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Is It Permissible to Have a Child Through In Vitro Fertilization?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I am a carrier of a gene mutation that I have already passed on to one of my children and she died at a young age due to this.  My husband and I would like to have more children, our doctors recommended using a donor egg because the chances of having another ill child is very likely.  Is it haram for us to fertilize a donor egg with my husband’s sperm and implant it in my body?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith.

The Loss of Your Child

Please accept my warmest condolences for your child’s death. Our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) informed us that when a young child dies before the parents, Allah will allow the child to intercede on behalf of the parents, and be the means for their entrance to Paradise. [Muslim]

In addition, the incredible pain and grief that the parent undergoes due to the child’s death is itself a means by which sins are forgiven, especially if the parents are patient and hope for their reward with Allah.

Our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that “Patience is a glowing illumination” [Muslim], and that “No fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow, harm or sadness afflicts a Muslim – not even a thorn that pricks him – except that Allah wipes out his sins by it.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

In Vitro Fertilization

The Islamic Fiqh Academy, based in Jeddah, came to a resolution regarding IVF after having thoroughly examined the issue. Their basic conclusion was that artificial insemination – meaning to take the husband’s sperm and place it in the wife’s womb – is permitted, whether before or after fertilization.

However, to use another woman’s egg or womb, or to use another man’s sperm, would be unlawful due to the resultant confusion in lineage, the loss of motherhood, and other matters prohibited by the Sacred Law. Such third party involvement would not be permitted even if the parents were infertile or carriers of gene mutation, disease, etc.

Also, it is important to keep in mind that the sunna is to take the lawful means for any noble endeavor, and then to rely wholeheartedly on Allah, while being cognizant that He alone is the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. Means have no power in and of themselves, yet we take them out of etiquette to Allah and to the Noble Sunna.

As people of faith, we affirm that nothing exists except that Allah decreed it as such, and His decree for us brings only good, as our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught, “Amazing indeed is the affair of the believer! Allah decrees nothing for him except that it is good for him!” [Musnad Ahmed]

And Allah knows best.

wassalam

Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani