Contraception, Morning after and IVF


{jb_quote} First of all, it should be known that, one of the main aims of marriage in Islam is procreation. Islam encourages its followers to reproduce in large numbers in order to increase the size of the Ummah of our Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace).{/jb_quote}

Birth Control & Contraception

Which method of contraception suits me? (NHS)

By Shaykh (Mufti) Muhammad Ibn Adam (HA)

Question: What is the Islamic verdict on contraception and birth control in general? Is it only permissible at times of need?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

{jb_dropcap}F{/jb_dropcap}irst of all, it should be known that, one of the main aims of marriage in Islam is procreation. Islam encourages its followers to reproduce in large numbers in order to increase the size of the Ummah of our Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace).

Allah Most High says in the Qur'an:

{jb_bluebox}"So now hold intercourse with your wives and seek (the children) what Allah has ordained for you." ( Surah al-Baqarah, V: 187){/jb_bluebox}

In a Hadith recorded by Imam Abu Dawud, Imam an-Nasa'i and others, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

{jb_bluebox}"Marry women who are loving and reproduce in abundance, for I shall outnumber the other nations by you."{/jb_bluebox}

It is clear from the above, that Shariah encourages its followers to abstain from practicing birth control, especially, when it is given a formal, organized and general approach. Therefore, one should refrain from practicing contraception unless necessary.

As far as the Shar'i ruling is concerned, there are two categories of birth control and the ruling of each is different. The ruling of each category is as follows:

Permanent Irreversible Contraception

This type of contraception is carried out when the couple decide never to have a baby. It is done with a sterilization operation carried out either on the man (Vasectomy) or the woman (Tubectomy) and renders the couple incapable of ever having children.

The ruling with regards to this is that, it is unlawful (Haram) to carry out such operations. There are many Narrations of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and clear texts of the Fuqaha (Jurists) which determine this.

The Companion, Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (Allah be pleased with him) said:

{jb_bluebox}"We use engage in Jihad in the company of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and our wives did not accompany us. We said: O Prophet of Allah! Shall we not castrate ourselves? He forbade us from doing so." (Sahih al-Bukhari){/jb_bluebox}

The great Hanafi Jurist, Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) says:

{jb_bluebox}"Castration of humans is Haram." (Radd al-Muhtar).{/jb_bluebox}

Imam al-Ayni (Allah have mercy on him) says:

{jb_bluebox}"Castration (and sterilization, m) is prohibited with the consensus of all the scholars." (Umdat al-Qari){/jb_bluebox}

However, in cases of extreme necessity, Irreversible contraception will become permissible. For example, a woman's life is in danger or repeated pregnancies gravely damage her health, etc. This however, should be advised by a Muslim qualified doctor.

Temporary Reversible Contraception

There are many methods by which reversible contraception can be performed. Coitus interruptus (Withdrawal method), the pill, using of the condom, i.u.d, spermicidal, just to mention a few.

The ruling on reversible contraception is that, it is somewhat disliked (makruh tanzihan) if practiced without any reason. If there is a genuine reason, then it will be totally permissible with the permission of the wife. Some of the reasons (for the permissibility of reversible contraception), which the Fuqaha mention, are:

{jb_bluedisc}a{/jb_bluedisc} Physical state of the woman,


{jb_bluedisc}b{/jb_bluedisc} Weakness and illness,


{jb_bluedisc}c{/jb_bluedisc} The couple are on a distant journey,


{jb_bluedisc}d{/jb_bluedisc} The couple's relations are unstable and divorce is likely,


{jb_bluedisc}e{/jb_bluedisc} Spacing out children in order to give them adequate care and attention,


If contraception is practiced due to a reason contrary to the teachings of Shariah, then it will not be permissible. Some of these reasons are:

{jb_bluedisc}b{/jb_bluedisc} Fear of poverty and not being able to provide,


{jb_bluedisc}b{/jb_bluedisc} For the fashion of keeping small families and imitating the Kuffar,


{jb_bluedisc}c{/jb_bluedisc}Being ashamed of having a girl,


There are many narrations from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) which signify the permissibility of reversible contraception, but at the same time indicate it to be undesirable.

Sayyiduna Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) says:

{jb_bluebox}"We used to practice Coitus interruptus (Withdrawal method) while the Qur'an was being revealed. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) knew of this and did not prohibit us." (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim ){/jb_bluebox}

This has more or less been mentioned by the scholars in their books. (See Imam Nawawi in his commentary of Sahih Muslim, Mulla Ali al-Qari in al-Mirqat, Ibn Abidin in his Radd al-Muhtar and others.

For more details, please refer to my book on this subject titled Birth Control and Abortion (Revised Edition), available from the Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK.

And Allah Knows Best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK

The Morning-After Pill

By Shaykh (Mufti) Muhammad Ibn Adam (HA)

Question: I have been under the impression that in Islam it is forbidden to use the morning after pill as it is an abortive method of birth control. A friend recently argued that it was not, and that it is permissible to use it. Could you please provide a detailed response as to what the majority of scholars say regarding this issue?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

{jb_dropcap}T{/jb_dropcap}he Morning-after pill (emergency contraception) is estimated to prevent about 85% of pregnancies. It is thought to work by:


{jb_bluedisc}a{/jb_bluedisc} Stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg,


{jb_bluedisc}b{/jb_bluedisc} Preventing sperm from fertilizing any egg that may have already been released; or, (importantly)


{jb_bluedisc}c{/jb_bluedisc} Stopping a fertilized egg from attaching itself into the womb lining. (See: The official brochure of Schering Health Care Limited, manufacturers of Levonelle pills).


Other experts state:


{jb_bluebox}"Popularly dubbed the morning-after pill, the drug Levonelle can actually be taken up to 72 hours after intercourse. The 1861 Offences against the Person Act prohibits the supply of any "poison or other noxious thing" with intent to cause miscarriage. SPUC's argument is based on the fact that the drug stops an embryo from implanting in the lining of the womb. The organisation successfully applied last year for leave to bring a judicial review of the government's decision to reclassify the drug as suitable for over-the-counter sale. The court will be asked to consider "what is the precise moment at which a woman becomes pregnant." Is it when the egg is fertilized, or when the resulting embryo is implanted in the womb? If it is the former, then the court could rule that emergency contraception causes a miscarriage and is illegal."{/jb_bluebox}

From an Islamic perspective, temporary contraception is permitted in cases of individual needs as explained in earlier posts. The various methods of temporary and reversible contraception prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg, hence they are permitted. However, if a particular method was to expel the fertilized ovum and prevent it from attaching itself into the womb lining, then the ruling would be somewhat different.

Shaykh Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) states whilst discussing the employment of a loop as a means of contraception:

{jb_bluebox}"In the first case where the loop acts as a preventive measure against fertilization, it is similar to any other contraceptive and the rules regarding al-Azl (withdrawal method & temporary contraception in general) may be applied to the loop also, i.e. its use is permissible in Shariah in cases of individual needs, like the sickness or the weakness of the woman where pregnancy may endanger her health.{/jb_bluebox}

{jb_bluebox}In the second case, however, (when fertilization takes place, and the fertilized ovum is expelled from the uterus by the loop), the rules of al-Azl cannot be applied, because in that case it is not merely a preventive measure; rather, it expels the fertilized ovum from the uterus after conception. Therefore, it acts as a device to effect an abortion. Hence, the rules of abortion shall apply....As the loop expels the fertilized ovum within two weeks, its use cannot be held as prohibited totally. However, being a device of abortion, its use is not advisable and it should be restricted to the cases of the real medical needs only." (Contemporary Fatawa, P: 136-137){/jb_bluebox}

In light of the above Fatwa, it becomes clear that if a reversible contraceptive device acts after the sperm has fertilized the egg and the device merely prevents a fertilized egg from implanting itself into the womb lining, then the ruling on employing such a contraceptive device would be different. The ruling on such contraceptive devices would be similar to that of carrying out an abortion at an earlier stage, which is impermissible unless there is a genuine and valid reason.

Therefore, the morning-after pill will have the same ruling as the loop, for it may work by stopping a fertilized egg from attaching itself into the womb, as mentioned above.. Thus, the rules of an early abortion would apply in this case also; and hence it should only be used in extreme medical conditions.

In conclusion, the ruling on employing the loop, the morning-after pill or any other method that may act after the egg has been fertilized as a means of contraception is somewhat different to the general ruling on reversible contraception (al-Azl). Reversible contraception is generally permitted if practised on an individual level, whilst employing any method that may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting itself into the womb will not be allowed except in certain medical conditions, for which one should consult a reliable scholar of knowledge and piety.

Selling the morning-after pill

As far as selling the morning after pill is concerned, one should keep in mind the juristic (fiqhi) principle which states:

{jb_bluebox}"Everything that it is possible to use in a permitted manner is lawful to sell" (See: Radd al-Muhtar, 6/391){/jb_bluebox}

Hence, it would be permitted (halal) to sell the various types of contraceptives including the morning-after pill, as they have legally permissible uses. The morning-after pill (as explained earlier) can be used in cases of medical need; hence, it would be permitted to sell it. It is analogous to selling a knife, in that one may use it to cut a fruit, but unfortunately it could be used to stab someone.

Thereafter, if it does end up being used unlawfully, the seller will not share the sin or blame, because that unlawful action was purely through the deliberate wilful action of the purchaser, not because of one's selling. One does not even need to ask or investigate about why it is being used. Assume it is a lawful use.

However, if in a particular case, the seller was certain of it being used unlawfully, it would best be to avoid selling it to that particular individual.

(Based primarily on my soon to be published work (Insha Allah) Birth Control and Abortion (Revised Edition), from

And Allah Knows Best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK

Permanent Contraception (Female Sterlisation) - Does Intention affect Permissibility?

By Shaykh (Mufti) Muhammad Ibn Adam (HA)

Question:A 26 year old woman presented to a general gynaecology clinic requesting sterilisation. She worked as the manager of a large legal practice in London. She had never been pregnant. She was five years married and her husband used condoms for contraception. At the age of 17 she had discovered that she had a serious congenital heart defect. Neither she nor her husband had any desire to have children, and they had spoken about this at some length. The reasons she gave for requesting sterilisation were that she had no desire to have children and did not have faith in other forms of contraception (and did not wish to change her lifestyle or threaten her financial status; she saw children as a financial burden; felt that children would prohibit many important life choices, including the opportunity to travel; thought the world was already burdened with enough people; and had serious anxieties about the risk of medical complications during a pregnancy as her cardiologist had told her that pregnancy would be risky). The gynaecologist suggested alternative and reversible methods of contraception, including the intrauterine progestogen system. He also asked whether her partner would consider vasectomy. He explained the risks of laparoscopic sterilisation, which include a small risk of death and a risk of about 1 in 300 of requiring an emergency laparotomy to repair damage done to internal organs. The patient declined the intrauterine system and refused to ask her husband to have a vasectomy as he was only 25. She explained that, should she die prematurely, her husband might meet a new partner who wanted to have children.

{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} Is her request for sterilisation permissible (Islamically, whether she is Muslim or not)?

{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} Is the doctor allowed to carry out this procedure? (muslimah doctor)

{jb_bluedisc}3{/jb_bluedisc} Would the ruling change if her main reason for requesting a sterilisation was not that she did not want children, but that it might be risky with her given congenital heart condition (medical reason)? I.e. does her intention matter, whether she doesn’t want a child (against God’s will?) or whether she wished to preserve her own health (conforming to God’s will for medical reasons?)

{jb_bluedisc}4{/jb_bluedisc} If sterilisation is permissible in any of the cases, is the husband’s permission required? (E.g. in 'azl, it is generally with mutual consent... can sterilisation be viewed Islamically as permanent 'azl?)

{jb_bluedisc}5{/jb_bluedisc} Hypothetically, if there was a 100% fool-proof method of contraception that was temporary (i.e. not sterilisation, so no defacing or altering the creation of Allah (swt), then would this form of contraception be allowed given that possibility of conceiving with the contraceptive is absolutely zero?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,


Under normal circumstances, female sterilization is considered to be absolutely and decidedly prohibited (haram) in Shari’ah. The irreversible nature associated with both the male and female sterilizations clearly contradicts one of the primary purposes (maqasid) of marriage which is to have children, as mentioned by Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali in his Ihya’ Ulum al-Din.

Furthermore, sterilization is a form of mutilation of one’s body (muthla), which has been clearly forbidden in the Shari’ah. Allah Most High mentions in al-Nisa’ the words of Satan, when he said:

{jb_bluebox} “I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah.”{/jb_bluebox}

However, in cases of absolute necessity, sterilization does become permitted. The well-known principle of Islamic jurisprudence based on the guidelines of the Qur’an and Sunna states:

{jb_bluebox}“Necessities make prohibitions lawful.” (Ibn Nujaym, Al-Ashbah wa al-Naza’ir 85) {/jb_bluebox}

Cases of absolute necessity include a woman’s life or her permanent health being severely threatened by pregnancy, or her facing the risk of losing her life with additional births after having gone through Caesarean operations on previous occasions. As such, if unbiased and professional medical advice is taken, and one comes to the conclusion that the life or permanent health of a woman would be seriously affected by pregnancy and that there is no other cure for her illness, only then would female sterilization be permitted.

You state that the woman in question has a serious congenital heart condition and as such her becoming pregnant might be risky. In light of the above explanation, she will need to obtain professional medical advice ideally from an experienced and upright Muslim doctor (who knows the severity of the prohibition of sterilization in Islam) and then act accordingly. If the medical expert feels that pregnancy is a severe risk to her life or permanent health, then she may undergo sterilization.

The other reasons outlined in your question do not justify sterilization. In fact, some - such as seeing children as a financial burden thus fearing poverty and thinking that the world was already burdened with enough people - are in direct conflict with the teachings of Islam. Even reversible contraception is not permitted due to “such” reasons and intentions in mind.

As for the doctor and medical practitioner, if sterilization is justified (in light of the above-mentioned explanation), then it is permitted to carry out the operation on the patient. If, however, it is not Islamically justified, such as when there is no absolute necessity, or when alternatives are available, then it is not permitted for the Muslim doctor to perform the operation, since this would be held as assisting another in a sinful act.

And Allah Knows Best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK

IVF & Surrogate Motherhood

What happens during IVF? (NHS)

By Shaykh (Mufti) Muhammad Ibn Adam (HA)

Question: What is the Islamic position on surrogate motherhood, which involves "a woman who becomes pregnant usually by artificial insemination or surgical implantation of a fertilized egg for the purpose of carrying the fetus to term for another woman"?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

{jb_dropcap}T{/jb_dropcap}he problem of infertility is a very old problem and has always been a matter of concern for human beings. From the very early times, people have tried to treat this problem with all kinds of treatments and therapies. Infertility is defined as the failure to produce viable pregnancy within one year of regular sexual intercourse, without the use of contraceptives of course.

Islam teaches us that the creation of life is the exclusive function of Allah Most High. No matter what method and means one employs, if Allah Almighty does not wish to grant children, one will never have children.

Allah Most High says:

{jb_bluebox}To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female (children) to whomsoever He wills and bestows male (children) to whomsoever He wills, or He bestows both males and females, and He leaves barren whomsoever He wills. He is full of Knowledge and Power. (Surah al-Shura, V. 49-50){/jb_bluebox}

{jb_bluebox}Sayyiduna Abu Said al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was asked about coitus interruptus (azl) whereupon he said: The child is not born from all the liquid (sperm) and when Allah intends to create something, nothing can prevent Him. (Sahih Muslim, no. 1438){/jb_bluebox}

Thus, the granting of children is the exclusive right and function of Allah Most High. Hence a Muslim should always first resort to supplicating Allah Most High, for if He wills to grant and bestow children, none can prevent Him.

The Quran mentions two great Prophets of Allah who were also faced with this problem, but supplicated and beseeched Allah Most High, and were granted children in their old age.

Allah Most High says regarding Sayyiduna Zakariyya (peace be upon him):

{jb_bluebox} There did Zakariyya pray to his Lord, saying: O my Lord! Grant unto me from You a progeny that is pure: for surely You are the Hearer of prayer. Then, while he was standing in prayer in the chamber, the angels called unto him: (Allah) gives you glad tidings of Yahya, witnessing the truth of a Word from Allah, a leader and chaste, and a Prophet, from amongst the righteous. He said: O my lord! How shall I have a son seeing I am very old and my wife is barren? Allah said: So it shall be, Allah does what He wills. (Surah Al Imran, V. 39-40){/jb_bluebox}

{jb_brownbox}Sayyiduna Zakariyya (peace be upon him), despite being very old did not hesitate for a moment in supplicating and asking Allah Most High to grant him children. It is reported from Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that on the day Sayyiduna Zakariyya (peace be upon him) was given the glad tidings of Sayyiduna Yahyas birth, he was 120 years of age and his wife was 98. (See: Tafsir al-Kabir of Imam al-Razi, 3/214{/jb_brownbox}

In another place of the Qur'an, Allah Most High says regarding Sayyiduna Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him):

{jb_bluebox}And his wife was standing (there), and she laughed: And We gave her glad tidings of Ishaq, and after him, of Yaqub. She said: Alas for me! Shall I bear a child, seeing I am an old woman, and my husband here is an old man? That would indeed be a wonderful thing! (Surah Hud, V. 71-72){/jb_bluebox}

{jb_brownbox}This great Prophet of Allah, Sayyiduna Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was also 120 years of age, whilst his wife Sayyida Sarah (peace be upon her) was 90 or 98 years old. (Tafsir Abi Saud, 4/325). Despite this, they were given the glad tidings of not only a child but also a grandchild.{/jb_brownbox}

Therefore, the first step to be taken is to beseech Allah Most High and ask from Him, for if He wills, one will be bestowed with children, and if he does not desire, nothing can bring about children.

One may also resort to adopting children. However, one must remember that there are strict rules with regards to adopting a child. The child cannot be attributed except to his real parents. If the problem is with the wife, the husband may also marry a second time, but here also, there are strict conditions and rules that need to be met.

Alternatively, the couple may resort to medical treatment. When undertaking medical treatment, one must remember that means themselves do not have an effect. It is only through the mercy of Allah that one will be granted children.

Modern advancement in medical science has come forth with many methods in treating infertility. At times, the husbands sperm is artificially inseminated into the wifes uterus (AIH). Sometimes a third persons (donor) sperm is introduced into the wifes uterus (AID), or it is mixed with the husbands sperm and then artificially inseminated (AIM).

Another method is of fertilizing the womans eggs in a laboratory test tube with the husbands or a donors sperm and then returning the resulting ovum into the womans uterus. This method is known as In-vitro fertilization (IVF).

Surrogate motherhood is also a method in treating infertility. It involves using the service of another woman to serve as a carrier for the ovum of the couple. The woman makes her self available to inject the fertilized ovum into her own womb and then carries the child to its full term on behalf of the other couple.

People resort to this procedure either because a married woman who desires to have a child has a problem in carrying the child to its full term, or because of her desire to simply forgo the trouble of conception and labour.

As far as the Islamic ruling on these various forms and methods of treatment is concerned, one must keep in mind a very important principle, for that answers all the questions. The principle is that resorting to these methods of medical treatment is permissible as long as only the husband and wife are involved. It is completely unlawful to use a third partys (donor) sperm or eggs.

The reason being is that Islam has completely prohibited adultery (zina) and everything that leads to it. Islam lays allot of importance on the preservation of lineage. The preservation of lineage (hifz al-nasl) is one of the five universals and objectives of Shariah. As such, introducing a third party into the family equation would confuse the lineage, hence it will not be allowed. Using the sperm or eggs of a third person would create doubt and confusion with regards to the childs identity. The childs lineage and identity will not be preserved and safeguarded.

Many contemporary scholars have declared the introduction of other than the husbands sperm into the wife akin to adultery (zina), hence a major sin. They state that artificial insemination of other than the husbands sperm and adultery are both similar in effect; that is, in both cases the tillage is inseminated by a stranger. It is also a more severe crime than legal adoption, which is also completely prohibited in Shariah.

Allah Most High says:

{jb_bluebox}And those who guard their private parts. Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess, for (in their case) they are free from blame. But those whose desires exceed those limits are transgressors. (Surah al-Muminun, V. 5-7){/jb_bluebox}

Ruwayfi ibn Thabit al-Ansari (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said on the day of Hunayn:

{jb_bluebox}It is unlawful for a man who believes in Allah and the last day that he waters the plant of another. (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 2151 & Sunan Tirmidhi) {/jb_bluebox}

The meaning of watering the plant of another is to introduce ones sperm into the womb of another persons wife.

Therefore, all forms of treatment in which a third party is involved are completely unlawful. Hence, AID, AIM and surrogate motherhood is out of the question.

Moreover, the question of to whom will the child be attributed also arises in such cases. Scholars mention that despite the prohibition of resorting to such methods, if one did employ them, the child will always be attributed to the mothers husband.

{jb_bluebox}There is a famous Hadith recorded by Imam Muslim and others in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: The child will be attributed to the husband and the adulterer will receive the stone. The meaning of this Hadith is that the right of paternity will always be for the person who is married to the childs mother.{/jb_bluebox}

Thus, if a donors sperm or the husbands sperm mixed with that of a donor was introduced into the wife, the child will still be attributed to the husband. However, if the husband refuses to accept the child as his own, it will only be attributed to the mother.

If an unmarried woman was artificially inseminated with the sperm of another man, the child will only be attributed to herself. The man whose sperm was used will have nothing to do with the child.

In the case of surrogate motherhood, the problem becomes even more perplexing as to who will be considered the childs real mother? Is it the woman who provided eggs from which the child is born, or is it the one whose womb serves as a carrier for the child and then gives birth?

Many contemporary scholars have stated that based on the Quranic verse which states: Their mothers are only those who gave them birth (Surah al-Mujadalah, V. 2), the woman who carries the child to its full term and then gives birth to it will be considered the real mother. Hence, the woman whose eggs were used will not even be regarded as the real mother of the child. When the surrogate mother is considered to be the real mother, her husband (in light of the above mentioned Hadith) will be the father of the child unless he rejects the child, in which case the child will only be attributed to the surrogate mother.

one must also remember that it will be unlawful for a woman to use her ex-husbands frozen sperm after his death or divorce, for her marriage is terminated and her ex-husband is considered to be a stranger.

Artificial insemination between the husband and wife

As far as artificial insemination between legally married husband and wife is concerned, majority of the contemporary scholars are of the view that this is permissible. It is allowed whether the sperm of the husband is artificially inseminated and injected into the uterus of the wife, or whether the sperm of the husband and the eggs of the wife are artificially fertilized in a test tube and then inserted into the womb of the wife.

Some scholars have raised certain objections to the permissibility of artificial insemination, even if it be between married couples. They state that there are two problems Islamically in carrying out such methods.

Firstly, the sperm of the husband is normally acquired by masturbation, which is prohibited except in certain dire situations. Hence, in order to treat infertility, one will have to undergo something which is unlawful. They state that infertility is not an extreme medical problem to the extent that it would make unlawful medication lawful.

Secondly, the husband and wife both will have to expose their nakedness (awra) in order to receive treatment, and again, this is not allowed merely in order to have children, they say. Exposing of the Awra becomes permissible only in certain situations of need and necessity.

The answer to both these objections is that the desire of having children is very serious indeed. Those who are unable to bear children at times undergo depression and emotional trauma. At times, it may even lead one to infidelity and adultery. Hence, this is a case of need (dharura) wherein the rules become somewhat relaxed. Therefore, masturbation in order to obtain the sperm of the husband and exposing of the nakedness (awra) would become permissible in treating infertility.

It is analogous to circumcising an adult who accepts Islam. Carrying out a circumcision is a Sunnah, yet it is permitted (according to the majority of the scholars) for an adult man who accepts Islam to expose his nakedness (awra).

Moreover, in the case of masturbation, the idea is not to waste the sperm, rather the opposite. The sperm is used in order to impregnate the woman, whereas normally in masturbation the sperm is wasted. Also, mutual masturbation between the husband and wife is allowed, hence the wife may obtain the sperm of her husband.

One should remember here that some scholars have stipulated a condition, which is that one should be treated by someone of the same gender. Hence, the female should be treated by a female doctor at the time of obtaining her eggs and also when inserting the fertilized ovum into her womb. The husband should also be treated by a male doctor in acquiring his sperm.

In conclusion, there are three conditions for the permissibility of resorting to the various forms of treating infertility:

{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} It must take place only between the husband and wife. There should be no third party involvement in any shape or form.


{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} The husband and wife should be treated by someone of their own gender.


{jb_bluedisc}3{/jb_bluedisc} One must be extremely cautious in that there is no ambiguity in the sperm being only of the husband.

The international Islamic Fiqh academy based in Jeddah (Majma al-Fiqh al-Islami) which consists of a number of major scholars from around the globe researched this issue in October 1986, and after extensive research issued the following verdicts: Below is the translation of the Arabic text published in the academys resolutions:

Resolution No. 16(4-3)

Concerning Test Tube Babies

The Council of the Islamic Fiqh Academy holding its third session, in Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, From 8 to 13 Safar 1407 H (11 to 16 October 1986), after having reviewed the studies on the subject of Artificial insemination and having listened to the experts and physicians, and after investigation, It became evident to the Council that there are seven (7) known methods, used nowadays, for artificial insemination:

Hence, the council decided on the following:

Firstly, the following five (5) methods are all Islamically forbidden and absolutely prohibited for its own sake or due to the consequences manifested in employing them of the lineage being confused and loss of motherhood and other Shariah prohibited matters. These methods are:


{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc}  The fertilization taking place between the sperm taken from the husband and the eggs taken from a woman who is not his wife, and then the fertilized ovum being implanted into the womb of his wife.


{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} The fertilization taking place between the sperm taken from a man who is not the husband and the eggs taken from the wife, and then the fertilized ovum being implanted into the womb of the wife.


{jb_bluedisc}3{/jb_bluedisc}  The fertilization taking place in-vitro between the sperm and the eggs taken from the spouses, and then the fertilized ovum being implanted into the womb of a volunteer woman (i.e. surrogate motherhood).


{jb_bluedisc}4{/jb_bluedisc} The fertilization taking place in-vitro between the sperm of a man and eggs of a woman who are both strangers to one another, and then the fertilized ovum being implanted into the womb of another mans wife.


{jb_bluedisc}5{/jb_bluedisc} The fertilization taking place in-vitro between the sperm and the eggs taken from the spouses, and then the fertilized ovum is implanted into the womb of the husbands other wife.

Secondly, there is no problem in resorting to the sixth or seventh method, in case of necessity, provided all required precautions are taken. These two methods are:


{jb_bluedisc}6{/jb_bluedisc}  The sperm of the husband and the eggs of the wife are taken and fertilized in-vitro, and then the fertilized ovum is implanted into the womb of the wife.


{jb_bluedisc}7{/jb_bluedisc} Artificial insemination, by taking the sperm of the husband and inserting it in the appropriate place of his wifes womb, for fertilization. (See: Qararat wa tawsiyyat Majma al-Fiqh al-Islami, P. 34-35)

And Allah Knows Best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK