Imaam Muslim Bin Hajjaj (rahimahullah) says in his book Saheeh Muslim:
Qutaybah Bin Sa’eed narrated to us (that): Layth narrated to us from S’ad Bin Abee Sa’eed from his father from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
“There was not from amongst the Prophets a Prophet except that he was given from the signs by the likes of which the people believed in him. And indeed, that which I was but given is revelation which Allah revealed to me, so I hope that I will have the most followers from them (the Prophets) on the Day of Resurrection.”
Commenting on the last part of the hadeeth ‘…so I hope that I will have the most followers from them (the Prophets) on the Day of Resurrection.’ Sheikh Al-‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) says:
‘…And in this, there is an indication that our Prophet – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and may Allah reward him from us with good – that he loved that we become many, and that we become the most numerous of the nations on the Day of Resurrection. And this is a confirmation of his saying:
“Marry the loving and the fertile, for indeed I will try to outnumber (the previous nations) through you on the Day of Resurrection.”
And in it (the hadeeth) also, is that it is imperative that we shout out with this hadeeth in the ears of those people who say: ‘Limit the amount of children’ or ‘plan the amount of children’ or that which resembles this, in that we say (to them): Increase the amount of children. This is what is correct.
And (as for) the excuse that their upbringing is overburdened, (then) we say: Yes, their upbringing would be overburdened if Allah entrusted them to you and (if) you depended upon the perceptive matter . However, if you depended upon Allah and entrusted their affair to Allah, then Allah would suffice you with the provisions. And likewise is the one who says: ‘The sustenance is restricted (through having many children).’ (This is) a word of pre-Islamic ignorance. In the pre-Islamic ignorance they used to kill their children out of fear of poverty, so whosoever says: ‘The sustenance is restricted (through having many children)’, then it is said to him: How is the sustenance restricted and Allah, The Mighty and The Majestic says:
‘And no living creature is there on the earth but its sustenance is due from Allah. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposit…’ [Surah Hud: Verse 6]
And a man who was poor informed me, (he was) from amongst those who take a cloth and a woolen cloak and roam through the market places (and) they (the people) forbid him from it, he said: Indeed, he got married and in the week of his marriage he said: ‘A door of sustenance was opened for me which I could not even anticipate’. Then his first child was born to him and he said: ‘By Allah, from the time his mother gave birth to him, another door (of sustenance) was opened for me.’
And this, if a person believes in what Allah, The Mighty and The Majestic, has said, that which is intended will occur. However, our problem is that shaytaan whispers to us and we depend upon the apparent perceptive matters. Otherwise, if we depended upon the promise of Allah, The Mighty and The Majestic, it would be sufficient and that which was intended would occur.
If we were to assume that there are harms out there for the mother, whereby she does not give birth except by way of an operation and it (the operation) occurs frequently and perhaps some day it (the stomach) will explode, or if she was ill and cannot endure (the pregnancy), then this is something else. And for every situation there is a saying and she (the woman and her situation) is looked at.
As for when the matters are natural, then it is obligatory upon us to prevent the women from using the pills which prevent pregnancy and that we say: Let every woman from amongst you seek the assistance of Allah, The Mighty and The Majestic.
Some of the women say: ‘When pregnancy occurs, tiredness afflicts me and I start to always love the pillow, and I do not have an appetite for food, and craving comes along and she begins to enumerate and enumerate (other things).’ So, we say: Your mother who gave birth to you, did not they (these things) afflict her? And Allah The Most High says in the Qur’an:
‘…his mother carried him with hardship and she gave birth to him with hardship…’ [Surah Al-Ahqaaf: Verse 15]
And He says in another verse:
‘…his mother carried him with weakness upon weakness …’ [Surah Luqmaan: Verse 14]
It is inevitable that there is weakness and it is inevitable that there is a dislike of this weakness and this harm. However, the woman has patience and she anticipates the reward (from Allah).
As for with respect to Al-‘azl (withdrawing the penis before ejaculating), then it is authentic that it is permissible and it is not forbidden. However, it is in opposition to that which is better, for the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam) was asked about Al-‘Azl and he said:
‘It is the hidden infanticide’, and he did not prohibit it.
However, the nearest (to the truth) of what is said, is that it is closer to being disliked. However, it is forbidden with respect to (practising it with) the wife except with her permission, for this is the right of the person. So, if the husband wanted to practice Al-‘Azl so that the woman stays in her youth – as is claimed – and she wants children, then indeed it is forbidden for him to practice Al-‘Azl. And if he practiced Al-‘Azl and she requested him not to practice Al-‘Azl, it is obligatory upon him not to practice Al-‘Azl. And if he practiced Al-‘Azl (again), then she can get an annulment (of the marriage).