The Ruling on In Vitro Fertilization
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.
(a) 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.
(b) 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).