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Religious Studies

Islam: contraception and abortion


Contraception or ‘birth control’ is used for a variety of reasons:

  • when pregnancy might harm the mental or physical condition of the mother
  • to limit the number of children people have to ensure they don't damage living standards or affect other children
  • to prevent pregnancy in people who do not want a child at this stage in their lives

Islamic beliefs about contraception

Islam teaches that life is a sacred gift from Allah (God):

To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He pleases.

Surah 42:50

Children are also a gift:

Allah bestows females upon whom He pleases and He bestows males upon whom He pleases; or He mixes them, males and females; and He makes whom He pleases barren.

Surah 42:50-51

For these reasons contraception has been seen to be against the teachings of the Qur’an (the Divine Book revealed to the Prophet Muhammad).

In recent years, the Conference on Islam and Family Planning has agreed that contraception can be used if:

  • the mother’s health is threatened
  • there is a chance of a child being born disabled
  • the family do not have the money to bring up a child

Back to Sanctity of life index

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