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In Vitro Fertilization

Shaykh Jamir Meah answers questions about In Vitro Fertilization.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

I had a miscarriage in December 2017 and was advised that I have to follow up for six months. Once the six months ended I found out that my husband and I both have beta thalassemia. So our children have the chance of having major thalassemia which means they could need blood transfusions every 2-3 months and life expectancy is shorter up to the age of 30.

Doctors have advised us to go down the route of IVF. They said they will check the fetus (PGD) for thalassemia major and if it is normal they will implant it.

My question: Is this permissible in Islam?

Jazak Allah khayr.

Thank you for writing in.

I’m sorry to hear about your miscarriage and your and your husband’s conditions. May Allah transform your difficulties into sources of relief and reward.

Scholars have stated that IVF treatment is permissible given the two following conditions:

  1. The sperm and the egg is from the husband and wife.
  2. There is no third party involved in any part of the reproduction process, such as a third party donating sperm, eggs, or acting as a surrogate mother.

It is also important to note that the husband’s seminal fluid should only be emitted via lawful means, i.e. through the wife’s hand causing him to ejaculate or similar, not self-masturbation, as this is unlawful.

Please also refer to the following answers for more details on the permissibility of IVF treatment: Kids in Test Tubes: Is In Vitro Fertilization Allowed? and Is It Permissible to Have a Child Through In Vitro Fertilization?

Complementary Treatments

For future consideration, the symptoms of beta thalassemia may be greatly helped by natural medicines such as homeopathy, which can reduce the need for frequent blood transfusions as well as improve the immune system, which also controls frequent attacks of respiratory infections. Such treatment is often used as a complementary therapy alongside conventional treatment.

I wish you the both the best of health, and may Allah grant you a loving and pious family.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is It Permissible to Use Modern IVF Treatments to Pick the Gender of My Baby?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I have been blessed with 3 beautiful little girls, alhamdulilah. I wanted to know if it is permissible to use modern IVF treatments to pick the gender of the next baby if we attempt to have one? So, can we use modern science to have a boy, if we already have 3 girls?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

This would be permissible according to the resolution passed by the Majma al-Fiqh al-Islami in 2007. The view is also supported by leading scholars, such as Mustafa Zarqa, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and Abd Allah ibn Bayya, among others. This is so long as (a) the procedure is safe and (b) it follows the general shariah guidelines of medical treatment.

Those scholars who prohibited such a practice, however, did so due to a number of legitimate concerns and reasons. One factor, for example, was the widespread gender bias in certain communities and peoples. This is clearly contrary to Islamic guidelines and people who have such gender biases should be firmly discouraged from choosing the gender of future children. Indeed, the Quran refers to the disappointment that people felt at having daughters as an evil and the least that this indicates is blameworthiness of such an attitude.

Additionally, one must also stress an element of content with one’s decree in not choosing the gender of a future child. As the Qur’an states, “To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what He wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males.” (49:50) While choosing the gender of a child is not necessarily being discontent with divine decree, it is superior to simply leave such matters in the hands of God.

Wassalam,
[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Infertility: Widespread but Largely Unaddressed by Muslim Communities

An estimated 250,000 Muslims women in countries like the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia suffer from infertility. Research shows it can be extremely stressful and can lead to depression, which in turn worsen the chances of becoming pregnant.

“Infertile? Just relax, and it will happen”

Studies have been done into the effects of infertility amongst Christian and Jewish communities but for the first time, a major study will be conducted amongst Muslims. Mona Elgohail is a Clinical Psychology PhD student and researcher at Drexel University. She is conducting a research study using an online survey on the impact of faith on the mental health and coping of Muslim women experiencing infertility.

Infertility: Why does Allah Not Bless Some With Children?

As part of the SeekersHub Ramadan series, Supplications from the Qur’an, Shaykh Ahmed Sa’ad al-Azhari addressed a sensitive and sometimes painful topic:

Infertility

Why does Allah bless some of us with children, and others not? Is it better to be a happy, childless couple than to be an unhappy pair of parents to a child, who has been sent to test us? When praying for Allah to grant us children, what should we pray for – just any child or one that is a “trust bearer”?

This is a beautiful, concise explanation – just ten minutes, that is sure to move you and humble you.

Listen to it on our podcast or watch it here:

 

Resources on infertility and parenting:

The Powerful Dua of a Parent
Maryam: Blessed Mother & Child
Raising a Muslim with Manners
Prophetic Advice For Raising Righteous Children
Raising Children with Deen and Dunya
Making Ramadan a Time for Young Hearts to Grow
Ibn Khaldun on the instruction of children and its different methods
Islamic Parenting: Ten Keys to Raising Righteous Children
The Prophet Muhammad’s Love, Concern, & Kindness for Children
On Parents Showing Righteousness to Children
Habib ‘Umar bin Hafiz’s advice on duas to read during pregnancy and labour and for infertility

Kids in Test Tubes: Is In Vitro Fertilization Allowed?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) involves taking drugs and fertilization outside of the womb. Since many couples are going through infertility, we would like to know what Islam says about IVF.

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful,

In the name of Allah, the inspirer of truth. All praise is to Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate, and all blessings and peace to our Master Muhammad, his family, companions, and those who follow them.

The Islamic Fiqh Academy and other bodies, including Al-Azhar’s Fatwa Committee, have studied this matter at length. They concluded that artificial insemination is permitted, as long as only the husband and wife are reproductively involved.

This is permitted whether the fertilization itself occurs inside or outside the woman. It is not permitted to use third party (“donor”) sperm or eggs, even when either spouse is infertile. They stressed that one should ensure that such procedures are carried out in a safe way, for obvious reasons.

Some of the scholars emphasize, too, that such procedures should only be used when normal means prove ineffective.

It is important, in the end, to remember that while we have been commanded by Allah Most High to take all permitted means, we have also been commanded to believe that means themselves do not have an effect; only Allah does.

And Allah knows best.

Walaikum assalam,
Faraz Rabbani

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