Usually family planning is forbidden in Muslim people. According to Dr. Mikarani, a Muslim intellectual from Terai, there is no genuine reason for Muslims to hate family planning.
Women’s and girls are disadvantaged and discriminated in Islam. But Dr Mikarani believes Islam as one of the indigenous religions that talk about health and well-being, gender equity, women’s right, reproductive and child health, and good education. “People made practices bad but norms are good,” he says.
In their culture, every Muslim is obliged to take care of parents especially mother than anyone else. It is promoted in every religion but in Islam it is the basic. For the health and well-being of mother, one of the best ways is to control birth of children.
Yes, it is mentioned in Islam that do not accept permanent family planning method but if it outweighs the benefit of good health to a woman, a couple is always granted to use modern methods of family planning.
It is promoted to marry a woman who can produce as many children as possible, but at the same time it is stressed that conception or birth control should be with consent of both husband and wife. It simply means one cannot force a woman to produce a baby which is her right issue.
Sending girls to the school is not common in Muslim community but religion itself is not an obstacle to girl’s education. In fact, Quran does not only promotes good education but also put emphasis on good morals (Talim aur Tarbiyat).
It is emphasized in Quran that one should give birth to the children in those number which they can provide a good education and good future including good health of mother. That means the wealth that you can afford for education is to be equally divided to your children, no matter either they are girls or boys.
Then there is no doubt that Muslim women should have equal right to education. To support women’s education, early marriage should stop and they should be allowed for delaying pregnancies. To delay pregnancy, use of family planning method is essential.
A woman is encouraged to breastfeed a baby till two years old. This means a woman should not conceive another baby until the first baby has secured his/her breastfeeding right which is indeed right of infants. It is also encouraged to keep abstinence while a woman is in postnatal period which is a method of family planning itself.
So, when the human development was just budding and the religion has taught it’s follower about not to drink alcohol and smoke, and talked about women’s health as the first priority.
Thus, as a religion, Islam does not hinder women’s education, health and wellbeing, but its misinterpretation is misguiding people.