Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My potential husband is a Pakistani Muslim seeking US citizenship. He knows I do not wish to become pregnant because of my tokophobia and will expect him always to use birth control.
Still, I am worried that this will cause issues down the road and/or that my in-laws will accuse me of not fulfilling my duty as a wife. Still, I am unwilling to put my health, and possibly life, since I live in the country with the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries, in jeopardy as mere self-preservation.
However, even without tokophobia, I would be unwilling to have children because I dislike the way that they behave. What is the best way to handle this?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your honesty, and may you find the best situation for yourself and your religion.
You should speak to a specialist or psychiatrist about this issue and see if you can resolve it, as there should be no reason to live in fear. You may feel ok with your phobia as a single woman, but an active sexual life with your husband may cause you morbid fear, resentment, pain, and struggle with intercourse for the rest of your life. This will also hurt him, and you might find the stress will prevent you from being fair to yourself and him.
I would not consider marriage until you work out your feelings with a specialist. Please do this for yourself and not for him. As for your suitor, his family, and possibly he, too, will accuse you of robbing him of joy, lineage, and continued charity. This will only add to your stress, and the marriage may not end well. I recommend avoiding this. Pray istikhara, consult with your doctors, elders, and local scholars, and avoid marriage if you cannot see yourself compromising on this issue. Seek guidance from Allah at times when dua is accepted, such as the last hour of Friday before maghrib and tahajjud time before dawn.
Virtues of Having Children
Remember the important words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace): “Marry a loving, fertile woman, for I will boast of your abundance on the Day of Judgment.” [Abu Dawud]
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) encouraged his nation to multiply themselves when he said, “Marriage is part of my sunna, and whoever does not follow my sunna has nothing to do with me. Get married, for I will boast of your great numbers before the nations. Whoever has the means, let him get married, and whoever does not, then he should fast, for it will diminish his desire.” [Ibn Maja]
Please see these links as well:
The Virtues of Having Children
How Can I Come to an Agreement With My Husband on How Many Children To Have?
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.