An Islamic scholar has said that neither the Koran nor the Sunnah forbids a Muslim from using condoms, birth control pills and other contraceptives for family planning.
Dr. Mohamad Akram Laidin, the executive director of the International Shari'ah Research Academy in Islamic Finance and a Syariah scholar, was quoted by the New Strait Times as saying that: "There is no text in the Quran or Sunnah that prohibits the use of contraceptives for family planning."
Participating in a roundtable discussion titled, "Contraception and Family Planning in the Islamic Perspective: Halal or Haram?", Akram said Islam encouraged marriage for the purpose of procreation and family planning within a certain context.
"Islam encourages having many children, but it also allows Muslims to have family planning due to valid reasons and recognised necessities," he said.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj said there was a common misconception that the use of contraceptives was equivalent to abortion.
"This is not correct, as contraceptives are used to prevent pregnancies from happening. Islam permitted the use of contraceptives for family planning, but it was not acceptable if the intention was to avoid maternity roles or to avoid having girls," Dr.Siraj said.
Akram added that the only type of contraception not permissible in Islam was permanent sterilisation, unless done for health reasons.
Bayer Schering Pharma country manager Ashraf al Ouf also attended the roundtable discussion held at the Islamic Arts Museum here.