17-Jan-2008

God's Gift

Now here's a fatwa for the times we live in:
Clerics at Deoband have come out with a new fatwa, dispelling notions that Islam is against family planning.

Contrary to the belief that contraceptives are not allowed in Islam, Deoband has ruled that their use is necessary.

Darull-Uloom says contraceptives are permissible under Islamic laws so that the children are properly nourished.

Another prominent Muslim body Jamia-Ulema-e-Hind has supported the Fatwa. However, the Islamic body called permanent methods of contraception like vasectomy or tubectomy haram (unlawful).

Several Muslim nations like Turkey and Iran encourage their citizen to adopt contraceptives, a move to check the growing population in those countries
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It makes the Deoband clerics, Turkey and Iran more liberal in this very important respect than the Catholic church and the Pope:
Now we’re ready for the hard part of the evening: why does the Church forbid contraception? Artificial contraception is wrong because it violates the "gift of self" which ought to be at the center of every act of physical love. When you take the pill or use a foam, diaphragm, condom or whatever, you are, in effect, saying to your spouse, "In this, the most intimate act of our marriage, I am going to give myself to you, but only up to a point." Or, conversely, you are saying, "I want you in this act to make a total gift to me of yourself, except that part of you which so deeply defines you as a sexual being, your fertility." The body has its own deep language, and when we add chemicals or latex to the act of love, when we deliberately destroy its potential for making new life, we falsify the nuptial meaning of its actions. We hold back the full "gift of self" which during the wife’s fertile period must include an openness to new life.
I still remember a scathing documentary on BBC which examined the impact of this ban on extremely poor communities of Catholics in countries like Phillipines and many African countries. It was so hard to understand how this ban could continue in the face of all the suffering.

I'm expecting our media to swarm over the news of this fatwa once they are through with jallikattu and other pressing topics - it must be the die-hard optimist hidden in some corner of myself.

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