Family Planning in Islam and the Muslim World
April 25, 1998
A. Religion is an overrated variable
II. The View of Islam on Family Planning.
A. Sources of Islamic law. Primary sources: The Quran and the sunnah.
B. Azl, coitus interruptus:
1. No text (nuss) in the Quran against family planning
III. Muslim Practices.
A. New concept, still evolving. Many views and practices.
B. Three factors seem to influence the behavior of given Muslim country:
C. Most family planning programs are very moderate ( not as aggressive as the Chinese) intended to reduce the number of children from five to three.
IV. Evaluation and Conclusion.
A. Family Planning is a new concept.
B. Family planning is taking root in many Muslim countries.
C. The impact of family planning is very slow for several reasons.
D. Conclussion. I am pessimist because family planning is very slow. On the other hand I am optimistic because family planning is started and taking root practically in all Muslim countries and there is no retreat from this policy
These bar charts show how unevenly the population is distributed in Muslim countries, such as Bangladesh, Turkey, and Egypt, where a large number of the population has yet to enter or is just entering the child-bearing years. Note the 'baby boom' of the USA.
Notes from Professor AlQazzaz's lecture:
There are 1 billion Muslim people, most are either a majority or a sizeable minority in 70 countries throughout the world. Religion is an overrated variable: Muslims have varying cultures. Family planning has only been a concept for 3 or 4 decades.
A distinction must be made between Islam and the Muslim people. Practice and principle are not always the same. There are millions of documents associated to Islam.
The quality of life will depend on the effectiveness of family planning. Population is expected to double to 2 billion in 30 years.
Under Islamic law, "Axl", or coitus interruptus is "prophet approved" to space children or to have the number of children appropriate with the wealth of the family, or for various other reasons. The wife must agree with it. She is entitled to full sexual fulfillment. Today "axl" has been extended to modern contraceptives. Abortion has no such approval. After 120 days, the fetus is 'en-souled'. However, the mother's life is more important than the fetus'.
Bigger countries, such as Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, are more interested in family planning. Smaller countries are interested in more children. In Pakistan, family planning is like a yo-yo. They may need more people as a defense against India. In Iran, which neighbors Iran and Turkey, 'each time a women gives birth, it is a bullet against the enemy'.
Factors in family planning:
In Iran: The Khomeni was very much against family planning, but the country has now switched 180 degrees. If there are more than 3 children, free education and housing subsidies are withheld.
Women's status varies. In Turkey, it is almost like European law. But for the most part, 40% of women finish secondary school, 32% go to college. In Egypt, 25% of the work force is women.
According to Muhammed: If you educate a man, you educate an individual. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation.