Is Sperm Donation Halal? Nowadays sperm donation is the accepted method in Western countries; however, ethical issues make using it debatable in many countries. On the other hand, for Muslims, it is vital to know if sperm donation is halal.
Since sperm donation is a controversial subject among Muslims, in this article, we especially focus on the Islamic point of view on using sperm donation to have offspring. Sperm donation in Shia (Shi’ite) and Sunni are two important subjects that are going to be discussed completely. If you want to know whether this process is halal or not, please continue reading this paper.
- What is Sperm donation?
- Sperm Donation in Islam
- Is Donating Sperm Halal?
- A deep dive into Islam scholars’ fatwas about sperm donation
- Islamic Attitude Towards Sperm Donation
- Sperm Donation in Islam Sunni
- Sperm Donation in Islam Shia
- What Does the Quran Say About Sperm Donation?
- Why is Sperm Donation Haram?
- Is Freezing Donor Sperm Halal?
- In which Muslim countries Sperm Donation is Allowed?
- Do You Want a Muslim Sperm Donor?
What is Sperm donation?
Sperm donation is a process usually used in assisted reproductive technology (ART), in which a man voluntarily donates his semen (containing sperm cells) to help couples who have fertility issues, same-sex couples, or single women who desire to have a child. It gives them the chance to conceive a child and have a bigger family. Fortunately, the advances in freezing human sperm in the last 50 years and the creation of sperm banks have cleared the way for artificial insemination with sperm donation. Sperm donation can be done through either a sperm bank or through a known donation.
Since sperm donation is commonly used in IVF, we are going to investigate whether IVF is halal or haram in the next section.
Sperm Donation in Islam
Islam has two primary branches which are Sunni and Shia. Most of their fundamental beliefs are the same; however, there are various interpretations of the Quran relating to some matters. To know which assisted reproductive technologies are halal, we need to investigate the fatwas (legal rules) of scholars (ulama) of both branches about them.
Note: Fatwa is a formal ruling given by a qualified legal scholar on a point of Islamic law.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) involves collecting a woman’s and man’s gametes in a laboratory, fertilizing them, and then inseminating the resulting embryos into the woman’s uterus. Since there is no adultery involved and the husband’s sperm and the wife’s eggs are making the embryos, just outside the body in a laboratory, IVF is considered completely permissible in Islam.
Generally, it can be said that Sunni and Shia scholars agree that, all assisted reproductive technologies (IUI, IVF, and ICSI) are allowed if the source of the sperm, egg, and womb comes from a legally married couple during the time of their marriage. But what about third-party involvement in ARTs? is sperm donation halal?
While IVF is halal under the above situation, on the other hand, there is a discussion among Sunni and Shia scholars about sperm donation. Some Shia scholars consider it halal under certain conditions, while others consider it haram. Therefore, this process might be very confusing. If you want to know the answer to questions, “Can Muslims donate sperm?” and “Is sperm donation halal?” keep reading the article. All of your questions about this subject will be answered completely. Since there is no explicit consensus among Islamic scholars about sperm donation, it is advised to consult with a qualified and knowledgeable Islamic scholar.
Is Donating Sperm Halal?
A deep dive into Islam scholars’ fatwas about sperm donation
The scholars who consider sperm donation halal
Marriage is narrated as half of a Muslim’s faith in Islam, and having children is seen as a special blessing. As mentioned before there is no religious objection to infertile married couples seeking any form of infertility treatment including IVF, surgical sperm retrieval, and egg puncture.
In the case of sperm donation, they consider sperm donation a form of medical intervention that along with assisted reproductive technologies can treat infertility issues, under certain prerequisites. These prerequisites include non-permissible looking and touching, and the presence of privacy during insemination. They believe that this process is halal for married couples struggling with infertility problems. it preserves lineage and allows married couples to have children. They also argue that the born child should be considered the legitimate child of the receiving couple and not the donor.
These scholars also emphasize the importance of considering the intention behind sperm donation which is helping infertile couples conceive and establish a lawful family. So their answer to the question, “Is sperm donation halal?” is yes. It is.
The scholars who consider sperm donation strictly haram
On the other hand, another group of scholars has declared sperm donation haram. Based on their fatwa, any gamete donation outside a marital bond, even by adultery or in the laboratory, is haram. Therefore, pregnancies by sperm donation are strictly forbidden. They believe it has ethical and legal complications, including the involvement of third parties in the reproductive process, paternity issues, lineage, inheritance, and potential genetic mixing.
They have deduced that the Quranic guidance is completely clear and some couples need to accept that they may not achieve a pregnancy. In those cases, an alternative method such as adoption is encouraged by these scholars with the specific rule that the child must be able to know his/her biological father by keeping his name.
Islamic Attitude Towards Sperm Donation
Muslims form about 1.8 billion or more than 24% of the world’s population.
sperm donation like egg and embryo donation is a relatively new medical method that has raised many religious and moral questions. Gamete donation is still a controversial issue in Islam.
As stated earlier, scholars of Sunni and Shia have different fatwas about sperm donation. While Sunni scholars have forbidden the use of any third party in infertility treatment, Some Shia scholars have announced that it is halal under the mentioned prerequisites.
Sperm Donation in Islam Sunni
In the Sunni school of thought sperm donation is forbidden because of several reasons. The first one is that a woman cannot be married to both her husband and to the sperm donor at the same time.
The next reason is that sperm donation introduces uncertainty in establishing lineage, inheritance, and familial relationships. The born child is the donor’s biological child.
Sunni scholars also believe that sperm donation diminishes the sanctity and integrity of marriage which is sacred in Islam.
Any other situation outside a marriage relationship, such as the fertilization of an egg with frozen sperm after the husband’s death or the divorce of the couple is strictly haram in Sunni Islam. On the other hand, as shown in the next section, for Shias, some of their leaders have taken a bold step, and the situation is totally different.
Sperm Donation in Islam Shia
Shia Islam believes in the concept of ijtihad, individual religious reasoning, which allows them to employ independent reasoning and interpretation within the Islamic law bounds. They use ijtihad to evaluate present-time issues and apply Islamic principles.
the practice of ijtihad has allowed a certain flexibility toward new technological developments, and new medical technologies such as ARTs, organ transplants, etc.
Therefore, in Shia Islam, there are two different opinions about sperm donation. Many Shia scholars, including the Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, permit sperm donation under certain conditions, while other scholars consider it haram like Sunni scholars.
Proponents of the permissibility discuss that maintaining lineage is important to them exactly like Sunni scholars; However, since DNA testing can be used for identifying the biological father, the child’s lineage can be established, and sperm donation is halal.
They also emphasize that fulfilling legitimate needs such as helping infertile couples conceive is important. It directly helps strengthen families.
This group believes that the donor’s identity should remain confidential ensuring that the child will be assigned to the married couple receiving the donation, and not the donor.
The selected ART along with sperm donation must be done under the determined prerequisites.
What Does the Quran Say About Sperm Donation?
In the Quran, the holy book of Islam, sperm donation is not directly discussed. However, as stated before, Islamic scholars have discussed this topic and its legitimacy within the framework of Islamic ethics. Sunni scholars are totally against sperm donation while many Shia scholars believe it is halal.
Why is Sperm Donation Haram?
Sperm donation in Islam is not haram and most Shia scholars consider it permitted for married couples who have infertility issues. These scholars discuss sperm donation is halal because it helps strengthen family structure and fulfills the legitimate needs of Muslims
Therefore, it is important to consult with a qualified Islamic scholar for detailed guidance on this issue.
Is Freezing Donor Sperm Halal?
Donating, receiving, freezing, and keeping Donor Sperm have been announced as forbidden by Sunni clerics. On the other, freezing Donor Sperm is allowed under the following conditions as Shia scholars have decided.
• Donor sperm must be used for fertilizing the egg of a married woman.
• Donor sperm must be kept under strict control to prevent accidental or intentional mixing with other preserved sperm samples. If the mixing happened, the mixed sample must be disposed of.
• Sperm freezing must not have any negative side effects on the future fetus.
In which Muslim countries is sperm donation allowed?
There are only a few Muslim countries in which sperm donation is legal, including Iran, Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Singapore. On the other hand, in some other Muslim countries sperm donation is used although it is not allowed by the governments. Receiving donor sperm in these countries may put the recipient couple in trouble and cause legal issues to get custody of the born offspring.
Do You Want a Muslim Sperm Donor?
If you are a Muslim or you want a Muslim sperm donor, then you need to find a Muslim country where sperm donation is legal and also you could find a proper donor who is qualified based on your factors. As discussed in the previous section, Iran is one of the few Muslim countries in which sperm donation is completely legal. If you want to know more about Sperm Donation in Iran, you can read our article on this topic.
Our consultants in TebMedTourism are ready to answer all of your questions about the process of sperm donation in Iran. All your medical reports will be checked by our gynecologists free of charge and without a waiting list. For more information, please contact us on WhatsApp and ask all of your questions.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Is sperm donation halal?
There is no general agreement among Islamic scholars about sperm donation. some Shia clerics declare it is halal, while Sunni scholars are against it.
- Is it haram to donate sperm?
Sperm donation is not haram in Islam. Some Shia scholars believe it is permitted to be used for married couples struggling with infertility issues.
- What is the fatwa of Shia ulama about Sperm Donation?
Some Shia ulama consider it halal under the prerequisites mentioned in the “The scholars who consider sperm donation halal” section
- Is it haram to be a sperm donor?
In contrast to Sunni scholars, Some Shia scholars believe it is permissible to donate sperm.
- Can I use sperm donation in Shia-majority countries?
Although there are some Muslim countries in which sperm donation is used, only in a few Muslim countries gamete donation is legal. you may face problems getting custody of your child.
- Can Muslims donate sperm?
It depends on the Islamic branch that they follow. Some Shia scholars consider it halal.
- What is the fatwa of Sunni scholars about Sperm Donation?
Sunni scholars consider sperm donation strictly forbidden.
- Which Muslim countries offer sperm donations?
Only a few Muslim countries such as Iran, Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Singapore offer sperm donation legally.