Wife Wants to Avoid Pregnancy at First Six Months of Marriage
Fatwa No: 84086

Question

I am a newly married man. This phase of my life started just three months ago. My wife and I have some differences in the matter of family planning. It started from the very first night. The first question she asked me was how many children I need? She informed me that she made plan not to be pregnant in first six months and she refused to have sexual relationship without any contraceptive. At that time I resisted for first five days and did not have physical relations. Later I started using a condom and we were happy then. Lately I started thinking that if this act is against the teaching of Islam then we will be the losers, because Allah is the One only who gives child if He wants I tried my best to convince my wife in good manner but she is persistent to her decision. Then I decided not to have physical relations until she changed her decision. I need to ask to the Sheikh following queries in this regard with proof from Qur'an and Sunnah.1. Is my decision not to have sexual relations with her the correct way to convince her? If answer is yes, then how long I should wait?2. Is the use of any contraceptive permissible not to have pregnancy in first six months?3. Is it allowed to use contraceptive to save the family ties?4. If it is not permissible in Islam, and she is not willing to accept this, then how and what measures should I take?

Answer

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

At first, we state that it is completely forbidden for a woman to prevent her husband from having sex with her unless there is a confirmed harm. But a wife's decision to stop pregnancy for a certain period of time does not justify preventing her husband from having sex with her as he likes and as it is approved by the Sharee'ah. If she abides by such a prevention, then she becomes a disobedient wife.

Here, we say that Allah, The Great and Almighty, has stated the treatment of such recalcitrant (disobedient) wife, as He Says (what means): {But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.} [Quran 4:34]

So, the inquirer knows that to cease having sex with his wife is a form of punishment. But such a form of punishment should be the second step after admonition and reminding her of her duties, and this should not exceed the proper limits; i.e., the period of four months.

A husband's third step to deal with his disobedient wife is to beat her, but in a harmless and mild way that breaks no bone nor cuts the body.

As for birth control; i.e., to delay your wife's pregnancy for some time, we say that there is no objection as long as (1) there is an agreement between you and your wife, and (2) it is done according to the rules stated in the first decision of the 5th session of the Fiqh Assembly, held in Kuwait about birth control.

The above-mentioned decision states the following two points:

1 - It is forbidden both for men and women to eradicate (excise by surgery) the ability of procreation; i.e., to make one sterile unless there is dire need that also should be evaluated and controlled by the Sharee'ah standards.

2 - It is lawful to have temporary birth control solely to give longer periods between pregnancies or to prevent it for a specified period of time if there is need that is approved by the Sharee'ah. This state can be judged by mutual consultation between a husband and his wife, depending on legal means and avoiding any harm to existing pregnancy.

Therefore, if you agree to your wife's request provided that it should be for a specified period and it should not cause bodily harm or violation of some rulings of the Sharee'ah due to the use of contraceptives for birth control, then there is no blame on you to do so, just to keep your good marital relation and to satisfy her lawful desire.

For more benefit on permanent birth control, please refer to Fataawa 119261, 83837, 134895, 87304, 89857 and 84086.

Allah knows best.

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