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What Does Islam Say About In Vitro Fertilization?

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Infertility in Islam:

Muslims recognize that all life and death happens according to the Will of God. To strive for a child in the face of infertility is not considered a rebellion against God's will. The Qur'an tells us of the prayers of Abraham and Zachariah, who pleaded with God to grant them offspring. Nowadays, many couples seek fertility treatment if they are unable to conceive or bear children.

What Is In Vitro Fertilization?:

In Vitro Fertilization is a process by which a sperm and egg can be combined in a laboratory. The resulting embryo or embryos can then be transferred to the woman's uterus for further growth and development.

Details of in vitro fertilization can be found on About.com's Pregnancy Site and About.com's Infertility Site.

The Qur'an and Hadith:

In the Qur'an, God comforts those who face fertility difficulties:

"To God belongs the dominion of heavens and earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills, and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills. Or He bestows both males and females, and He leaves childless whom He wills. For He is All-Knowledgeable All-Powerful." (Qur'an 42:49-50)

Most modern reproductive technologies have only recently been made available. The Qur'an and Hadith do not directly comment on any specific procedure, but scholars have interpreted the guidelines of these sources to develop their opinions.

Opinion of Scholars:

Scholars agree that there is nothing in Islamic law which forbids many types of fertility treatment, as long as the treatments do not go outside the bounds of the marriage relationship. If chosen, in vitro fertilization must be done with sperm and egg from a husband and wife, and the embryos transplanted into the wife's uterus. Assisted reproductive technologies which blur marital and parental ties are forbidden: such as donor eggs or sperm from outside the marriage relationship, surrogate motherhood, and in-vitro fertilization after a spouse's death or divorce of the married couple.
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