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How Can I Come to an Agreement With My Husband on How Many Children To Have?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad 


I have two beautiful, healthy children, alhamdulillah, ages 6 and 4. My husband is pressuring me to have a third child. Going through the baby stage was the hardest time of my life. I had major postpartum depression and anxiety, and the experience was super overwhelming for me. As an ideal Muslim husband, is he supposed to let this issue go, or should he have his way about this? I don’t want to cause resentment in my marriage.


Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Your tone about this situation is all wrong. You should not have your way, nor should he have his. Communication, understanding, and mutual agreement, where you are both happy, are key.


First, you should understand what our religion says about this issue. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Marriage is part of my sunnah, and whoever does not follow my sunnah 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]

Another tremendous benefit and motivation for having many children are seen in the following Prophetic hadith, “When a person dies, his deeds are cut off except for three:  continuing charity, knowledge that others benefitted from, and a righteous son who supplicates for him. “[Tirmidhi]


Your husband may be accustomed to being part of a large family, and he may well understand its usefulness and joy. Having lived in the Middle East, I have seen that large families have tremendous benefits enjoyed by parents, children, grandparents, relatives, and neighbors alike. Members of large families:

-tend to feel more secure and stable because they don’t feel lonely and have constant help and support.

-help parents with older siblings helping to parent the younger ones

-benefit from the older children setting the standard for the younger ones,

-laugh and learn a lot with always something going on in the house

-share and learn to cooperate as a team more than smaller families do

-have more love to go around

-worry less because parenting gets easier as their methods have already been tried and tested

-and the list goes on…

Having more children develops character, teaches one patience, reliance, mercy, and allows one to place the trust of the children in Allah’s hands. There are very few things in life that can give one this spiritual training, love, and happiness, and I highly encourage you to take this means if you are able and are willing. 


Consult your doctor to make sure that you are physically healthy enough to have more children. As for your mental and spiritual health, take a look at the resources below, consider taking the courses linked, recite these du’as and keep the company of positive religious mothers that can support you. But even with the above support and supplications, you know your capacity for now, and you should tell him this. You may also consider having more children down the line.






The mother

Now, encouraging Muslim families to bear many children does not mean, AT ALL, that a mother should tire herself and fall into poor health. All of the large eastern, religious families that I have seen depend on the children to help clean, cook, help with homework, do shopping, do laundry together and most importantly, worship together. Once children reach five or six years old, they are contributing members of the family. Also, I highly recommend hiring help if you decide to have more children daily if you can afford it. It brings the home into balance and helps the mother manage her endless duties so that she can spend more quality time with her children.

That being said, If you decide to have more children, I am certain that you and your husband will do a great job and that you will grow with each and every child. But if you decide not to have more children, there is nothing wrong with that. Communicate with your husband, consider his feelings, take care of yourself, pray istikhara on the matter, and consult those close to you.

[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

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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