Question: I am a first-generation immigrant woman from a very traditional culture. Alhamdulillah, I have been married for five years, but I have only lived with him for two and a half years. I am getting comments from my mother about having children and questions about having trouble getting pregnant. I already have mixed feelings about children, such as being scared that I will resent the child, resent being a mother, or my loss of free time, but the pestering puts me off even more. Is this Western influence? Is it ok to hesitate? I do admire Lady Khadijah & Fatimah and their strength in upholding the family.
Thank you for your question. It is absolutely normal to hesitate about having children, and I pray that you and your husband decide together when to start a family. Being pestered is not right and you have a right to make your decision.
Delaying having children is permissible, and you should start at the right time. Instead of waiting without a plan, I suggest that you decide what to do during the delay. Do you want to study for a year or finish your Master’s? Do you want to complete an Arabic program or finish a certificate at Seekers? Do you want to work for a year or two and then start? Make a clear plan and then work toward your goal.
It is not right for your mother to pester you to have children, but you should be patient with her. Communicate your plan to her, and ask her to ease the pressure on you. Tell her that you will take your time and tell her there is nothing wrong. Your kindness and compassion will pay off, by the grace of Allah.
Starting a Family
Starting a family can be scary, but I promise that once you gaze on your child, most of your reservations will melt away. A mother-child bond is very special, and most people find that their children complete their marriages and help them learn things that they could not have learned otherwise. Consider taking a course on the right of children, and prepare yourself as well as you can when you see the timing is right.
Raising Muslims is one of the very best of good deeds as the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “It was narrated that Ma’qil bin Yasar said: A man came to the Messenger of Allah and said: ‘I have found a woman who is from a good family and of good status, but she does not bear children, should I marry her?’ He told him not to. Then he came to him a second time and he told him not to (marry her). Then he came to him a third time and he told him not to (marry her), then he said: ‘Marry the one who is fertile and loving, for I will boast of your great numbers.’“ [Nasa’i]
[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, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.