The primary objective of the institution of marriage in Islam is not to have children but to build a strong and healthy relationship within the Ummah. Marriage is a sacred contract that binds two individuals who, by mutual consent have agreed to live together as spouses. As soon as the marriage contract is concluded, the relationship gap widens further and further. It is no longer a two people affair, but two families; from the nuclear to the extended; two communities; two towns; two states; and even, two nations. In Qur’ān 25:54, Allāh  says:

وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ مِنَ ٱلْمَآءِ بَشَرًا فَجَعَلَهُۥ نَسَبًا وَصِهْرًا ۗ وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ قَدِيرًا

It is He (Allāh) Who has created from water (semen) a human being and made him (a relative) by lineage and marriage. And ever is your Lord competent.

Children are the fruits of marriage and not it’s essence. This is because having children is exclusively in the Hands of Allāh. No woman, no matter how much she tried can get pregnant except by the Will of Allāh. This is why it is wrong to put the blame of infertility on women as done in most African communities. In fact, sometimes, the man is advised by his family to take a second wife claiming that “ori omo ni n pe omo waiye”.

In Q. 16: 72, Allāh   says:

وَاللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَزْوَاجِكُم بَنِينَ وَحَفَدَةً وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ ۚ أَفَبِالْبَاطِلِ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَبِنِعْمَتِ اللَّهِ هُمْ يَكْفُرُونَ 

And Allāh has made for you mates of your nature, and made for you, out of them, children and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best. Will you believe in vain things and be ungrateful for Allāh’s favours?”

* Allāh creates whichever gender He wills and grants it to whomsoever He wills. Marriage is not a “sure banker” for child procreation. In Q.42:49, Allāh says:

لِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاء يَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاء إِنَاثًا وَيَهَبُ لِمَن يَشَاء الذُّكُورَ * أَوْ يُزَوِّجُهُمْ ذُكْرَانًا وَإِنَاثًا وَيَجْعَلُ مَن يَشَاء عَقِيمًا إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ قَدِير

To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what he wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males. Or He mingleth them, males and females, and He maketh barren whom He will. Lo! He is Knower, Powerful.

Therefore, to accuse one’s wife of any wrongdoing by giving birth to a particular gender of child all the time is preposterous and stupid. The gender of one’s child is not determined by either the amount of strength put in during sexual intercourse or some special family traits. In yorubaland, I have heard foolish statements like, “l’ako l’ako l’ogidan bi.” (“A lion only gives birth to it’s like” in reference to the claim that a real man gives birth only to a male child).

Making statements like the above is an indication that one is an ingrate who does not appreciate the efforts and blessings of Allāh. Similarly, there are some people who make mockery of others that are blessed with female child using funny words like, “ole tie ni e” (so you’re a coward). Worse still is the fact that some men, simply because their wives have given birth to female children a couple of times would marry a second wife, in search of a male issue.


To be continued.

This article was first published on Sirnucylafblog on August 3, 2016

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