Encouragement To Have A Lot Of Children: Is There Evidence To Support Either Of The Two Opinions?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
that people are of two types: those who encourage us
to have few children and those who encourage us to
have a lot of children. Is there is evidence to
support either of these two opinions?
Praise be to Allaah.
(2050) narrated that Ma'qil ibn Yasaar said: A man
came to the Prophet (Peace And Blessings Of Allaah Be
Upon Him) and said, "I have found a woman who is of
good lineage and is beautiful, but she does not
children. Should I marry her?" He said, "No." Then he
came again with the same question and he told him not
to marry her. Then he came a third time with the same
question and he said: "Marry those who are loving and
fertile, for I will be proud of your great numbers
before the other nations." Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani
in Irwa' al-Ghaleel, 1784.
This hadeeth indicates that it is encouraged to marry
women who are fertile, so that the numbers of the
ummah will increase, and so the Prophet (Peace And
Blessings Of Allaah Be Upon Him) will feel proud of
his ummah before all other nations. This shows that it
is encouraged to have a lot of children.
Al-Ghazaali said that when a man gets married,
intending thereby to have children, that this is an
act of worship for which he will be rewarded because
of his good intention. He explained that in several
1 – This is in accordance with what Allaah wants,
which is to perpetuate the human race.
2 – Seeking the love of the Messenger (Peace And
Blessings Of Allaah Be Upon Him) in having many
children, so that he will feel proud of them before
the other Prophets and nations on the Day of
3 – Seeking barakah (blessing) and a great deal of
reward, and forgiveness of sins through the du'aa' of
a righteous child after one dies.
It is well known that since ancient times children
have been the hope of the Prophets and Messengers and
all of the righteous slaves of Allaah, and that will
continue to be the case so long as man's innate nature
(fitrah) remains sound. Children are a blessing whom
people love and on whom they pin their hopes.
Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) prayed to his Lord,
saying (interpretation of the meaning):
"My Lord! Grant me (offspring) from the righteous"
And Allaah says of Zakariya (peace be upon him)
(interpretation of the meaning):
"When he called out his Lord (Allaah) a call in
He said: 'My Lord! Indeed my bones have grown feeble,
and grey hair has spread on my head, and I have never
been unblest in my invocation to You, O my Lord!
And verily, I fear my relatives after me, and my wife
is barren. So give me from Yourself an heir.
Who shall inherit me, and inherit (also) the posterity
of Ya'qoob (Jacob) (inheritance of the religious
knowledge and Prophethood, not of wealth). And make
him, my Lord, one with whom You are Well-Pleased!'
(Allaah said) 'O Zakariyya (Zachariah)! Verily, We
give you the glad tidings of a son, whose name will be
Yahyaa (John). We have given that name to none before
Allaah praises His righteous slaves in many ways, such
as when He said (interpretation of the meaning):
"And those who say: 'Our Lord! Bestow on us from our
wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and
make us leaders of the Muttaqoon (the pious)'"
And Allaah tells us that Shu'ayb (peace be upon him)
commanded his people to remember Allaah's blessing to
them when He made them many after they had been few.
He said (interpretation of the meaning):
"And remember when you were but few, and He multiplied
He regarded their being multiplied after they had been
few as a great blessing which obliged them to obey
Allaah and obey His Messenger (Peace And Blessings Of
Allaah Be Upon Him).
Undoubtedly the benefits of increasing the nation's
offspring are obvious to everyone who thinks about the
matter. Hence nations who understand this matter have
been keen to encourage their people to increase their
numbers and also to make their enemies reduce their
numbers by means of specious arguments and sometimes
by using means that lead to infertility and having few
children, by means of drugs, contaminated food stuffs
that reduce fertility and so on. This is one of the
means of war used against the Muslim ummah by its
We ask Allaah to ward off the evil of those who
disbelieve and to thwart their plots against the
And Allaah knows best.