My Question is regarding the Verse 223 of the 2nd Surah of the Quran. I would like to ask you if this is a prohibition of family planning by Allah
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Dear Brother Burhan,
Assalam o Alaikum
My Question is regarding the Verse 223 of the 2nd Surah of the Quran. I would like to ask you if this is a prohibition of family planning by Allah, since it can be taken to mean that the only purpose of intercourse should be the birth of a child and nothing else.
Your sister in Islam,
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Aayah only for children
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 223:
223 Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will. But do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah and know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter) and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.
‘Family Planning’ is a slogan or a term which has taken a completely varied meaning of its own in this modern-educated but ignorant and un-Godly society. If by ‘family planning’ one tries to imply that one should have only a limited number of children, or one must stop through medical or other means the birth of children once the desired number of children have been born so as not to ‘over-burden’ the population and resources of the planet; then such a theory regarding ‘family planning’ is absolutely forbidden in Islam.
But if one takes the term ‘Family Planning’ to mean the spacing of children, whereby the parents wish and try to give a couple of years gap between the birth of their children, there is absolutely no harm in practicing such ‘family planning’ in Islam.
But to intend or take measures to completely stop the wife from becoming pregnant or giving birth after a desired number of children have been born is completely against the Guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah and a manifest transgression against the commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws).
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 140:
Most surely they became losers, who, in their folly and ignorance killed their own children; and made unlawful what Allah had provided them as sustenance, falsely ascribing prohibitions to Allah. Surely, they went astray and were not at all rightly guided.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 151 (part):
You should not kill your children for fear of poverty; for We provide sustenance for you and will provide sustenance for them also.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Israa verse 31:
Do not kill your children for fear of want; for it is We Who provide for them, and for you as well. Indeed, their killing is a heinous crime!
Your Question: since it can be taken to mean that the only purpose of intercourse should be the birth of a child and nothing else.
There is absolutely no doubt that the fulfillment of the natural physical desire between the man and the woman in intercourse results in the procreation of mankind; and without a doubt that is the primary mission why this attraction is kept in the nature of mankind by the All-Knowing, All-Wise Lord. But the Lord has also kept a secondary mission in this act of intercourse between a man and woman, whereby both fulfill their natural physical desire and derive pleasure from it.
Had the All-Wise, All-Knowing Lord not bestowed this act of intercourse with its secondary function of pleasure, no one would be willing to take measures for the pro-creation of mankind, and burden oneself willingly with the huge and humongous responsibility of spending a life-time rearing and raising children, thus resulting in humanity becoming an extinct species!
A similar example with distinct primary and secondary functions is the natural human desire for food. The primary function or mission of eating food is to gain strength through the many qualities the Lord has bestowed in each type of food; and the secondary function or mission of food intake is the fulfillment of man’s hunger and its savory taste.
If man were to concentrate only in fulfilling its secondary function of deriving taste and fulfillment of one’s hunger, and every time man ate he would take measures to throw up the food he had eaten, he would lose the primary function and not gain any benefit, strength, and growth from the food he had eaten; thus resulting in severe disabilities like malnutrition and ultimately death!
The verse of Surah Baqarah indeed implies and highlights the primary function of the act of intercourse; but in no way does it imply or forbid the man to have intercourse with his wife to fulfill its secondary function of deriving pleasure. It is absolutely permissible for the believing couple to enjoy their physical relationship, an example of which is the permissibility of intercourse when the woman is pregnant, thus fulfilling and deriving only the secondary function during those times.
Islam does not in any way prohibit the couple to enjoy their physical relationship and derive pleasure from it; but what it does prohibit and declares it absolutely forbidden is that one takes permanent measures to stop its primary function of the pro-creation of mankind, and focus only on the fulfillment of its secondary function; such an enforcement would be unnatural, wrong, harmful to the cause of humanity and ultimately destroy the cycle of humanity on earth!
One only needs to take a look at the state of some of the so-called ‘modern-advanced’ but ignorant and un-Godly European nations like Sweeden, Finland, Norway, France, Italy, etc. or even nations like Taiwan and Japan, etc. where the so-called ‘think-tanks’ in the government fear that the negative birth rate in their nations could have a severe effect and impact on their future population, economy, social security and finally their culture due to the necessary influx of foreign labor! Such is the fear in these countries, that some of these nations have actually enacted legislation and have started giving monetary rewards and tax benefits to couples who produce children! The root cause of their condition is nothing but the previous disruption of the cycle of nature whereby intercourse was encouraged only for its secondary function and its primary function was absolutely disregarded and defrowned upon!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verses 118-120:
118 Allah did curse him (the Shaytaan) but he said: "I will take of Thy servants a portion marked off.
119 "I will mislead them and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah." Whoever forsaking Allah takes Shaytaan for a friend hath of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest.
120 The Shaytaan makes them promises and creates in them false desires; but the Shaytaan's promises are nothing but deception.
When man dares to deface or alter the perfect nature created by the All-Perfect Lord, mankind will have to pay its price; not only in the Hereafter, but if the Lord Wills, at times also in this world!
If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), he can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), he can be assured of being led astray.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,