Islam and the Quran

Having children

Question: Do Muslim women have an obligation to have a lot of children?

There are some narrations including advice on having children.

Jabir ibn Abdullah reports from the Messenger of God:

“Jabir! Ask Allah for children.” (Bukhari, Marriage, 122)

Ma’qil ibn Yasar reports from the Messenger of God:

“Marry with women who will love their husbands and give them lots of children. I will be proud of your plentifulness against other nations in the day of rising.” (Abu Dawud, Marriage, 3; Nasai, Marriage, 11)

However, it wouldn’t be accurate to evaluate these narrations as a command of God and a duty of women. Children are indeed one of the main purposes of marriage and a natural consequence of it. But it would be wrong to say that women should quit everything and focus on having/raising children all the time. Women have other responsibilities in life just like men.

Family life is a mutual one, and these issues are to be decided by mutual consent.

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