The Noble Presence of the Protector and Grand Marja’ of the Shi`a, Ayatullah al-`Uzma Gulpaygani

In His Name, the Most High

Question: With greetings and respect to you. It is common place that in order for women to prevent unwanted pregnancies and in order to avoid having an abortion when their life is in danger, with the consent of their husband, they use medication or things such as birth control pills, I.U.D. (an item that is inserted into the womb), cervical cap, diaphragm, creams, jells and injections – all of which prevent the meeting and fertilization of the egg.

Men too, with the consent of their wives, make use of the condom (a plastic covering) and also employ the method of coitus interruptus (to prevent an unwanted pregnancy).

We would like to know what the Islamic ruling is on these things that we have mentioned in our letter.

And may the peace and mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you.

`Ali Akbar Ridha`i Ashtiyani
Authority on Planning and Population
Ministry of Public Health and Safety

Answer: In the event that making use of the things mentioned would result in danger to the body of the woman or her sterilization, it is not permissible. If there is no danger involved and it is only a temporary means to prevent pregnancy, then there is no problem (in using these methods). And Allah knows best.


Imam Kadhim (peace be upon him) has said, “The Jihad of the woman is to take care of her husband and to act with him in a good way.”

Wasa`il ash-Shi`a, Volume 14, Page 115, Hadith 2