Ruling on delivery by caesarian section
Fatwa No: 316828

  • Fatwa Date:8-3-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 29, 1437
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Question

What does Islamic fiqh say about getting a caesarean section willingly? If any doctor stresses to get it without any risk for the wife or baby, is it legal in Islam?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Some scholars warned against getting a caesarean section as its harm is often greater than its benefits, and they listed a number of Islamic prohibitions of doing it and a number of benefits of avoiding it.

Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was asked about it, and he replied:

In my view – may Allaah bless you – this method which people use nowadays when a woman feels the contractions, and she goes to the hospital and a caesarean section is done to her; I think this is nothing but the whispers of the devil and that its harm is much greater than its benefit because a woman is bound to feel pain when in labor (giving birth), and this pain has many benefits:

1 – It is an expiation for sins.

2 – It raises her in status if she is patient and seeks the reward (of Allaah for it).

3 – The woman understands the extent of the pain suffered by her own mother who experienced the same thing like her.

4 – She will appreciate the extent of the blessing of good health that Allaah bestowed on her.

5 – It will increase her love towards her child, because the more difficult it is to attain something, the dearer it becomes.

6 – If the child is born via the usual natural route, this is better for him and for the woman.

7 – Damage may be expected from this surgery, because this operation weakens the wall of the uterus etc, which may tear. And it may be successful or unsuccessful.

8 – The woman who gets used to having caesareans is unlikely to give birth in the natural manner because that is not possible and there is the risk that the place of the surgery may rupture.

9 – Having surgery results in having fewer children because if the abdomen is cut three times in different places, it becomes weak and future pregnancy becomes dangerous.

10 – This is a kind of luxury, and luxury is a thing that leads to doom, as Allaah says (what means): {Verily, before that, they indulged in luxury…} [Quran 56:45] Women should be patient and seek reward and continue to give birth the natural way because that is better for them in this world and in the Hereafter. Men should also pay attention to this issue, for we do not know, perhaps our enemies are the ones who have made these operations easy for us so that we will lose these benefits and be subject to these losses.

Since this is the case, one must avoid it unless normal birth is not possible out of fear for the mother or her child.

Allaah knows best.

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