Postponing pregnancy until after breastfeeding
Fatwa No: 72598

  • Fatwa Date:13-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 12, 1435
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Question

I have been married for a year and a half, and we have an eight-month boy, and I want my wife to get pregnant again during this period, but she refuses because our son is still young and this will be a heavy burden for her to take care of two babies, and she says that she has suffered a lot during her first pregnancy and it is difficult for her to go through that again at this time. She wants to wait at least three years before having a second child. Is this permissible? Is there an Islamic ruling in this regard? If the answer is yes, then what can I do; for I want to have many children? Please note that my wife is a 23-year-old employee and I do not help her with house work or with taking care of our child, but I have promised her that if she got pregnant, I would take full care of our eight-month old child.

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, is His Slave and Messenger.

The wife has the right to breastfeed her child for two full years, and this requires delaying the next pregnancy during this period, and she may get pregnant later so that the total time gap between the two children is nearly three years, and this is the most apt thing to do in order to preserve the health of the mother as well as that of her children. Moreover, this helps the mother to take care of her first child before having the second one; for the first child would have dispensed with his mother to some extent. Furthermore, this also enables the parents to raise their children properly. Indeed, reproduction is a mutual right of the married couple; no spouse is entitled to ban pregnancy without the consent of the other partner, unless successive pregnancies would harm the wife; then she can delay pregnancy in order to restore her sound health and strength.

Therefore, we advice the questioner to let it go and not to insist on his demand. It may be more beneficial for you that your wife delays pregnancy during the period of breastfeeding so she can have time to be with you and take care of you, especially given that she works in the morning, tends to her child and her home, and fulfills her husband’s right over her after that. May Allaah The Exalted Guide you, Bless you, and Bestow mutual understanding upon you.

Allaah Knows best.

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