Question: Does the ruling on birth control differ from that of family limitation (of offspring)?
Answer: Birth control has some detail to it. Therefore, I say that this thing, which has come to be known as “birth control” is from that which the Muslims of today are being tested by in the lands of
Islaam. However, there are cases from it, which must be referred back to the motive behind it. An example of this is when the motive for this birth control is based on a prescription from Muslim doctors who are advising the couple towards this so-called “birth control” to safeguard the health of the woman who has departed from her natural state due to her having delivered many children! So if a skilled Muslim doctor issues these instructions as a form of advice, then that becomes a legitimate excuse for (the allowance of) this birth control.
This is an example in which birth control is permissible. As for an example that is contrary to this one, then it is such as when the motive behind it is due to poverty (!) or because of bills, which is always on the minds of the disbelievers!! So you can see one of them say: “My wife and I are two. And I have two children!! And the fifth member of them is their dog!! So this monthly pay that we receive is just enough for us (to pay our bills), and that’s all [five]!” This is not permissible in Islaam because this motive emanates from the logic of the Days of Ignorance, which we were warned to avoid and stay away from. Such is found in Allaah’s saying:
ولا تقتلوا أولادكم من إملاق نحن نرزقكم وإياهم
…and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them
[Surat Al-Ana’aam: 151]
This is especially the case since the Muslims believe that the child comes with his sustenance (already) with him. This is because, before it comes out into this world, its sustenance is ordained for it while it is in the womb of its mother, as has been clarified to us in the Noble Sunnah. So this example of birth control, with this motive, is not permissible at all. As for the baseless and false reasons that some people have used to justify and allow it, then they have no place in the Religion.
Shaykh Naasir ad-Deen al-Albaani
[Al-Asaalah, Issue #2]
Question: What is the ruling concerning putting limitations to the amount of offspring one has?
Answer : The person that limits his offspring without having a legitimate reason for doing so, I hold him to be foolish if not a disbeliever in the Qadaa and the Qadar (Divine Execution and Preordainment) of Allaah. This is since the individual that limits his progeny to only three children, for example, and he has reached the age of fifty (!), the thought of death does not even cross his mind, or that some violent storm should come and take the lives of his three children, thus leaving him tillthe end of his life as if he were barren and without offspring. Therefore, those that put limits to the amount of children they have, they do not reflect upon the things that every Muslim reflects on. And it is Al-Qadar (Preordainment), which befalls the people in the way that He wants, not in the way that they want. So this practice that is done in current times, is a severe negligence and a clear deprivation.
Shaykh Nasiruddun al-Albani
[Al-Asaalah, Issue #2]
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The Muslim family has a rectifying core role in a society, if the family is rectified and sound, adhering to the Divine Legislation of Allaah and producing righteous children who are a part of the Islamic society; the Islamic society will be rectified, sound and steadfast. From this angle, the messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) highlighted that the best way to begin a good family is for the Muslim to choose a righteous wife.
Al-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwam had two children, one of whom was present at some of the battles, and the other of whom used to play with the old battle scars on his father’s shoulder. This was reported by ‘Urwah ibn al-Zubayr, who said that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon Him) said to al-Zubayr on the day of Yarmook, “Will you go and attack, and we will go with you?” He said, “If I attacked, you would be lying.” They said, “No, we will do (as we promised).” So he launched an attack (against the Romans), penetrating their ranks and passing straight through, but no one was with him. Then he turned around and came back, and the Romans seized the reins of his horse and wounded him twice in the shoulder. Between these two new wounds was a scar from a wound he had received at Badr. ‘Urwah said, “When I was little, I used to play by putting my fingers in those scars.” ‘Urwah said, ” ‘Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr was with him on that day. He was ten years old. He (al-Zubayr) put him on a horse and entrusted him to the care of another man.” (Reported by al-Bukhari, 3678).
Commenting on this hadeeth, Ibn Hajr (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Al-Zubayr felt that his son ‘Abdullah was brave and chivalrous, so he put him on a horse, but he feared that he might attempt to do more than he was able, so he put another man with him so that he could feel that he was safe from the attacks of the Romans should he become distracted by the fighting.”
Ibn al-Mubarak reported from Hishaam ibn ‘Urwah from his father from ‘Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr that he was with his father on the day of Yarmook, and when the mushrikoon ran away, he attacked and started killing their wounded, i.e., he finished off every wounded soldier whom he found. This indicates that he was strong and brave from childhood.