Have a child or remain one[1]

In a book explaining Islam to children and teenagers it stated that it is the duty of Muslim women to be mothers. I was surprised that the author, a non-Muslim, had grasped what few of us seem to acknowledge openly: that Muslim women are compelled to be mothers, even though it is not an Islamic requirement.

In order to challenge this discourse, we need to examine the  status of motherhood and childlessness within an Islamic framework. How has the Islamic legal system led Muslims to believe that women’s only function is childbearing? This re-examination means re-evaluating the status of motherhood, children and parents, and, to some extent, the role of marriage. It must lead to a reflection on the ethics of reproduction: how far should we support the thinking of obligation to have a child?

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Victim of a curse or source of evil eye for parents? Initially considered victims of the evil eye, childless women (the evil eye is often combined with the feminine!) after a certain age, are considered as the transmitter of the curse. They are therefore to be avoided.

In some Muslim communities, conceiving children is an obligation. Many Muslims are convinced that it is a baraka, at best a divine reward. These same people explain the absence of children by a punitive action of the Divine. With this in mind, the family or parents of a newborn child dread visits from a childless woman or a childless man .

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Should we not turn this «when » into « if » you have children. « if  » instead of «when» would change little girls’ perspectives, it would save them from suffering linked to this « when » . Everything would seem possible for them.

We teach children, especially girls, the role which is  assigned to them as  a good wife and above all, a mother. They must intend to conceive children whether they wish for it or not. Parents, parents’ friends and the girls’ surrouding ensure this intention is enforced by repeating this mantra « when you have children! » which she will hear throughout her life until the end of her reproductive cycle. 

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Interchangeable the words faith and hope are frequently used in crises situations : « have hopes » « keep the faith »

However these express two differents feelings. Hope expresses the expectation of something. Faith is based on trust in someone, in religious context trust in God.

Often in Islamic context, faith means the conviction that everything will be well and that everything will happen for the best for each of us. Nonetheless,having  faith does not prevent  us from experiencing sadness , pain, doubts and anger.

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