Islam and family planning in Ghana: a study of Mampurugu Muslim Communities

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Islam maintains that the relationship between the husband, wife and the children should be based on mutual love and care, joy, happiness, co-operation, peace, unity, tranquility and the husband and the wife ought to console each other in other to forfeit the adornment of life. In other words, the couples should be family oriented for sustainability and survival of the family. A majority of Muslims in Mampurugu are of the view that children are the gift of God and He will sustain the lives of these children, hence the call for the establishment of large families within the Muslim communities while caring for them is left at the mercy of the Almighty Allah. The assumption, therefore, is that Islam attaches much importance to giving birth to many children but the responsibility of the upbringing of the children by the parents is neglected and rather put into the care of God, hence, there is lackadaisical attitude by Muslim parents towards birth control or family planning in the communities. The general view of a majority of Muslims is that family planning is haram (forbidden) but it is rather Makruh (not allowed) in Islam. It is observed that family planning would be of great benefit to an individual and the whole nation at large. The holy Qur’an and Traditions of the Prophet where used as references concerning Islam and family planning and the use of contraception. Secondary sources of data in the form of extracts from existing literature in topics related to the subject matter of the study were used. Participant observation technique was also used to gather information for the study. The study revealed that there is no categorical statement in the Holy Qur’an in favor or against the use of contraception, but it is evident that birth control was practiced during Prophet Mohammed’s lifetime by azl (cointus interruptus). The general ruling of the use of contraception is that it is Makruh (undesirable) and not haram (forbidden). The scholars should ensure that they explain the Islamic perspective of family planning, the use of contraceptives and the conditions to consider before going for it to the people in the communities.  
A thesis submitted to the Department of Religious Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of degree of Master of Philosophy.