Praise be to Allaah.
Undoubtedly children are one of the blessings and adornments
of this world, and one of the greatest purposes of marriage is to produce
offspring. A righteous child is a treasure for his parents in this world and
in the Hereafter, and his righteous deeds will be recorded in the balance of
his parents’ deeds. A man or a woman may be faced with lack of children or
delay of having children. What they must do is be patient and seek reward,
and say a lot of du’aa’ and prayers for forgiveness. They should understand
that Allaah only decrees things for a reason. If a person has available
Islamically acceptable means of getting children, there is nothing wrong
with his pursuing that. But the Muslim should beware of false ways involving
sihr (witchcraft) and myths, and he should beware of doctors who do not fear
Allaah and whose main aim is to make money from those who want to have
children. Hence some of them switch eggs or sperm. This is why some scholars
have forbidden these methods of having children or have stipulated very
One of the methods that doctors use to help couples have
children is that which is mentioned in the question, namely IVF. This method
involves stimulating the ovary to produce a number of eggs, similar to the
way in which a woman naturally produces one egg. This is done by giving the
woman an injection of Decapeptyl to prepare the ovaries for the next step,
which is injections of hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce a number
of eggs. After ascertaining that the eggs have grown, the woman is given an
injection of HCG to complete the development of the eggs before they are
extracted. This injection is usually given 36 hours before the eggs are
On the day on which the eggs are extracted, semen is taken
from the husband and 100,000 sperm are placed with each egg in a test tube
so that fertilization may take place. Two or three days later, the
fertilized eggs divide to form what is called the embryo, and the embryos
are divided into categories according to their quality. The best embryos are
selected to be returned to the uterus, where they are placed, and later on
an examination is carried out to make sure whether there is a pregnancy or
not. The success rate of this procedure according to doctors is 30-40 %.
This summary was mentioned by Dr Usaamah Saalihah, a
specialist in gynaecology, obstetrics, infertility and laparoscopic surgery.
in Britain, and the director of the test tube baby unit in the new Dar
From al-Watan Clinic magazine.
With regard to the shar’i ruling: it should be disallowed, in
order to be on the safe side. This is the view of Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah
al-Jibreen (may Allaah preserve him) and it was quoted from the scholars of
the Standing Committee – as we quoted from them in the answer to question
no. 1992. Or it may be
permissible subject to certain conditions, including the following:
1 – That there be a real need for that. A delay of one or two
years in having children is not an excuse for the couple to pursue this or
similar methods. Rather they should be patient, for Allaah may grant them a
way out soon without them doing anything that is haraam.
2 – The woman should not uncover her ‘awrah before men when
there are female staff available.
3 – It is not permissible for the husband to masturbate,
rather he may be intimate with his wife without penetration, and produce
semen in this manner.
4 – The woman’s eggs and man’s sperm should not be kept in a
freezer for later use, or another appointment, and there should not be any
delay in placing them in the woman’s uterus. Rather that should be done
immediately without any delay, lest they be mixed with others or be used for
5 –The sperm must come from the husband and the egg from the
wife, and be implanted in the wife’s uterus. Anything else is not
permissible at all. See the answer to question no.
6 – There should be complete trust in the doctors who are
doing this procedure.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have
mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on putting a woman’s egg in a test
tube then fertilizing it with the man’s sperm, then returning it to the
woman’s uterus so that it may develop.
If there is no need for this
procedure then we do not think it is permissible, because it involves
surgery to extract the eggs – as you mention in the question – and this
surgery involves uncovering the ‘awrah unnecessarily, then it involves
surgery and there is the fear that it may have effects even in the distant
future, such as damaging the Fallopian tube or causing infections.
Moreover, if things are left to proceed naturally as created
by the Most merciful of those who show mercy and the Wisest of judges, that
is closer to proper etiquette with Allaah and it is better and more
beneficial than ways invented by man, which may appear initially to be good
but they fail later on.
If there is a need for this
procedure, then we do not think there is anything wrong with it, so long as
three conditions are met:
1 – That this fertilization be done with the husband’s sperm.
It is not permissible to use the sperm of anyone but the husband for this
fertilization, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And Allaah has made for you Azwaaj (mates or wives) of
your own kind, and has made for you, from your wives, sons and grandsons,
and has bestowed on you good provision. Do they then believe in false
deities and deny the Favour of Allaah (by not worshipping Allaah Alone)”
2 – The collection of sperm from the man should be done in a
permissible manner, such as by the husband being intimate with his wife, and
ejaculating between her thighs or in her hand, so that the semen may be
emitted, then the egg may be fertilized with it.
3 – After fertilization, the egg should be placed in the
wife’s uterus. It is not permissible to place it in the uterus of any other
woman under any circumstances whatsoever, because that involves inserting
the sperm of the man into the uterus of a woman who is not permissible for
him, and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth,
when or how you will, and send (good deeds, or ask Allaah to bestow upon you
pious offspring) for your ownselves beforehand. And fear Allaah, and know
that you are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give good tidings to the
believers (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)”
Tilth is mentioned specifically with regard to a man’s wife,
which indicates that a woman other than his wife is not appropriate for his
tilth. End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen
(17/p. 27, 28).
And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) also said:
Artificial fertilization is when the husband’s sperm is taken
and placed in the uterus of the wife by means of a syringe. This is a very
serious issue. Who can be certain that the doctor will not put the sperm of
one man in the uterus of someone else’s wife?! Hence we think that
precautions must be taken and we should not issue fatwas except in specific
cases where we know the man, the woman and the doctor. As for opening the
door to this, there is the fear of evil consequences.
The matter is not to be taken lightly, because if any deceit
takes place, it means that lineages will be mixed, and there will be chaos,
which is something that sharee’ah has forbidden. Hence the Prophet SAWS
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “One should not have
intercourse with a pregnant woman until she gives birth.” I will not issue
fatwas to this effect, unless a specific case is referred to me and I know
the man, the woman and the doctor.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
(17/question no. 9)
This is the verdict of the Islamic Fiqh Council of the
Organization of the Islamic Conference in which it says: There is nothing
wrong with resorting to this in the case of need, but it is absolutely
essential to take all necessary precautions.
Majallat al-Majma’ (3/1/423).
We ask Allaah to bless the couple with righteous offspring
with no need for such methods, and to enable them to bear this trial with
And Allaah knows best.