Look Inside

Exposing The Myths of Muslim Fertility- Gender and Religion in a Resettlement Colony of Delhi

FREE Delivery
Delivery Usually ships in 3 days
Item Code: HAP035
Author: Sabiha Hussain
Language: English
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 9788185002866
Pages: 280
Other Details 8.5x5.5
Weight 500 gm
Book Description
About The Author

Sabiha Hussain obtained her M.A. M.Phil. And Ph.D. from the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her area of specialisation lies at the intersections of gender, community and development with a special interest on Muslims in India. She is the author of the book Changing Half: A Study of Indian Muslim Women, and has written widely in national and international journals on various dimensions of Muslim women from a gender perspective She is currently a researcher at the Centre for Women's Development Studies, New Delhi.

About The Book

As a consequence of the politicisation of religion in India, the study of religious differentials in fertility and family planning is a highly sensitive Issue Not just the popular media but even scholarship has been instrumental in fomenting ideas about the alarming growth of the Muslim population due to Islamic beliefs and practices. Thus, the communalisation of the population debate has made any discussion of the reproductive practices of Muslims both highly contentious and deeply confused.

This comparative study of two religious communities, Hindu and Muslim, in one of Delhi's slums throws considerable light on their reproductive behaviour by going beyond commonly held stereotypes. It begins by exploring whether religious differences override the commonalities of gender class and socio-economic status. The exact nature and extent of differences between these two communities is carefully analysed drawing on aspects of women's health, marriage practices, child mortality, migration, education and work patterns. Existing theories in the vast demographic literature, especially on the relationships between religion and fertility, are also explored.

Based on in-depth interviews with 200 respondents, and using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the study demonstrates that only an insignificant percentage of Muslim women in fact believe that Islam specifically prohibits the use of family planning. On the contrary, the most important finding of this study lies in the greater dependence among Muslims on various temporary birth control devices. It is the practice of sterilisation that finds greater reservations among Muslims compared to their Hindu counterparts. Gender emerges as an extremely significant determinant in the lives of all the respondents as far as questions of choice in relation to reproduction are concerned. The nature and severe limitations of the public health system also come in for special attention, and with very significant policy implications.

This book will be of general interest to a wide audience concerned with social issues, apart from those in the fields of sociology, gender studies, health and medicine.


I am grateful to the Centre for Women's Development Studies for providing me with the support to carry out this study. I am deeply indebted to Dr. Mary John, Director, Centre for Women's Development Studies, for taking the pains to read the manuscript and for her valuable suggestions. But for her persistent support and comments, this manuscript would not have become a reality. I owe special thanks to Vinadi for her constant encouragement in carrying out this research work. Thanks are also due to Dr. Kumud Sharma and Mr. N.K. Banerjee, former Directors of the Centre for their support and encouragement.

Express my appreciation for the valuable suggestions and comments received from Dr. Vasanthi Raman and Ms Indrani Mazumdar and my gratitude to all my colleagues for their moral support. I gratefully acknowledge the assistance given to me by the library staff of CWDS and the technical assistance provided by Mr. Sundresh.

I cannot but thank my respondents without whose participation this study would not have been completed.

Last but not the least, I wish to thank my husband, Ejaz, and daughter, Sanaa, for putting up with me while I was working on the manuscript.


This his study is concerned with a comparative analysis of two religious communities, the Hindus and the Muslims, in relation to their reproductive behaviour and practices. The relationship between religion and reproductive behaviour has prompted much interest. Especially in the context of rising populations in developing countries. However, the politicisation of religion in India, the history of violence between Muslims and Hindus, and rivalry with a neighbouring country have made the study of religious differentials in fertility and family planning a sensitive issue. It has been observed that concerns regarding the growth of the Muslim population and the changing religious composition of India's national population are often motivated by political interests (Bhatia, 1990). The entire debate on the growth of the Muslim population has revolved around the number of children born to Muslims as compared to Hindu families without any reference to the gender of the children (Borooah and lyer, 2005). The higher growth rate among Muslims has been blamed on Islamic prescriptions that are said to be against the use of family planning, as well as the sanction of polygyny, which encourages larger families (Basu, 2004; Borooah, 2004; Jeffery and Jeffery, 2002; Hendre, 1971; Prakash, 1979). Basu (1997) points out that this 'politicization of fertility is levelled against Muslims in order to achieve non- demographic interventions within Muslim lives.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at help@exoticindia.com
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through help@exoticindia.com.
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Book Categories