If I were to have a child who ends up with depression, I would feel immense guilt knowing that it’s my fault

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Is it haram to have surgery so that I can never have kids (tubal ligation)? I want to have this operation because depression and suicidal tendencies runs in my family and I fear that I will pass this down to my kids. My family is very religious and steadfast in prayer but multiple family members suffer from depression. If I were to have a child who ends up with depression, I would feel immense guilt knowing that it’s my fault. My second question: is getting married and having children mandatory in Islam or can you have a childless marriage?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

We have consulted a well-known psychiatrist to about depression being passed over to children.

We quote the following two paragraphs from his lengthy response:

“Although, a Mood disorder (Depression is one of them) seems to run in families, there are other factors implicated in that familial propensity beside genetics. In other words, NOT EVERY CHILD OF A PARENT WITH DEPRESSION IS GOING TO HAVE CLINICAL DEPRESSION. It’s pretty much like Diabetes. Children of parents with Diabetes are more likely (than general population) to have Diabetes. But with proper care, precautions, life-style considerations, and treatments, Diabetes can be avoided and / or controlled.

 

With proper treatment, depressive disorders are very treatable ailments. Less than 5% of these disorders are, what we term, ‘treatment resistant’. Even those with ‘treatment-resistant’ type of mood disorders, are generally responsive to more intense form of treatment and they can be stable with reasonable personal and social life.”

 

It is clear from the above that there are other considerations for depression besides being hereditary.

It is our advice to you that if Allah Ta’āla blesses you with children place your trust in Allah and adopt all measures to avoid depression.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Safwaan Ibn Ml Ahmed Ibn Ibrahim 

Student Darul Iftaa
Limbe, Malawi

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
 


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