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1. While looking at the first sentence of this verse هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ (Thereupon, Zakariyya prayed to his Lord) we should bear in mind that sayyidn6 Zakariyyi had no offspring upto that time. He had grown old and one usually does not have children in that age, although he firmly believed that Allah, in His ultimate power, could change the usual phenomenon and bless him with an offspring even at his advanced age. But he had not personally witnessed the unusual divine acts such as he did when he saw unusual and out-of-season eatables provided for Sayyidah Maryam and that was why he did not have the courage to extend his hand of prayer for an offspring. Now when he saw the miracle with his own eyes, he was persuaded for such prayer under the belief that Allah, who can provide a servant with out-ofseason fruits, would also bless him with an offspring, even in this late age, and so he prayed.
2. The second sentence of the verse قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً 'He said: "O my Lord, grant me from Your own (power) a goodly progeny."' tells us that making prayers to have children is a blessed practice of the prophets and the righteous.
In another verse Allah Almighty has said: وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلًا مِّن قَبْلِكَ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَذُرِّيَّةً "And We sent messengers before you and provided them with wives and children (13:38). It means that children are among the blessings of Allah which were bestowed on the Holy Prophet (SM) as well as on other prophets.
Now, should someone try to stop the birth of children, by any means, he will not only rebel against nature but will also deprive himself of having acted in harmony with the common and agreed practice of prophets (SM) . The Holy Prophet of Islam (SM) has given great irnportanci to the question of marriage and children, so much so that he did not allow anyone to avoid married life and children inspite of his capability, and refused to take such a person as a member of his community of followers. He said:
 النكاح من سنتي
فمن رغب عن سنتي فليس مني
تزوجوا الودود الولود فإني مكاثر بكم الأمم
(1) Marriage is my sunnah (way).
(2) So, whoever turns away from my sunnah, he is not from me.
(3) Therefore, marry a woman who is loving and fertile, for I shall compete with other communities on the basis of your numbers.
In another verse, Allah Almighty praises those who pray before Him to have a wife in marriage, have children and have them grow good and righteous. He says:
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ
And those who say: "O our Lord, bless us with such among our wives and our children as be the delight of our eyes. (25:74)
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To read the previous part, click hereإِن يَمْسَسْكُمْ قَرْحٌ فَقَدْ مَسَّ الْقَوْمَ قَرْحٌ مِّثْلُهُ ۚ وَتِلْكَ الْأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِIf you receive a wound, they have received a similar wound....