25.1 ASSISTED REPRODUCTION, taqniyat al injaab

By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.


Infertility is considered a serious condition because it could lead to psychological distress, marital problems, and even marital failure. At the ummatic level widespread infertility could spell demographic weakness, a security threat. Causes of infertility may be natural, related to lifestyle, or complications of medical or surgical procedures. Traditional methods of treating male and female infertility may be medical or surgical. Treatment of infertility fulfils the purpose of hifdh al nasl


25.1.2 IN VIVO INSEMINATION, al talqiih al istinaa’e al daakhilii

Artificial intra-uterine insemination with husband’s sperm, talqiih sina’i dhaati is permitted by the Law provided safeguards are taken to ensure that spermatozoa do not get mixed up in the laboratory or the clinic. The Law prohibits artificial in vivo insemination of a wife with donated sperm from a strange man or in vivo insemination of a strange woman with the husband’s sperm, talqiih sinna’i ajnabi.


25.1.3 IN VITRO FERTILIZATION, al talqiih al istinaa’e al khaariji

The Law permits in vitro fertilization if the sperm and ovum are from legally wedded husband and wife and the zygote is implanted in the same wife. According to some jurists the Law permits in vitro fertilization if the sperm is from a husband and the ovum is from a legally wedded wife, and the zygote is implanted in a second wife of the husband. In vitro fertilization is prohibited if the sperm is from the husband and the ovum is from the wife and the zygote is implanted in a surrogate mother. A married woman cannot have a zygote implanted into her uterus if a sperm from a donor who is not her husband fertilized it. Sperm banks are a form of zina are not allowed. The Law prohibits implantation of a fertilized zygote in a wife if another woman donated the ovum and the sperm is from her husband or a strange man



Legal rulings are being formulated on other forms of assisted reproduction such as gamete intra-fallopian transfer, intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection, and futuristic technologies such as animal uterus, artificial uterus, male pregnancy, and embryo transfer. In general shari’at rulings are not promulgated for hypothetical situations that have not yet become widespread. The following alternatives to assisted reproduction can be considered: foster care, polygamy, open adoption, patience and ‘ibadat.



Several ethical issues arise in assisted reproduction: disclosure of infertility before marriage, artificial insemination after death of the husband, legality of masturbation for obtaining sperms, paternity and maternity of children born of illegal procedures, disposal and use of unused fertilized ova, sex selection and selective fetal reduction, embryo splitting, developing embryos  for purposes other than their use in assisted reproduction, using embryos to produce a clone, using fetal gametes for fertilization, trans-species fertilization (mixing human and animal gametes), mixing of gametes or embryos of different parentage to confuse biological parentage, implanting the embryo in a non-human species uterus, replacing the nucleus of the embryo, embryo flushing, commercial trading in sperms, gametes, or embryos, and use of gametes from cadavers.

(c) Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. 2004