Assalaamu Alaiykum and Jazaak Allaahu Khaiyra Mouhatram Mufti Sahab
I need your kind advice on IVF, as I and my wife are facing a situation where answer is not easily available.
We cannot have children due to my extremely low sperm count. The only (possible) Halal way we can have children is through IVF.
We live in London and would like to know if it is permissible to have IVF treatment and if it is, on what conditions? In this country we are offered this treatment for free and if we were to go to an Islamic country, it will cost us a lot which we are not in a position to spend.
As this procedure involves uncovering the awrah of the woman, we requested that all procedures to be carried out by female members of staff. However, hospital has refused to honour this request and said that if a female doctor is available then she will carry out the procedures and if not, a male doctor will examine the patient.
I have done the research re: IVF and have read the answer on your website as well. But the issue I need to clarify is the uncovering of the awrah of my wife in front of the male doctors / nurses.
I appreciate that you are quite busy but would request you to spare some time to answer our query to put our mind at rest. We have to inform the hospital if we are going to go ahead with this or not, so it has become quite urgent for us to clarify this.
Al-jawab billahi at-taufeeq (the answer with Allah's guidance)
There are two opinions in this regard; permissible and non permissible.
1. IVF being non-permissible.
According to the principles of Islamic jurisprudence, Dharura (necessity) is only applicable in matters of harm and difficulty. However, through this method, it is attaining benefit (i.e. acquiring a child through this method) than removing the harm. And not having a child is not regarded as harm or a life threatening illness.
Therefore, the uncovering of the private parts to a female doctor is not permissible and to a male doctor is an even greater degree not permissible. (Ahsanul Fataawa Vol.8 Pg.214)
This opinion is based on caution.
2. IVF being permissible.
This method consists of impermissible features like, masturbation, uncovering of the private parts and it being an unnatural way to conceive (similar opinion above). However, If medically known that a woman is unable to conceive and is in dire need of having children then this will be regarded as a form of treatment, and treatments in Shariah in such matters are relaxed. Though, It is best to refrain from this method. (Taken from Fatwaa of Mufti Khalid Saifullah Rahmani)
Conclusion: In case of necessity, provided all required precautions are taken. It will be permissible to uncover the private parts to a female doctor only.