Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja
Question: I haven’t been able to have children, and so I was wondering: 1. What are the best duas to make in this situation? 2. How to deal with the various emotions and keep oneself inspired in the light of Quran and Sunnah? 3. Everything is absolutely in Allah’s hands, but how to deal with the guilt that a woman remained unable to give her husband children? 4. How to deal with various social pressures such as people belittling you, suggesting this is some kind of punishment, or suggesting that a husband should remarry again? 5. How to respond to the constant irritating questions from people about children?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
1. Some supplications to make to bear children are the following:
(a) The prayer of Sayyidna Zakariyya in the Qur’an,
رَبِّ لَا تَذَرۡنِى فَرۡدً۬ا وَأَنتَ خَيۡرُ ٱلۡوَٲرِثِينَ
“O Lord! Do not leave me single (childless, without an inheritor), and You are the best of inheritors” [Surat al-Anbiya, 89]
(b) Some scholars suggest the verse
وَٱلَّتِىٓ أَحۡصَنَتۡ فَرۡجَهَا فَنَفَخۡنَا فِيهَا مِن رُّوحِنَا وَجَعَلۡنَـٰهَا وَٱبۡنَهَآ ءَايَةً۬ لِّلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ إِنَّ هَـٰذِهِۦۤ أُمَّتُكُمۡ أُمَّةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ وَأَنَا۟
“And (remember) her [Maryam] who guarded her chastity. We breathed into her of Our spirit her and her son a sign for mankind and jinn. Truly, this is your religion, the one religion, and I am your Lord, so worship Me.” [Surat al-Anbiya, 91-92]
Follow this by the following prayers on the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace):
اللهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ طِبِّ القُلُوبِ وَدَوائِها وعَافِيَةِ الأَبْدانِ وَشِفَائِها ونُورِ الأَبْصارِ وضِيائِها وعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ وَسَلِّمْ
“O Allah, send blessings upon our master Muhammad, the medicine of hearts and their cure, the health of bodies and their healing, and the light of eyes and their illumination, and upon his family and companions, and send peace.”
(c) Also see this previous answer: Invocations to Bear Children.
2. Many of the most beloved people to Allah, such as Prophets and the wives of Prophets, were given the trial of not having children. As with any trial, one can draw closer to Allah through it by having patience and contentment, or one can be driven further away from Allah by becoming bitter and discontent. Many Prophets (may Allah be please with them) faced the trial of not having children and their correct response to the trial is what continued to increase them in degrees with Allah.
The Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him), when asked about who suffers the greatest tribulations, answered, “The prophets, then those who come next to them, then those who come next to them. A man is afflicted in accordance to his religion. If his religion is firm, his trial is severe; if there is weakness in his religion, then it [the trial] is in accordance. Trials will continue for a servant until he walks on the earth having no sin.” [Tirmidhi]
He also said, “Trials will continue for the believing man and the believing woman, in person, property and children, until they meet Allah free from sin.” [Tirmidhi]
Remember Allah’s word in the Qur’an, “O you who have believed! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer: for certainly Allah is with those who patiently persevere. [Surat al-Baqara, 153]
Remember that each person has their own trial. Allah is the One who Gives, as He is the One who Withholds. If He withholds children from you, know that He has given you other innumerable blessings that require your gratitude. Likewise, though He has given others children, He has also withheld from them other blessings.
3. A wife should not feel guilty about not being able to give her husband children because the matter is ultimately in the hands of Allah. Just as every person’s rizq (provision) in money is determined, one’s rizq in other things in life has also been divinely apportioned. How many children one has is part of Allah’s decree.
Allah Most High says in the Qur’an, “To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female (offspring) for whom He wills, and bestows male (offspring) for whom He wills. Or He joins them (bestows both), males and females. And He makes barren whom He will: for certainly, He is All-Knowing, All-Powerful.” [Surat al-Shura, 49-50]
4 & 5. The questions and hints you will receive from others about your personal struggle with infertility is out of your control. However, there are some things you can do to mitigate these awkward situations. You can answer that Allah grants children at the time He wills. You should answer confidently and in a manner that shows that you are pleased with what He has decreed. You can also curtly reply that Allah is the best of planners. If you don’t give further information, the other person should realize that it is not their concern and leave the matter. If you feel comfortable enough with the person, you may also simply ask them to make du`a for you for a healthy, righteous child.
May Allah grant you ease and increase you in closeness to Him.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani