The Message of Islam on Population Growth
By Hashim Msusa
As the world’s population continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, with estimates projecting that it will reach 9.7 billion by 2050, many people wonder about the implications of such growth. Some are concerned that this population boom will lead to resource depletion, environmental degradation, and social unrest. What is the message of Islam on population growth?
Contrary to popular belief, Islam does not blame population growth for the world’s problems. In fact, the Qur’an teaches that humans are God Almighty’s most prized creation and that we are meant to multiply and thrive on this earth. God Almighty says in the Noble Qur’an: “And He it is Who hath made you (His) viceroys in the earth and hath exalted some of you in rank above others, that He may try you by (the test of) that which He hath given you. Lo! Thy Lord is swift in prosecution, and lo! He verily is Forgiving, Merciful.”
One of the main arguments against population growth is that the world’s resources are not enough to support such a large number of people. However, Islam teaches that God Almighty is the provider of all sustenance and that He has created enough resources to support every living being on this planet.
In the Noble Qur’an, God Almighty states: “And with Him are the keys of the Invisible. None but He knoweth them. And He knoweth what is in the land and the sea. Not a leaf falleth but He knoweth it, not a grain amid the darkness of the earth, naught of wet or dry but (it is noted) in a clear record.” (6:59) This verse highlights God’s omniscience and omnipotence, and it suggests that He has created everything in perfect balance and harmony.
Moreover, Islam also teaches that humans are responsible for managing and distributing resources just and equitably. God Almighty in the Noble Qur’an says: “Believe in God and His Messenger and spend (in charity) out of the substance of which He has made you heirs. For, those of you who believe and spend (in charity), – for them is a great reward.” (57: 7) This verse highlights the importance of charity and generosity and suggests that those who are blessed with wealth should share it with others who are less fortunate.
In addition to these teachings, there are several verses from the Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) that shed light on the issue of population growth. God Almighty states: “And We have honored the children of Adam, and We carry them on the land and the sea, and We provide for them of the good things, and We have made them to excel many of those whom We have created with a marked excellence.” (17:70) This verse highlights the dignity and honor of human beings, as well as the responsibility that we have to care for ourselves and the earth.