Fatwa ID: 76792
Title: Getting my tubes tied: female sterilization
Category: Women
Scholar: Dr. Hatem al-Haj
Date: 2008-11-06
Question:

Assalamu alaikum, respected scholars,

 

My husband has requested me to get my "tubes tied," otherwise known as female sterilization, to prevent any more children. We have two children, and I am pregnant with my third, al-hamdulillah. He does not want any more children. It is my understanding that this procedure (tying the tubes) is against Islam. I suggested that I get an IUD (intrauterine device) which is pretty effective. This device is inserted and can stay for up to 5-10 years. But he is adamant that I get the surgery done at the birth of our third child. Tying the tubes effectively eliminates your ability to have children; however, you can have a reversal procedure to untie the tubes. There isn't a large chance that the reversal procedure will enable you to have children, though. Please advise me if tying the tubes is okay in Islam. Also, he wants proof from the Quran or Hadith pertaining to the answer. May Allah (swt) reward you for your expeditious answer.

Answer:

Al-hamdulillah,

 

Islam encourages procreation. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said:

 

" "

 

"Marry the one who is fertile and loving, for I will be proud of your numbers."

(Authentically narrated by Abu Dawood)

 

Birth control is permitted, when it is temporary and for a valid reason.

 

Tube ligation is prohibited since it may result in sterilization, which is forbidden in Islam and which constitutes undeniable harm for the woman undergoing the procedure. The only exception would be in a case of necessity when the mother's life would be in real danger if she were to conceive.

 

Here is the resolution of the Islamic Fiqh Assembly of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) 39 (5/1) Kuwait - Jumda al-Akhir 1st 6th, 1409 AH/December 10th 15th, 1988 CE:

 

During the course of its fifth session, the council of the Islamic Fiqh Academy reviewed the research papers submitted by the members and experts and listened to discussions concerning the subject of birth control. Since the purposes of marriage, according to the Islamic Shar'ah, include procreation and the preservation of humankind, and since it is not permissible to invalidate these purposes, as so doing would contradict the provisions of the Shar'ah which encourage procreation and call for nurturing and protecting progeny as one of the five major purposes the religious laws have been stipulated to safeguard, the council has decided the following:

 

First: It is prohibited to issue a general law that limits the freedom of married couples to have children.

 

Second: It is prohibited, according to the Islamic Shar'ah, to deprive men and women from the capacity of being able to have children, known as sterilization, unless it is unavoidable according to the Shar'ah criteria.

 

Third: It is permissible to use birth control temporarily with a view to leaving an interval between pregnancies or preventing pregnancy for a certain period of time, when it is necessary according to the Islamic Shar'ah. This should be done by the husband and wife upon mutual agreement, provided that no harm would afflict either of them or an existing pregnancy, and that the means to do so (or the contraceptive) are permissible.

 

With Allah Alone rests our success.

 

The Islamic Fiqh Assembly of India in the First Juristic Seminar, Hamdard University, Hamdard Nagar, Delhi, India - April 1st 3rd, 1989 CE, issued a similar statement and added:

 

4. It is permissible to use birth control temporarily with the intention of leaving intervals between periods of pregnancy, if it is feared that the baby, nursing, or childrearing would be negatively affected if the mother became pregnant again soon.

 

5. It is impermissible for men and women to be sterilized, except in the following situation: if competent, trustworthy doctors declare that the woman would very likely die or lose an organ/limb due to a new pregnancy. Only then may such a woman undergo surgical sterilization.

 

And Allah Almighty knows best.

 

Moreover, the husband does not have control over his wife's body; he may not order her to undergo surgery without her approval and despite her resistance.

 

And Allah knows best.