Mohamed Hamed Mohamed Ahmed
The determinants of reproductive behaviour among Muslims in Shendi town
Population studies essentially deal with the size, growth, and distribution of the population in a given area. This size, growth, and distribution are determined by three major factors. These are fertility, mortality, and migration. Of these factors, fertility is a potent socio-demographic force in vital process of population growth. Fertility is therefore a major component of population growth.
Fertility is one of the main determinants of population growth and a principal contribution to the pattern of population distribution. It has crucial role in population dynamic, because it measures the rate at which a population add to it self by birth. Fertility refers to the actual reproductive performance of a woman, or a group of women, or the actual number of children.
The importance of studying fertility comes from the fact that, fertility is a complex process responsible for the biological maintenance of society.
There are factors that influence fertility directly. Building on the work of Davis and Blacke (1956), Bongaarts (1978,80) classified the factors that influence fertility directly, which he termed the proximate determinants of fertility. Bongaarts found that the empirically the four most important proximate determinants are:-
- proportion married among female population
- contraceptive use,
- the duration of postpartum infecundability
The Real number of children, its direct determinants And fertility desires, are called reproduction. so the decisions regarding reproduction socioeconomic, and religious variable. so the study is going to highlights the effect of these variable on reproductive behaviour.
The objectives of this study is to examine the trends of fertility behaviour and birth control among Muslims in Islamic framework ,To examine the operative Islamic views on birth control, To explore the actual trends of fertility behaviour among Muslims in Shendi, To explore the knowledge, communication practice and attitude towards family planning;( To find out Muslims attitudes, knowledge, and practice of contraception), and to know the opinions and attitudes of Muslim leadership towards various aspects related to population problem such as family planning, and use of contraception.
- What are the religious values that determine the reproductive process among the target population?
- What is the level of knowledge, attitude and practice of contraception among the households in Shendi area?
- What about fertility preferences: desired family size, gender preferences, desires for additional child, among the study population and to what extent the Islamic values determinate these preferences?
To answer these questions, the study used the following method
The sample of the study are the households and religious leaders in Shendi in Sudan. The research depends on two sources of data collection, secondary and primary data. The secondary data was collected from books, articles, report, and governmental and non-governmental sources.
The primary data source is based upon the individual interviews, with religious leaders, and questionnaire to the households in Shendi.
Preliminary findings, is that the majority of Muslim leaders agree that Islam allowed polygyny, but that it is restricted by the capacity of a person to look after his family and to support his household financially.
There is preference to have sons rather than daughters, because the sons are able for shouldering the responsibility, and God has a decree over women.
There is preference toward quality of the offspring and not the quantity.
All the respondents were agreed about the use of contraception in the case of Breastfeeding, the sickness of the mother, and taking care of children. Also all respondent were against the use of contraception in the case of fear of provision.
Conclusion, the position of Islam on contraception, is that Islam permits the use of contraception provided that there are strong reasons for it, based on the personal circumstances of the couple.