Ruling on test tube babies (IVF – in vitro fertilization)
The permissible form of IVF is that the sperm and the egg are from married couples (husband and wife), then fertilization is done outside the woman, thereafter the egg is implanted inside the wife’s uterus (to develop).
Or a man’s semen (sperm) is extracted and then implanted in his wife’s vagina, provided that all necessary precautions are taken. Any other forms aside these are not permissible, that is, when the sperm is from other than the husband’s, then it is not permissible; when the egg is not from the wife, it is also not permissible; and in a situation where the uterus is not that of the wife’s womb, it is also not permissible.
This is what was decided by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy in her third session. The decision reads as follows:
The council of Islamic Fiqh Academy that met in her third session in Aman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, from 8th to 13th Safar 1407 AH, which is equivalent to 11th to 16th October, 1986 CE.
After examining the topic of IVF, by reviewing the researches presented and listening to the explanations of experts and doctors; and after much deliberation, the council found out that there are seven methods of artificial insemination known in this modern era:
1. The insemination takes place by using the husband’s sperm to fertilize the egg of a woman that is not his wife, then implanting the egg in his wife’s uterus.
2. The insemination takes place by taking the sperm of a man other than the husband to fertilize the wife’s egg, then implanting it in the wife’s womb.
3. An external fertilization takes place by taking the seeds of a couple and then it is implanted in the uterus of another woman to carry it.
4. An external fertilization of seeds of a foreign woman and a foreign man, and the fertilized egg is implanted in the wife’s womb.
5. The insemination takes place by taking the couple’s seeds and implanted it in the other (or second) wife womb.
6. The sperm is taken from the husband and the egg is from his wife, and the insemination is done externally, then the fertilized egg is implanted in the wife’s uterus.
7. The husband seed is taken and injected into the appropriate place in his wife’s vagina or uterus by internal insemination.
They decided that:
The first five methods are all forbidden according to Shariah. The total nullification is because of the mixture of lineages, loss of motherhood and other precautionary measures in Sharia.
As for the 6th and 7th method, the council considered that there is nothing wrong with resorting to them when needed, with an emphasis on the need to take all necessary precautions.