Birth Control

  • In general, it is permissible to use birth control to prevent pregnancy, and it is (also) permitted to use the (various) forms of birth control.

  • If becoming pregnant would lead to a danger or hazard to the woman’s life, then the woman is permitted – for as long as there is a probability of her life being in danger – to employ the methods of birth control and it does not make any difference if the danger (to her life) is immediate or if it would come about later on.

  • The religiously approved methods which one may make use of to prevent pregnancy include:
  1. Birth control by using devices such as an I.U.D. (Intrauterine Device), condoms or the injection of a drug (to prevent pregnancy) and other things such as these.

  2. Natural methods of birth control: This would include Coitus Interruptus or ejaculating outside of the wife. However if this method of birth control leads to other forms of physical or mental illness for the woman and man, then it would not be permissible.

  3. Conditional Birth Control: What is mean by this is that at the time of reciting the marriage contract, the woman makes a condition that for a certain period of time or for as long as they are married, she would use birth control and her husband also accepts this condition.

    • It is permissible to have one’s tubes tied (Tubal Ligation - Tubectomy) to prevent pregnancy as long as this procedure is temporary (reversible) and would not lead to a woman being permanently unable to conceive nor would this act cause any sort of life-threatening conditions. In addition, once the tubes have been re-opened, she would once again have the ability to conceive. In other than this scenario, it would not be permissible to perform the Tubectomy.

    • The ruling on having one’s tubes tied (Tubectomy or Vasectomy) is the same for both men and women (as has been mentioned above).

    • In using any of the methods of birth control that are available, it is essential for the woman to have the consent of her husband and the wife is not permitted to go forth and use any of the methods without first taking the approval of her husband.

    It is permitted to employ birth control methods, keeping in mind the following three conditions:

    1. The procedure does not damage the (sexual) organ nor would it lead to permanent sterilization.

    2. The husband approves of the use of birth control.

    3. The procedures that would be employed for birth control and placing the device related to it (inside the person) would not involve the performance of a forbidden (haram) act.

    Controlling the number of children and regulating ones’ family can be examined from two different aspects:

    1. The steps which are employed before conception (birth control).

    2. The steps which are employed after conception (abortion).

    According to the fatwa of the late Imam Khumayni (may Allah be pleased with him), the first method (of birth control) is permissible as long as no forbidden acts are performed in order to achieve it.

    As for the second method (abortion), it is forbidden (haram) except if necessity expedites that it be done however this act must be performed before the soul is infused into the fetus – meaning before the fetus has reached to the age of four months – in which case it is permissible.
    The Noble Prophet (blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny) has said: “The best of you is the person who acts in the best way with his family and I am the best of you in relation to my family.”

    Wasa`il ash-Shi`a, Volume 14, Page 122, Hadith 8