Monday, October 31, 2011

Who gets to decide when the world is over-populated?

 So the latest buzz is that the world’s population has reached 7 billion. Some people are really freaking out about this, because for them this means that people are having too many babies. Some countries have limited the amount of children that people can have and others, like me are wondering what the point is of making such a big fuss about a thing which we have no control over.

Although people would like to believe that they have control over the amount of people in the world, the truth is that this is something which has been pre-ordained by Allah Almighty, and no one has the right to try and control this. It is Allah who creates and it is Allah who sustains. Allah created the Earth and thus Allah will put people on Earth accordingly.

 The problem comes in however, when people mess around with things that Allah has already pre-ordained. When we humans decide to change the natural order of things then the problems start arising. You see, in my opinion, there should be enough resources on Earth for all its 7 billion people, and likewise, there should be enough space. But these resources as well as the space is so unequally distributed that more than half the people on Earth are suffering, while a small percentage live lives of extravagance and luxury. Now, if everything had to be equally distributed, then there wouldn’t be the type of problems that we have today, and so-called “overpopulation” would never be a problem.

 Instead of making right what is wrong however, we humans have decided to take action by correcting one wrong with another. So now instead of equally distributing resources, etc, we’ve decided that the solution is for people to have less children because then no one has to part with the precious resources which they have wrongfully claimed as their own.

 So when people have many children it’s regarded as “irresponsible behaviour” and “backwardness”. The ideal family only consists of 2 children, or at most 3. Anything above this is craziness. And through all this modern day thinking, we’ve forgotten what Allah Almighty has already told us.

 In the Glorious Quraan Allah tells us that Allah has already pre-ordained how many children each person will have and whether these children will be girls or boys. Clearly, population of the world is in Allah’s hands and human beings have no right to interfere with this.

 Although people today are very eager to point out the “harms” of having many children, I will tell you from personal experience that big families are healthy in many ways. I’m not saying that there are no issues, life isn’t perfect so there always has to be issues. However, with more siblings people have more support. Alhamdullillah I come from a big family (we are 8 children), and for me this was always a blessing. Not only has my family allowed me to stay grounded, my siblings have been my support structure, my friends and confidantes, and many times my punching bag (not literally of course). We are able to do more together as a bigger unit and this has given us strength. I have learnt so many different things because of the differences in each of my siblings. Most importantly though, I have learnt important human values such as sharing and giving!

 This is not only my experience. I have a close friend who also comes from such a big family and she has related similar experiences to me. I have an aunt who had 13 siblings and I’m always amazed when I see the unity and closeness of that family. There are many such stories, stories which strongly support big families. Yet these stories are never heard, and instead when women reach their fourth child then people already begin to act like there’s something wrong with that and like the woman is so irresponsible for having so many kids.

 Allah Almighty has also said in the Glorious Quraan that we should not fear, because Allah will provide for the children we have. So if Allah provides for all the people that Allah has created then what’s the problem? Really, the way I see it, the problem is not “overpopulation”. The problem is “unequal distribution of resources” which basically amounts to selfishness.

 So there are 7 billion people in the world! Alhamdullillah (All praise is for Allah), Indeed Allah is the Knower of all things and if Allah wills then this will increase, and if Allah wills then this will decrease. It shouldn’t be a problem, because after all it is Allah who Creates and Allah is the ultimate Controller of All Things.

 May Allah Almighty guide us and protect us, inshaa-Allah.
Image from here


  1. I agree that the wealth and resources of this world has not been distributed equally. You'll find rich man becomes richer, whilst the poor become poorer. If only everybody pays zakat accordingly and make more donations for the needy, then InsyaAllah this world can become a better place to live.

    Thanks for the inspiring post, sis Zarina. Love it!

  2. Ati

    Thank you sister, I'm glad you liked the post. You are so right, the system of Zakaat is perfect to address inequalities, and we need more charity. May Allah help us all to see to the needs of the poor around us,Inshaa-Allah


    Thank you sister, I'm glad you liked the post. This is something that is close to my heart. There is too much inequality in this world.

  3. I completely agree with this. I was just actually reading an article on it right before I came to this site. I did come from a decent size family, but was raised as an only child. I am the baby of 9 children on my father's side and the oldest of 4 on my mother's side. All of us were blessed by Allah as well as our families. It is sad that not many others see how lucky we all are compared to the way people try to make us believe.

    May Allah bless and protect you and yours always!

  4. Modest Destiny

    I agree with you, it is quite sad that no one focuses on the good things and discourage people from having big families.

    Thank you for your duaa, May Allah accept it and give you the same inshaa-Allah.

  5. Zarina, Thank you so much. You have pointed out the main problem - the unequal distribution of resources.
    If we look at the world, we will see God has provided far enough for every single being. The problem is that men have changed the rules of Life, they have thought about their beings, their advantages, their lives before others. Some are living with far more than what they need and some are starving and fighting to end every month.
    I was thinking about this the other day on my way to work - If we share what God provides fairly, every single person should be able to have a decent life.

    By the way I love big families! This gives me an idea - I am sorry I think too much. Would you be interested by a guest post on what it is for you to be part of a big family. I love your posts because they are always well written and easy to understand.

    Take care and have a beautiful afternoon!

  6. Marie

    Exactly, if we learn how to share things equally then everyone should live a decent life, so many problems have arisen because people have become selfish and individualistic.

    I wouldn't mind writing a guest post, thanks for asking me to do this. Could you please email me some time to remind me.

    You take care too and enjoy the rest of the week.