Is it haram to choose not to have children?

How Can We Help?

Search for answers or browse our knowledge base.


The blessings and responsibility of having children are seen Islamically as one of the objectives of marriage and a praiseworthy form of worship as one seeks to facilitate tarbiya for them in healthy, wholesome Islamic development.

Often, in our popular culture today, marriage and kids are portrayed as a burden. There is no doubt that this is counter to our Islamic values and the reality that they are gifts from Allah and a part of comprehensive worship. For example, not having children for the reason of fear of poverty or provision is prohibited in Islam.

Contraceptives that are temporary and reversible are permitted Islamically, and without legitimate reason such as a dangerous medical condition those that are permanent or irreversible are prohibited. The latter should only be undertaken on a case by case basis with trustworthy religious and specialist counsel.

The scholars agree that a couple may agree not to have children on a temporary basis, but they differ on the point of a couple agreeing not to have children on a permanent basis—some consider it halal, and some consider it haram. On the point of it as a marital condition of not having children, among those considering it haram, some have considered it an invalid condition, and others considered it invalidating the entire marital contract.

Recognition of the benefits of marriage in present times of preserving chastity, among many other benefits, was fundamentally more protected at a societal level in earlier generations. We note that some earlier generations would sometimes delay marriage or not marry on an individual basis for fear of coming up short in their marital responsibilities due to some unique circumstances like work demands or excessive travel. The Prophet (saw) says in the hadith what means, “Marriage is from my Sunnah, and whoever seeks other than my way then he is not of me” – so this was done for that case and not seen as spiritually superior. However, a person seeking that path today for legitimate fear of coming up short in their responsibilities for children may put themselves at greater risk of prohibited actions given the greater societal distance from our Islamic and Godly morals.

In short, contraceptives that are temporary and reversible are permitted Islamically with utmost clarity and mutual agreement of the couple, and with clear agreement and preparation from the couple on what would happen “in case” of conception to avoid the prohibition of abortion and rejecting the Qadar of Allah.


We are delighted to highlight the amazing work of our community in this impact report.