi kafir; and it is Ahwat-e-Wujubi not to take it even from a Harbi. But in both cases, if there has been an agreement that the kafir will give the interest, then the amount may be accepted not as interest butother intentions: in the case of Dhimmi, because he has made himself liable to it and is giving it with his own free will; and in the case of Harbi, because his property is not under the protection of Islam.