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Undoubtedly children are one of the blessings and adornments of this world, and one of the greatest purposes of marriage is to produce offspring. A righteous child is a treasure for his parents in this world and in the Hereafter, and his righteous deeds will be recorded in the balance of his parents’ deeds. A man or a woman may be faced with lack of children or delay of having children. What they must do is be patient and seek reward, and say a lot of du’aa’ and prayers for forgiveness. They should understand that Allaah only decrees things for a reason. If a person has available Islamically acceptable means of getting children, there is nothing wrong with his pursuing that. But the Muslim should beware of false ways involving sihr (witchcraft) and myths, and he should beware of doctors who do not fear Allaah and whose main aim is to make money from those who want to have children. Hence some of them switch eggs or sperm. This is why some scholars have forbidden these methods of having children or have stipulated very strict conditions.
One of the methods that doctors use to help couples have children is that which is mentioned in the question, namely IVF. This method involves stimulating the ovary to produce a number of eggs, similar to the way in which a woman naturally produces one egg. This is done by giving the woman an injection of Decapeptyl to prepare the ovaries for the next step, which is injections of hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce a number of eggs. After ascertaining that the eggs have grown, the woman is given an injection of HCG to complete the development of the eggs before they are extracted. This injection is usually given 36 hours before the eggs are extracted.
On the day on which the eggs are extracted, semen is taken from the husband and 100,000 sperm are placed with each egg in a test tube so that fertilization may take place. Two or three days later, the fertilized eggs divide to form what is called the embryo, and the embryos are divided into categories according to their quality. The best embryos are selected to be returned to the uterus, where they are placed, and later on an examination is carried out to make sure whether there is a pregnancy or not. The success rate of this procedure according to doctors is 30-40 %.
1 – That there be a real need for that. A delay of one or two years in having children is not an excuse for the couple to pursue this or similar methods. Rather they should be patient, for Allaah may grant them a way out soon without them doing anything that is haraam.
2 – The woman should not uncover her ‘awrah before men when there are female staff available.
3 – It is not permissible for the husband to masturbate, rather he may be intimate with his wife without penetration, and produce semen in this manner.
4 – The woman’s eggs and man’s sperm should not be kept in a freezer for later use, or another appointment, and there should not be any delay in placing them in the woman’s uterus. Rather that should be done immediately without any delay, lest they be mixed with others or be used for other people.
5 –The sperm must come from the husband and the egg from the wife, and be implanted in the wife’s uterus. Anything else is not permissible at all.
6 – There should be complete trust in the doctors who are doing this procedure.