Female section, Miscellaneous

What is the Islamic ruling on in-vitro fertilization (test tube baby)?

Question: What is the verdict of the noble scholars about the following issues:
  1. What is the Islamic ruling on the legitimacy and illegitimacy of a test tube baby (i.e., In vitro fertilisation [IVF])?
  2. Can the sperm of a stranger other than the husband be mixed with the substance (i.e., ovary) of a woman?
  3. What is the Islamic ruling about the parentage of the child obtained from it (i.e., through an IVF procedure)?
 
Questioner: Hafiz Muhammad Gulfam Raza of Uttarakhand in India.
 
Answer:
(1) Test tube baby is the name of the modern method of acquiring children by mixing the male and female substance. Researchers and pious Islamic scholars have allowed it in a state of necessity under the following conditions:
  1. Both substances must belong to the husband and wife because Allah Almighty has made the husband and wife the only means to obtain children. In the Qur’an, Allah states:
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ ٱتَّقُوا۟ رَبَّكُمُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَٰحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَآءً
O mankind! Fear your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its spouse and from them, both has spread the multitude of men and women. [4:1]
 
  1. The wife should insert the husband’s substance into her vagina herself. This is evidenced by the following legal texts:
فی البحرالمحیط اذاعالج الرجل جاریتہ فیمادون الفرج فانزل فاخذت الجاریۃ ماء ہ فی شیٔ فاستدخلتہ فی فرجھافی حدثان ذلک فعلقت الجاریۃ وولدت فالولدولدہ ورالجاریۃ ام ولدہ۔
It says in al-Bahr al-Muhit: “When a man has sexual intercourse with his female slave while ejaculating outside of her vagina, where the female slave then takes the sperm and puts it in something and then inserts it in her vagina, she then became pregnant and the child is born, the child will then be his and she will be the umm walad (i.e., slave mother of the child).” [Hashiyat al-Tahtawi ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar: 2/228, باب العدۃ]
 
وماقیل لایلزم من ثبوت النسب منہ وطؤہ لان الحبل قدیکون بادخال الماء الفرج بدون جماع مع انہ نادر
And it has been said that in order to prove parentage, it is not necessary for the act of sexual intercourse to take place, but sometimes it happens that a woman inserts a man’s sperm into her vagina without having sexual intercourse and becomes pregnant, although this is rarely the case. [al-Bahr al-Ra’iq Sharh Kanz al-Daqa’iq: 4/262, باب ثبوت النسب]
 
  1. The husband himself has to insert this substance into his wife’s vagina because a strange male is not allowed to see and touch a woman without the need for it.
  2. It is not permissible for him to use his own hand to ejaculate (i.e., to extract the sperm). The jurists, in view of the saying of the Prophet ﷺ:
ناکح الیدملعون
The masturbator is cursed.
have stated that this act as sinfully disapproving [makruh tahrimi], as stated in Durr al-Mukhtar:
وکذاالاستمناء بالکف وان کرہ تحریمالحدیث ناکح الیدملعون ۔۔۔الخ
And it is also sinfully disapproving [makruh tahrimi] to extract semen (i.e., to ejaculate) by one’s hand, due to the hadith of the one who masturbates is cursed. [3/371: کتاب الصوم، مطلب فی حکم الاستمناء بالکف]
 
  1. Acquiring [semen] by ‘azal (i.e., taking out the penis of the vagina during intercourse right before ejaculating) or by the hand of a wife. In both cases is it allowed. It is stated in Fatawa Shami:
یجوزان یستمنی بیدزوجتہ اوخادمتہ
It is permissible to take semen (i.e., ejaculate) by the hand of one’s wife or female slave. [4/39: کتاب الحدود]
 
(2) It is unlawful and haram to insert into the womb other than her husband’s sperm to mix with the wife’s substance. It is stated in the hadith:
لایحل لامریٔ یؤمن باللّٰہ والیوم الآخران یسقی ماء ہ زرع غیرہ۔
It is not permissible for a person who believes in Allah and the hereafter to irrigate other crops with his water. [Sunan Abu Dawud: 1/293, کتاب النکاح]
 
(3) If a child is born by the sperm of a stranger other than the husband, although this act is unlawful and haram because it is tantamount to adultery, the child will not be attributed to the adulterer, but the husband will be regarded as the only father of the child.
 
It is stated in the hadith:
فانہ لایلحق بہ ولا یرث
The child will not be attributed to the adulterer, nor will he be his heir. [Sunan Abu Dawud: 1/308, کتاب الطلاق]
 
It is stated in Bukhari sharif:
الولدللفراش وللعاھرالحجر۔
The child will be attributed to the husband and the adulterer will be stoned. [al-Sahih al-Bukhari: 2/999, کتاب الفرائض]
 
This is what I have and the knowledge is with Allah Almighty. This verdict is extracted from numerable jurisprudential books, in particular the Urdu book “ٹیسٹ ٹیوب بے بی اورشرعی نقطۂ نظر” of Mufti Sayyid Ziya al-Din Shaykh of al-Jamia al-Nizamiyyah Hyderabad.
 
Mufti Muhammad Zulfaqar Khan Naimi Kakralwi
4-Rabi al-Thani-1434 || ≈ 15-Feb-2013
 al-Fuyudat al-Nabawiyyah fi’l-Fatawa al-Hanafiyya (Fatawa Uttarakhand): vol. 1, p. 368
Click for more fatawa’s of Mufti Zulfaqar Naimi
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