Dear Sheikh, as-Salamu `alaykum! If a Muslim mother has a six-month-old baby and is breast-feeding him, can she take precautions against another pregnancy at least for three years, to preserve her health and that of the baby? What are the steps that are allowed in Islam for taking precautions against pregnancy and what are the steps prohibited in Islam? Is Intra-uterine Device (IUD) allowed in Islam? This device, as well as other contraceptives, are reversible and can be left in place for several years (for example, copper devices - left for 2-5 years). What does Islam say about using contraceptive pills? What should be the husband's role in accepting the steps provided by his wife if they are allowed in Islam? Should he encourage her for taking precautions?
Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. A married woman with four children was afflicted with a disease that weakened her health, and thus physicians advised her not to procreate. They also suggested that she use any of the well-known temporary contraceptive methods, such as contraceptive pills, since procreation represents a threat to her health. So, she has no other way but to undergo a surgical operation to tie her ovaries as a means of preserving her health, but this will entail permanent prevention from conception. Accordingly, she inquires about the Shar`i ruling on this issue. Jazakum Allahu Khayran.