Praise be to Allaah.
It should be noted that the basic principle is that each
spouse has the right to have children, so the husband does not have the
right to engage in coitus interruptus (‘azl) without his wife’s
permission, and the wife does not have the right to use any means of
contraception without his permission. See: al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah,
Ibn Nujaym al-Hanafi said:
The woman’s blocking her womb, as women do to prevent having
children, is haraam without the permission of the husband, by analogy with
the ruling on his engaging in coitus interruptus (‘azl) without her
End quote from al-Bahr al-Raa’iq, 3/215.
Al-Bahooti al-Hanbali said:
Al-Qaadi said: It is not permissible except with the
permission of the husband, because he has the right to have children.
End quote from Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘, 2/96.
But if there is an obvious reason for the wife not to have
children, such as if becoming pregnant will obviously cause her harm
according to the testimony of trustworthy doctors, then in this case the
husband’s right for her to ask his permission is waived, because the
interest of preserving the woman’s health takes precedence over the interest
of the husband having children.
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
“There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.” Narrated by Ibn
Maajah, 2340; classed as hasan by al-Nawawi in al-Adhkaar, p. 502
In fact the scholars stated that it is permissible for a
pregnant woman to abort the pregnancy so long as it is in the early stages,
if continuing the pregnancy will result in harm to her health. See the
answer to question no. 82851.
In the Fataawa of Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on
him) it says: I am a married woman and my husband refuses to let me take
birth control pills because he does not understand the exhaustion that I
feel and the harm that pregnancy could cause me. I took birth control pills
without my husband’s knowledge; is there anything wrong with that?
The Shaykh replied: If you can avoid doing that, that will be
more on the safe side. But if the harm and hardship is severe, there is
nothing wrong with it; otherwise not taking pills is more on the safe side.
Obedience to the husband is obligatory unless the harm would be great and
too difficult for you, because Allah, may He be glorified, says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you
End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 21/183
It is better for you to try to work the matter out with your
husband and reach an agreement between yourselves; the man has to pay
attention to his wife’s situation and state of health.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: If
the husband sees that his wife will be affected by becoming pregnant, then
he should give her permission to use contraception or he himself should use
contraception, out of kindness to her, until she becomes strong enough for
End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb.
With regard to the bad treatment of the husband’s part and
his harsh attitude, that is not an excuse not to have children, because
Allah may make this child a compensation and put a great deal of good in
him, as He says (interpretation of the meaning) “And
who brings out the living from the dead and brings out the dead from the
living” [Yoonus 10:31].
And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“If you dislike them, it may be
that you dislike a thing and Allâh brings through it a great deal of good”
And Allah knows best.