Sperm Donation in Islam: Halal or Haram? A Scholarly Perspective

Syed Bukhari

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IS SPERM DONATION HALAL? – SPERM DONATION IN ISLAM

Sperm Donation in Islam: Halal or Haram? A Scholarly Perspective- Sperm donation is a common practice in the West, but it raises ethical questions in many parts of the world. For Muslims, the question of whether sperm donation is permissible under Islamic law is crucial. In this article, we will explore the Islamic perspective on sperm donation as a way of conceiving children. We will also examine the differences between Shia and Sunni views on this issue

What is Sperm donation?

One of the methods of assisted reproductive technology (ART) is sperm donation, where a man willingly gives his semen (which has sperm cells) to assist couples with fertility problems, same-sex couples, or single women who want to have a child. This allows them to have a child and expand their family. 

Thanks to the progress in preserving human sperm for the past 50 years and the establishment of sperm banks, artificial insemination with sperm donation has become possible. Sperm donation can be done either through a sperm bank or through a known donor.

Sperm Donation in Islam

Sperm donation is haram in Islam. It does not matter what the motive is for donating sperm, it is regarded as Zina (adultery). Sperm donation is a violation of the natural law and is seen as a form of masturbation. Masturbation is forbidden and is a sin in Islam. Sperm donation is haram whether it is done for money or to assist someone in having a baby. This issue has many different views and is a subject of much discussion. However, the majority of scholars agree that sperm donation is haram.

IS SPERM DONATION HALAL? – SPERM DONATION IN ISLAM

Sperm Donation in Islam Sunni

Sperm donation is prohibited in the Sunni school of thought for various reasons. 

The first reason is that a woman can only be married to one man at a time, not to her husband and the sperm donor simultaneously. 

The second reason is that sperm donation creates confusion in determining the lineage, inheritance, and family ties of the child. The child is biologically related to the donor, not to the husband. 

Sunni scholars also think that sperm donation violates the sacredness and purity of marriage in Islam. 

Any other scenario that involves sperm donation outside of a marital bond, such as using frozen sperm to fertilize an egg after the husband’s death or the couple’s divorce, is haram in Sunni Islam. 

Sperm Donation in Islam Shia

Shia Islam follows the concept of ijtihad, which is individual religious reasoning that enables them to use their own judgment and interpretation within the boundaries of Islamic law. They apply ijtihad to address current issues and implement Islamic principles. The use of ijtihad has given them some flexibility to adapt to new technological advances and new medical procedures such as ARTs, organ transplants, etc. Hence, in Shia Islam, there are two different views on sperm donation. 

Some Shia scholars, such as the Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, allow sperm donation under certain circumstances, while others regard it as haram like Sunni scholars. Those who support the permissibility argue that preserving lineage is important to them just like Sunni scholars; However, they claim that DNA testing can be used to determine the biological father, so the child’s lineage can be verified, and sperm donation is halal. 

They also stress that meeting legitimate needs such as helping infertile couples have a child is important. It directly helps strengthen families. This group thinks that the donor’s identity should be kept secret to ensure that the child will belong to the married couple who receive the donation, and not to the donor.

Reasons Why Is Sperm Donation Haram

Sperm donation is haram in Islam for many reasons. Some of the main reasons are:

  • Sperm donation means sharing your seed with someone who is not your spouse.
  • Islam values marriage and the sacred bond between spouses. Sperm donation violates this principle.
  • Sperm donation disrupts the natural order and is a type of adultery.
  • Sperm donation involves masturbating, which is a sin in Islam.

Is egg donor Haram in Islam?

When a woman gives her eggs to someone else, it is called egg donation. People may use egg donation for different reasons, such as to have a baby, to do scientific research, or to make someone pregnant artificially. Egg donation is haram in Islam, just like sperm donation. This is because it is not natural and it is a kind of adultery.

What should Women do if husband is infertile in Islam?

Having children is a blessing, but sometimes it is not easy. If your husband cannot make you pregnant, you have some choices that you can think about. One choice is adoption, which is halal in Islam. Another choice is IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation), where your eggs are joined with your husband’s sperm. Remember that IVF is only halal for married couples, and the sperm and eggs must be from the husband and wife. You cannot use sperm or eggs from someone else.

What Does the Quran Say About Sperm Donation?

Sperm donation is not mentioned in the Quran, the sacred book of Islam. But Islamic scholars have talked about this issue and its permissibility according to Islamic morals. Sperm donation is completely forbidden by Sunni scholars, but many Shia scholars say it is allowed.

Is Freezing Donor Sperm Halal?

The question of whether freezing donor sperm is halal or not has been a matter of debate among Muslim scholars. According to Sunni jurists, any form of sperm donation, including freezing and storing donor sperm, is prohibited in Islam. They consider it a form of adultery and a violation of the sanctity of marriage and lineage. However, Shia scholars have a different opinion on this issue. They permit freezing donor sperm under certain conditions, as follows:

– The donor sperm should only be used to fertilize the egg of a woman who is legally married to the recipient of the sperm.

– The donor sperm should be stored in a secure and isolated manner, so that there is no risk of mixing it with other sperm samples. If such a mix-up occurs, the affected sample should be discarded immediately.

– The freezing process of the donor sperm should not cause any harm or defect to the potential child that may result from it.

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In which Muslim countries is sperm donation allowed?

Sperm donation is a controversial practice in many Muslim countries. Some of them, such as Iran, Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Singapore, have legalized it under certain conditions. However, in other Muslim countries, sperm donation is illegal and frowned upon by the authorities. 

Despite this, some people still resort to it for various reasons. This can create problems for the recipient couple, who may face legal challenges to claim the rights over their child born from donor sperm.

FAQ:

Q.IS SPERM DONATION HALAL? – SPERM DONATION IN ISLAM

A.The answer to this question is not clear-cut, as different Islamic scholars have different opinions on sperm donation. Some Shia clerics say that it is halal, while Sunni scholars say that it is not.

Q.Is it haram to donate sperm?

A.No, donating sperm is not haram in Islam. Some Shia scholars allow it for married couples who have difficulty conceiving naturally.

Q.What is the fatwa of Shia ulama about Sperm Donation?

A.Some Shia ulama have issued a fatwa that sperm donation is halal, as long as it meets certain conditions that are mentioned in the section “The scholars who consider sperm donation halal”.

Q.Is it haram to be a sperm donor?

A.No, being a sperm donor is not haram in Islam. Some Shia scholars approve of it, unlike Sunni scholars who forbid it.

Q.Can I use sperm donation in Shia-majority countries?

A.You may be able to use sperm donation in some Shia-majority countries, but not all of them. Only a few Muslim countries, such as Iran, Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Singapore, have legalized sperm donation. In other countries, you may face legal troubles if you use donor sperm.

Q.Can Muslims donate sperm?

A.That depends on which Islamic sect you follow. Some Shia scholars say that Muslims can donate sperm, while Sunni scholars say that they cannot.

Q.What is the fatwa of Sunni scholars about Sperm Donation?

A.Sunni scholars have issued a fatwa that sperm donation is haram, or forbidden, in Islam. They regard it as a form of zina, or adultery, and a violation of the marital bond and the family lineage.

Q.Which Muslim countries offer sperm donations?

A.There are only a few Muslim countries that offer sperm donations legally, such as Iran, Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Singapore. In other Muslim countries, sperm donation is either illegal or not regulated.

Q.Is it a sin to donate sperm in Islam?

A.Yes, according to the fatwa of Sunni scholars, donating sperm is a sin in Islam. They believe that any form of gamete donation, whether it is done through sexual intercourse or in a laboratory, is haram. Therefore, they prohibit pregnancies by sperm donation.

Q.Is it allowed to have sperm in Islam?

A.Yes, having sperm in Islam is allowed, as long as it is from your lawful spouse. Islamic law does not have any ethical or religious objections to insemination with partner sperm, as long as it is done within a marriage.

Q.Is artificial insemination a sin in Islam?

A.Artificial insemination is not a sin in Islam, as long as it is done only by the husband and wife. Any other forms of artificial insemination are haram, or prohibited. The use of third-party sperm or eggs would be considered a grave sin in Islam.

Q.Is it Haram to be an egg donor?

A.No, being an egg donor is not haram in Islam, as long as it does not contradict any of the basic Islamic principles, such as the prohibition of zina, or adultery, or nasaab, or lineage. Islamic bioethics considers egg donation permissible under certain conditions.

Q.What does the Quran say about sperm?

A.The Quran mentions sperm in the context of human reproduction in the following verse:

23:14. “Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood, then of that clot we made a lump; then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; the We developed out of it another creature.

Q.Are surrogates haram?

A.Yes, surrogates are haram in Sunni Islam, as the majority of scholars have the view that surrogacy is not allowed, as it involves using a third party to conceive a child, which is seen as a violation of the natural order of procreation. Additionally, it may lead to issues of lineage and inheritance.

Q.Is selling sperm haram?

A.Yes, selling sperm is haram in Islam, as it is a form of zina, or adultery, and involves wrong actions, which are considered haram according to Islamic beliefs.