Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: “Islam encourages us to marry and procreate. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Marry and procreate.” Procreation is definitely one of the stated purposes of marriage in Islam. Children are Allah’s gifts, which we must welcome and cherish as a divine gift.
Islam is opposed to ways of life which consider children as a burden; the unfortunate outcome of such hedonistic philosophies is to prefer pets such as dogs and cats over children. Muslims must never be carried away by such materialistic philosophies; they can immunize themselves against such negative influences by strictly conforming to the Qur’anic teachings on marriage and procreation.
Viewed from this perspective, Islam does not look favourably at family planning if it is carried out for the simple reason of enjoyment and unwillingness to take on the responsibility of parenting.
Having said this, however, I must say the following. Since Islam considers quality more important than quantity, if the couple is resorting to contraception for any one of the following reasons, it may be considered permissible:
1. If both spouses are students whose academic performance would be adversely affected by taking on the added responsibility of parenting.
2. If they are too young to shoulder parental responsibilities.
3. If one or both of them are weak or sick and expect to take on the responsibility when the condition improves.
4. If they are burdened with responsibilities of taking care of their parents in advanced age, which drain them physically and emotionally.
5. If they are doing so only for a limited time (for instance the first one or two years) in order to be able to get to know each other, and thus prepare themselves better for shouldering such responsibilities.
6. If they are doing so in order to have gaps between pregnancies with a view to provide quality care and attention to the existing children.
7. If the wife cannot bear children because of medical reasons.
Finally, since the right to have children is shared equally between husband and wife, neither one of them should resort to contraception unilaterally. Rather, he or she is allowed to do so only through consensual agreement. The only exception to this rule is when the pregnancy is determined to be a risk to the wife’s life. In this case, she does not need permission of her husband to resort to contraception.”