About a month ago (sorry, this took awhile) I wrote an article on IUDs and how they work. I have since searched around for opinions on the IUD from scholars both locally and internationally. The question of whether or not the IUD is haraam or halaal comes down to a few important issues
1. What defines the start of a pregnancy?
2. What are the conditions of using reversible contraception?
3. What ruling do you take on interrupting a pregnancy (elective abortion)?
If pregnancy is defined as starting only after implantation has occurred, then by definition, there is not even the possibility of the IUD interrupting a pregnancy. In this case, the use of the IUD takes the ruling of any other form of reversible contraception (the pill, the shot, the vaginal ring, etc). Though the majority of scholars in the majority of the different schools generally agree that reversible contraception is allowed, its use does have conditions and guidelines. That is a discussion for another day.
If you define pregnancy as starting with fertilization itself, then we move to the next question, what ruling do you take on interrupting a pregnancy? If you believe that interrupting a pregnancy at any stage is wrong, except in extreme cases, then you have to take into account the rarity (but possibility) of an IUD actually causing the prevention of implantation. And for the scholars that hold this view of interrupting pregnancy, the IUD becomes an option only available to specific women who have specific medical needs, but not generally permissible.
If you believe that interrupting a pregnancy before the fortieth day is allowable, then even a major possibility of preventing implantation would be irrelevant, as it is well before the fortieth day. In this case the IUD would again take the ruling of other types of reversible contraception.
I would have liked to cover a wider diversity of opinions, but these are the opinions I was able to gather, either by being publicly available by these scholars or in response to a request from me. Unfortunately, not all our scholars, May God protect them, are as technologically inclined. All that being said, here are rulings from a few respected scholars:
Dr. Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz al Musnid, from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, who holds a PhD in Quranic Sciences:
--It is permissible as long as it is placed properly, suits the patient, and is not causing permanent infertility
Shaykh Abdul Hai Yusuf, head of the Islamic Knowledge Dept, University of Khartoum, Sudan:
--Using the IUD is permissible with permission from the husband and as long as no harm results from using it. The fact that it prevents the egg from attaching to the uterine surface does not constitute abortion.
Shaykh Abdullah bin Baaz, Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta, Saudi Arabia:
--Allows the IUD under the same conditions as other forms of reversible contraception
Dr. Ahmad al Kurdi, Kuwait, member of the Fatwa Committee:
--It is permissible to use an IUD after consulting with a qualified, competent Muslim female physician to assure safety.
Dr. Mustafa Al Bugha, formerly head of the Department of Fiqh and now head of the College of Islamic Law at the University of Damascus, Syria:
--Using the IUD is permissible
Imam Tahir Anwar, Imam of the South Bay Islamic Association in San Jose, California
-- Allows the IUD under the same conditions as other forms of reversible contraception
Also, from “The Fiqh of Medicine”, Dr. Ahmed Abdel Aziz Yacoub discusses the IUD with other methods of birth control that have the ability to prevent implantation. He concludes that if one is accepting of the ruling that interrupting a pregnancy before forty days is allowable, then the IUD would fall into the category of other reversible forms of contraception.
From the book “Birth Control & Abortion in Islam”, Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Adam AlKawthari quotes Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani who states, “As the loop (IUD) expels the fertilized ovum within two weeks, it’s use cannot be held as totally prohibited. However, being a device of abortion, its use is not advisable and it should be restricted to cases of real medical needs only.”
And God knows best.
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