Bismillaher rahmaner rahim
It was just the other day that the lecturer in my Economics class presented a table displaying the fertility rates for different Southeast Asian countries and was explaining how they have decreased substantially over the years. I do not remember exactly when, but some 30-40 years ago, the fertility rate in these Southeast Asian countries was about six children per household. Now, for the few Muslim countries in that region, it is about three per household. We, as Muslim women, should realize the virtues of pregnancy in Islam, and the importance of bearing and raising children.
The following are some virtues of pregnancy which have been authentically reported. It is important to note that there are many virtues which have circulated and are unauthentic, or have been totally fabricated. Despite someone’s intentions, fabricating virtues is not correct so let us stick to what is authentic and true. Certainly the Mercy and Reward of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is vast and He will reward as generously and abundantly as He wills, and that is sufficient for us.
Some virtues of pregnancy:
1. You are fulfilling one of the Islamic intents of marriage – procreation
As part of a longer hadith, it is reported that the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wasallam said, what means: “Marry the one who is loving and prolific (could bear many children), for I will be proud of your large numbers before the nations.” (Saheeh Abu Dawud)
“There is no doubt that a woman’s pregnancy and giving birth is fulfilling an aim of sharee‘ah that is dear to Allah, which is increasing the progeny of the Muslims who proclaim the Oneness of Allah, the followers of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wasallam).” (IslamQA)
2. Expiation of Sins Plus Reward for Hardship
You can be purified from sins and/or earn reward for patiently bearing all the illness, discomfort, pain, and hardship of pregnancy and child birth. From a hadith of the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wasallam, we learn that a Muslim’s sins are expiated even from the prick of a thorn; the experience of pregnancy is much more than that. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is fully aware of even the most minute of details about what a person is going through. And, did you know, that the woman who dies in pregnancy or childbirth will die as a martyr, insha’Allah? – Allahu Akbar. (Saheeh Abu Dawud)
3. A Righteous Child – Source of Du’a After Death
The du’a (supplication) of Muslim children is a great source of benefit for the parents after their death. While a mother’s time to do good deeds has come to an end and she is in her grave, imagine her child making du’a for her in the last third of the night, in Ramadan, in sujood! For more reading on this particular point, check: http://islamqa.info/en/ref/9014
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article where we explore additional virtues of pregnancy inshaAllah.
I’d love to hear your views on this topic. Please post comments in the section below!
For more reading: Virtues: http://islamqa.info/en/ref/161204 Expecting Parents: http://muslimmatters.org/2010/05/17/the-family-way-ten-tips-for-expecting-muslims/ Blog on Muslim Motherhood on a variety of topics: http://worldofumm.blogspot.co.uk/