Surrogacy in Islam – When Is Surrogacy & IVF Halal?

Jul 5, 2024
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Surrogacy in Islam is a sensitive and controversial issue that goes back to the origins of the moral and ethical values and principles of Muslims. On the one hand, the involvement of a third party in the sacrament of childbirth is a violation of natural processes and can be considered haram. On the contrary, surrogacy helps to preserve family integrity and ensures the continuation of the bloodline.

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What do Sunni and Shia leaders think about this practice, why is surrogacy haram in Islam, and when is it legal? Today, we will try to understand these questions and provide objective information on this complex issue.

What Does Islam Say about Surrogacy?

Surrogacy became widespread much later than the creation of the Qur’an, so now it is a matter of much debate among Islamic scholars and jurists. The issue was first raised at the seventh session of the Islamic Fiqh Council of the Muslim World League in the mid-1980s.

islam about ivf and surrogacy

Initially, the Council authorized surrogacy in polygamous marriages between the wives of one man. However, later, authorities blocked this initiative, and the procedure became allowed only under certain conditions between married couples. 

Why Is Surrogacy Haram in Islam?

Leaders cite several main reasons why surrogacy is haram in Islam: 

  • The first reason for concern relates to the violation of the purity of the lineage. Scientists argue that it threatens society, as it may cause gene mutations. We strongly disagree with this opinion. It is refuted very simply by the argument that a woman bears a baby with the genetic material of the man and woman who gives their cells to create the embryo. Therefore, the child will in no way have a genetic link to the surrogate mother, which eliminates the possibility of mutations in society. 
  • The second reason relates to the moral and psychological side. It is about the emotional connection between the child and the mother. Who will the children recognize as their parents in the future, and how will a woman who has just given birth give her newborn to another couple? These questions make sense, which is why we select emotionally stable and conscious persons for surrogacy practice. It is essential to go through the program without stress for themselves and the fetus. 

Some scholars advocate for family complementation through reproductive medicine. They refer to the Qur’an and draw an analogy with breastfeeding. If feeding a child by a “breastfeeding mother” is acceptable, why is surrogacy, which is essentially the same, prohibited? Promoting this idea, leaders are seeking to revise the laws and introduce halal for reproductive treatment. 

Is Surrogacy Allowed in Islam Sunni?

In the Sunni community, there are two opposing views on this issue. The first side sees this procedure as adultery and does not allow surrogacy in Islam. Sunnis explain it by the fact that a stranger interferes in a couple’s relationship and carries an egg fertilized by someone other than her legal husband. As a result, the baby will be considered illegitimate. 

In addition, believers cite as an argument against surrogacy that it requires an outsider to examine intimate parts of the body. It falls under the prohibition mentioned in the Qur’an:

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts).”

Sunnis allow only IVF and IUI. The procedures are halal if the man and woman have mutual consent and if the doctor is a woman, preferably a Muslim.

Hanafi Sunni about Surrogacy in Islam

The Hanafi Sunni scholar is more lenient on reproductive decisions. Jurists allow surrogacy in Islam under two conditions: 

  • Co-wives of the same man bear the child.
  • A married woman becomes a surrogate mother, and the embryo is formed from the wife and husband’s cells. Hanafis demands that the agreement be legally enshrined: the baby should be considered a biological child of the parents with all the rights and obligations. It is also crucial that all parties fully agree to the terms and conditions. Moreover, it should be in line with their ethical values. 

The Hanafi School encourages charitable practice while opposing commercial operations. The main idea is that the procedure should be well-intentioned and a means of complementing a family.

Is Surrogacy Haram in Islam Shia?

Shia jurists are much more loyal to reproductive treatment, as they see it as an essential aid to infertile couples. This difference in the views is due to different interpretations of adultery. While Suits recognized even the transfer of cells to a third party to be betrayal, Shias see sin only in physical sexual contact. In this sense, surrogacy and donation is a completely legal process, as it does not involve sexual intercourse and interference in the couple’s relationship. Moreover, one of the goals of Shariah is to preserve the lineage and build a family. From this point of view, reproductive medicine helps to achieve the integrity of the family, which is crucial for Muslims. 

In general, the Shias are in favor of halal donation in Islam and allow procedures for infertile families.

Are Surrogate Babies Halal or Haram?

As we have already noted, some believers consider surrogate babies to be illegitimate due to an act of adultery. However, let’s look at this topic from a medical perspective. 

is surrogacy and IVF babies halal

The program takes place in several stages. First, the intended parents provide their cells, sperm, and oocytes. The egg is fertilized in a tube to create an embryo. The finished embryo is transferred to the uterus to grow and give birth. No stage of the procedure involves sexual intercourse with another partner. Therefore, it does not violate the laws of the Qur’an. With this in mind, we see surrogacy in Islam as legal, and babies are halal.

Can Muslims Become Surrogates?

Given that Islamic schools have different views, Muslim women should be guided by their moral principles and feelings. In this controversial issue, we advise you to refer to your attitude to such concepts as adultery, motherhood, and the institution of the family.

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Also, it is critical to focus on your mental and emotional state because the health and well-being of the mother will play a leading role during pregnancy. When making a choice, for or against, remember that your donation is invaluable help for other women who have been dreaming of a healthy baby for a long time.

Muslim Couple IVF Journey Story

Omaya Zein’s family decided not to be fooled by reproductive medicine and jumped at the chance to become parents. The couple struggled with infertility for three years and were confident of their success. Now, the happy parents are raising a wonderful son, Adam. Omaya talks about her IVF journey like this:

After three years of infertility, I am finally pregnant, thanks to IVF! It is my second round. I was treated with Clomid to stimulate ovulation, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer. We also had to deal with a lot of paperwork. I was a little more nervous the first time because I had no idea what the process was like, but now I know. Inshallah, our baby is now with us, and we are happy.

Follow the link to see the entire IVF and pregnancy story.

Surrogacy in Islam FAQ

Is surrogacy legal in Saudi Arabia?

As in many other Muslim countries, surrogacy is banned in Saudi Arabia for several ethical and religious reasons.

Is it haram to freeze eggs?

Islam recognizes IVF to be permissible from the point of view of the Qur’an and religious views, as it promotes procreation. Therefore, freezing eggs to preserve a woman’s fertility is also halal. 

What are the conditions for legal surrogacy in Islam?

This question requires consultation with Muslim jurists of different views. In general, the conditions for a legal program include: 
– surrogacy between wives of the same husband; 
– free carrying of the baby; 
– creation of an embryo with the couple’s cells and its implantation into a married woman’s womb; 
– legalization of the child’s biological paternity; 
– good faith intentions of all parties; 
– understanding and agreement to the terms of the program.

What does the Quran say about surrogacy in Islam? 

The Holy Book of Muslims does not mention any reproductive medicine methods. However, the Qur’an calls for procreation, as well as simplification of laws for believers. From this point of view, surrogacy is a means of family complementation and can be considered permissible.

Final Words

In conclusion, surrogacy in Islam is a sensitive issue that touches upon a person’s faith, moral principles, and worldview. While most Muslim scholars consider it a sin, others allow surrogacy as an embodiment of good intentions and a way to procreate. It is an essential help to infertile couples who dream of their baby and cannot be sinful. 

If you consider becoming a surrogate mother or starting IVF treatment and have any questions, please contact us for detailed advice. Our reproductive specialists are ready to choose the best infertility treatment or find a donor to fulfill your dream of a big family.

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