Ruling On Caesarean Births: Natural Childbirth For The Mother vs. Caesarean Section
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
obligatory to resort to Caesarean section if there is
some fear for the life of the baby? I feel that this
is done a great deal, and perhaps it is a western plot
to reduce the numbers of Muslim offspring and weaken
the wombs of Muslim women. I wonder whether it is
necessary to resort to this surgery and hasten to do
it before the natural labour begins, out of eagerness
to protect the baby, or is it better to wait until
labour begins whether the child lives or dies?
Praise be to Allaah.
Caesarean section is an operation in which the abdomen
is cut in order to bring the child out of the mother.
It is said that it is so called after Julius Caesar,
because he was the first one to be born in this
manner, when his mother died during labour, after
which the doctor cut open her stomach and brought him
out of her, and Caesar lived to become the emperor of
Natural childbirth is better for the mother, but this
does not mean that Caesarean section should not be
used when necessary. Among such cases of necessity
are: when the placenta is in the lower part of the
uterus (placenta praevia), when the foetus is deprived
of oxygen, when there are tumours in the pelvis, when
there is high blood pressure, when there is
haemorrhaging that threatens the life of the mother
and baby, when there are conjoined ("Siamese") twins,
when the foetus is abnormally large, and other cases
of necessity where Caesarean section is indicated.
This is one of the great blessings of Allaah, an
example of His mercy towards His creation.
Many doctors take the matter of resorting to Caesarean
section lightly, because they want to earn more money
or because they cannot be patient with the mother
during natural childbirth. Some women ask for this
surgery in order to preserve the gracefulness of their
bodies or so as to avoid the pain of childbirth.
Undoubtedly doing this leads to the loss of numerous
benefits, and also has effects on the mother and on
future births, as referred to by the brother in his
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-'Uthaymeen (may Allaah
have mercy on him) said:
I would like to take this opportunity to point out a
phenomenon that has been mentioned to us, which is
that many obstetricians, male and female, in the
hospitals are too keen for birth to take place by
surgical means, which is known as a Caesarean. I am
afraid that this may be a plot against the Muslims,
because the more births take place in this manner, the
more the skin of the abdomen is weakened and pregnancy
becomes more dangerous for the woman, and she becomes
unable to get pregnant. Some of the people who work in
private hospitals have told me that many women come to
the hospitals and their specialists tell them that
there is no alternative to a caesarean, then they go
to this private hospital and give birth naturally. He
mentioned that there were about eighty such cases in
one month. This means that the issue is serious, and
attention must be drawn to it. It should be noted that
in this case some pain and exhaustion is inevitable.
"His mother bears him with hardship. And she brings
him forth with hardship"
It is not something to be done as soon as the woman
feels a contraction, so that she may avoid pain.
Natural childbirth is better than a caesarean. End
Liqaa'aat al-Baab il-Maftoohah (2/question no. 42).
The Shaykh (may Allaah have mercy on him) was also
Allaah says in Soorat 'Abasa (interpretation of the
"Then He makes the Path easy for him"
So Allaah guarantees to make it easy for this newborn.
Many men and women have noticed that there is haste in
performing caesarean sections. Is this a sign of weak
trust in Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted?
I think that this method which people use nowadays
when the woman feels the contractions and goes to the
hospital, and they do a caesarean section for her, I
think that this is inspired by the shaytaan, and that
the harm caused is far greater than any benefits,
because a woman is bound to feel pain when in labour,
but this pain has a number of benefits:
1 It is an expiation for sin
2 It raises her in status if she is patient and
3 The woman understands the extent of the pain
suffered by other mothers.
4 She will appreciate the extent of the blessing of
good health that Allaah bestows on her.
5 It will increase her love towards her child,
because the more difficult it is to attain something,
the dearer it becomes.
6 If the child is born by via the usual, well-known
route, this is better for him and the woman.
7 Damage may be expected from this surgery, because
this operation weakens the wall of the uterus etc,
which may tear. And it may be successful or
8 The woman who gets used to having caesareans is
unlikely to give birth in the natural manner, because
that is not possible, and there is the risk that the
site of the surgery may rupture.
9 Having surgery results in having fewer children,
because if the abdomen is cut three times in different
places, it becomes weak and future pregnancy becomes
10 This is a kind of luxury, and luxury is a thing
that leads to doom, as Allaah says (interpretation of
"Verily, before that, they indulged in luxury
Women should be patient and seek reward, and should
continue to give birth in the natural way, because
that is better for them in this world and in the
Hereafter. Men should also pay attention to this
issue, for we do not know, perhaps our enemies are the
ones who have made these operations easy for us so
that we will lose these benefits and be subject to
Question: What is meant by luxury?
Answer: Luxury includes avoiding the natural pain of
childbirth. This is a kind of luxury. If luxury does
not help one to obey Allaah, then it is either
blameworthy or at the very least permissible.
Liqaa'aat al-Baab il-Maftooh (86/question no. 17).
To sum up: Caesarean section should not be resorted to
except in cases of necessity, when natural childbirth
is not possible, or it poses a danger to the mother or
And Allaah knows best.