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In the Name of God بسم الله
smiiley001

Purpose of having children argument

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Salam All,

A friend of mine questions the purpose of having children. He believes that people only have children for selfish reasons: from children helping out their parents in farms/help in income provision to the children continuing the family legacy. 

I kind of see his point but I feel like it's a negative way of thinking but couldn't bring myself to prove him otherwise. 

What do you all think? Especially from an Islamic viewpoint.

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1. New social life

By the time you reach the age of thinking about prospective parenthood, which, on average, is slightly over the hump of 30, you are tiring of a lot of your friends. Many you will have known since school or university and been heartily sick of them for years. I met most of the friends I have now at the school gates, or when accompanying one of my children to sleepovers. Gradually, you can edge out the old friends who have begun to bore you because now you’re boring them back about the difficulty of finding nursery places and they are going to run a mile.

2. Something to talk about with your partner

As with friends, so with partners. Those first few years giggling in bed, and sometimes even having sex there, are losing their allure. Puzzling over the meaning of life and the proper reaction to a piece of contemporary art is less of a rush than it once was. You start to realise that you are average and dull like everyone else. Having children means you can stop trying to be Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre and get on with the real meaning of life – wiping excrement from children’s bottoms. As the immortal PJ O’Rourke put it: “Don’t try and come on like Jean-Paul Belmondo/Aspire instead to two kids and a condo.”

3. Laughter

A lot is talked about how children give you someone to love and how they offer a sense of purpose. What isn’t so often mentioned is that they are very funny. If I tried to explain how they are funny and the countless ways they have made me laugh over the years, the stories would sound lame. OK, I can’t resist it anyway. Here’s one off the top of my head. I was walking in the park and saw a rabbit. I said to my then seven-year-old, in an admittedly patronising fashion: “Look, darling, there’s a bunny rabbit.”

She shook her head despairingly and replied: “Daddy, I’m not a baby. Don’t call it a bunny rabbit.”

She glared disapprovingly, then snapped: “It’s a bunny.”

You had to be there. But believe me, I multiplied my laugh rate 10 times more than when I was childless.

4. You stop thinking about throwing yourself under a bus

Before you have children, you are quite likely to have a number of philosophical crises about life, death and meaninglessness. Is it all worth it? “There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide” said Camus. However, after children you realise there are other questions, after all – whether Beany Babies have souls and if there are fairies at the bottom of the garden, how can they stand the smell of the composter? These kinds of inquiries, which will be incessant, usually leave no room for thoughts of self-annihilation.

5. Beauty

Children are not only funny, they are beautiful. Even ugly ones are thought beautiful by their parents. Simply surrounding yourself with creatures so visually pleasing makes every day an aesthetic delight.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jan/23/five-reasons-to-have-children

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2 hours ago, smiiley001 said:

Salam All,

A friend of mine questions the purpose of having children. He believes that people only have children for selfish reasons: from children helping out their parents in farms/help in income provision to the children continuing the family legacy. 

I kind of see his point but I feel like it's a negative way of thinking but couldn't bring myself to prove him otherwise. 

What do you all think? Especially from an Islamic viewpoint.

I find that Islam highly recommends offspring. I also understand his point of view, because there are actually alot of parents who are like that. I watched this movie about how a 16 year old girl ran away from her mother because she was abusive, did drugs and often went to jail. She was basically using her daughter because she was receiving welfare  money.

However, alot of parents love the idea of growing a family; it brings joy, happiness, love. Watching your kids grow into adults and being proud of them is probably one of the best feelings ever (not that I experienced it, but it must be a wonderful feeling for the parents no doubt).  

I don't want to jinx myself, but sometimes I feel that I'd rather not have children. Not only because it is difficult, but because of the fact that its hard to raise them in this generation. There is so much violence and fasaad, so I would choose to not let them enter this dunya.   So if I really wanted a child, I would have at least 1 or 2, that is if Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) wills.

 

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We have kids to give someone a life, we don't know how that life will turn out, but we want to bring life into this world with Allah's blessing.

Now, would anyone argue against giving life to someone in any other scenario? 

I suppose such people against having children would be okay with not giving life to a person in ICU, not giving life to a person suffering anaphylaxis, to a child with a heart defect, or even somewhere much closer to home- take their parents for example, as soon as their health deteriorates will they just tell the doctor "just let them die, giving life is selfish", or what about themselves, will they see their own life and existence as selfish?

I highly doubt they think about it this deeply, such people love the sound of their own negative voices and would never ponder whether their own view would include their own lives.

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