Knowledge

Permanent contraception (Female sterlisation)

Question:

Permanent contraception (female sterlisation) – does intention affect permissibility?

Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

Thank you for your question.

Under normal circumstances, female sterilization is considered to be absolutely and decidedly prohibited (haram) in Shari’ah. The irreversible nature associated with both the male and female sterilizations clearly contradicts one of the primary purposes (maqasid) of marriage which is to have children, as mentioned by Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali in his Ihya’ Ulum al-Din.

Furthermore, sterilization is a form of mutilation of one’s body (muthla), which has been clearly forbidden in the Shari’ah. Allah Most High mentions in al-Nisa’ the words of Satan, when he said:

“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.”

However, in cases of absolute necessity, sterilization does become permitted. The well-known principle of Islamic jurisprudence based on the guidelines of the Qur’an and Sunna states: “Necessities make prohibitions lawful.” (Ibn Nujaym, Al-Ashbah wa al-Naza’ir 85)

Cases of absolute necessity include a woman’s life or her permanent health being severely threatened by pregnancy, or her facing the risk of losing her life with additional births after having gone through Caesarean operations on previous occasions. As such, if unbiased and professional medical advice is taken, and one comes to the conclusion that the life or permanent health of a woman would be seriously affected by pregnancy and that there is no other cure for her illness, only then would female sterilization be permitted.

You state that the woman in question has a serious congenital heart condition and as such her becoming pregnant might be risky. In light of the above explanation, she will need to obtain professional medical advice ideally from an experienced and upright Muslim doctor (who knows the severity of the prohibition of sterilization in Islam) and then act accordingly. If the medical expert feels that pregnancy is a severe risk to her life or permanent health, then she may undergo sterilization.

The other reasons outlined in your question do not justify sterilization. In fact, some – such as seeing children as a financial burden thus fearing poverty and thinking that the world was already burdened with enough people – are in direct conflict with the teachings of Islam. Even reversible contraception is not permitted due to “such” reasons and intentions in mind.

As for the doctor and medical practitioner, if sterilization is justified (in light of the above-mentioned explanation), then it is permitted to carry out the operation on the patient. If, however, it is not Islamically justified, such as when there is no absolute necessity, or when alternatives are available, then it is not permitted for the Muslim doctor to perform the operation, since this would be held as assisting another in a sinful act.

I hope the above answers all your questions.

And Allah knows best

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam
SeekersGuidance

Proudly brought to you by SeekersHub Global, more SeekersAnswer can be found at http://www.seekersguidance.org/ans-blog.

Since You're Here... we have a small favour to ask.

In these extraordinary times, millions rely on HOTD for daily uplifting & inspiring content. Established since 2009 and with your kind support we’ve seen readers elevate their Imaan & strive for better on a daily basis. We’re committed to keeping our content freely available and open for all readers. Every contribution, however big or small, makes a difference and help us spread knowledge to millions daily

HOTD is something special, it’s a place where people can come to be inspired, to renew their faith, to learn and share knowledge, to fall in love with our faith and also our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family).

All content on HOTD is free. We believe what we do in this life builds for the next one and we work tirelessly with the aim to please Allah and inspire the global Muslim community as

well as providing information and inspiration for anyone interested in Islam. We simply cannot do this without your support and your support helps us continue our services.

If there were ever a time to join us, it is now. You can support HOTD and help sustain our future. Support Hadith of the Day and make a one-off donation or give regularly from as little as £10 a month Jazak’Allah Khayr – whatever you donate will come back to benefit you Insha’Allah as whatever is spent in the way of Allah is an investment in the future and the next life. Thank you.

Related Articles

Back to top button