Fatwa: # 44142
Category: Jurisprudence and Rulings...
Country: South Africa
Date: 19th January 2020


Choosing gender in IVF - Is it permissible?


As salami-Alaykum WW,

Hope you are well, I had a question for you. My wife has given birth to 4 sons, every time she has wished for a girl but with Allahs hukum it has always been boys. She is really wishing for a daughter. At a recent visit with a top gynecologist in England they said through artificial insemination, and gender selection, we can have a girl. Of course, the egg will be hers and the sperm will be mine, but after the embryo fertilizes they will separate the male from the female embryo and place a female embryo in her womb.

Our wish for a daughter will by no means ever go against the shariah. We will be happy with whatever child Allah gives us but thought of asking if it could be allowed to choose the sex of the baby.

Your valuable feedback will be much appreciated.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran, Surah Shuraa, Verse 49,

لِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ يَهَبُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ إِنَـثاً وَيَهَبُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ الذُّكُورَ - أَوْ يُزَوِّجُهُمْ ذُكْرَاناً وَإِنَـثاً وَيَجْعَلُ مَن يَشَآءُ عَقِيماً إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ قَدِيرٌ

Translation: “To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female upon whom He wills and bestows male upon whom He wills. Or He bestows both males and females, and He renders barren whom He wills. Verily, He is the All-Knower and is Able to do all things.”

Human beings by nature have desires and wants. Almighty Allah is the Knower of all things. He knows exactly what is best for us. If He decides to give us something, there can be no doubt regarding it being best for us. Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran, Surah Baqarah, Verse 216,

وَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَعَسَى أَن تُحِبُّواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

Translation: “But perhaps you hate a thing, but it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing, but it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.”

Alhamdulillah, you have been blessed with four sons. This is indeed a great bounty from Almighty Allah. It is part of Taqdeer to believe that one will only receive his allotted portion in this world. You may desire a daughter, but Almighty Allah knows what is best for you. A Muslim does not test the waters of Taqdeer. A Muslim simply submits to the Decree of Almighty Allah. It is not our position to question ‘why’. Almighty Allah knows in depth why ‘this and not that’.

Think of all the couples unable to conceive. What would they give to obtain one son of yours? Be thankful for what Almighty Allah has blessed you with.

Coming to your actual query,

It is a fundamental principle of Islamic Jurisprudence that one must avoid imposing upon one’s physical body actions that are usually considered to be unnatural and unconventional unless there is a dire necessity for doing so. For instance, the human body is accustomed to acquiring its food and drink orally through the gullet, but there are times when, due to certain ailments, food cannot be given to a patient orally. In such cases, the patient is then fed intravenously. Oral feeding is the conventional method whereas the intravenous one will be considered to be the unconventional one. Shari’ah only permits the intravenous method due to necessity as man cannot usually survive without food and drink.

In the absence of necessity, Shari’ah does not recommend the usage of unconventional methods of infusing objects into the body. That brings us to your question regarding artificial insemination. As all the modern methods of artificial insemination (GIFT, IVF, IVI and ICSI) are not conventional methods of inducing fertilization nor are these procedures a matter of life and death, opting for these procedures would be against the principles of Shari’ah.

If a husband, personally artificially extracted eggs from his wife’s ovaries and then mixed them with his own sperm before injecting them into his wife’s fallopian tubes, or if the husband himself implanted embryos into her uterus (as in the IVI and ICSI methods), then, provided that the husband does not acquire the sperm through masturbation (which is prohibited), but rather by collecting it in a condom during intercourse or into a container using the coitus interruptus method or in some other way, then although these methods would not be Haraam, they will still be discouraged and regarded as undesirable and abominable due to them being unnatural and unconventional methods of inducing fertilization.

However, in the case where these procedures are carried out by a doctor, which is more likely, many aspects of it will be considered to be prohibited by the Shari’ah.[1]

Firstly, the male will be required to extract sperm through masturbation. This is not permissible. In the event the sperm is extracted lawfully, the female will be required to expose her Awrah to the doctor. One is only allowed to expose the Awrah to a doctor in the case of dire necessity, which does not exist here.

We therefore advise you to keep making Dua to Almighty Allah and ask for a son. If a son is granted, then offer thanks to Almighty Allah. If a daughter is granted, then too offer thanks to Almighty Allah in abundance.

Whatever has been decreed for you can never escape you. If male children have not been destined for you, no amount of treatment will make a difference.

Have hope in the mercy and bounties of Almighty Allah. Almighty Allah says in a Hadith Qudsi,[2]

يقول الله تعالى: أنا عند ظن عبدي بي

Translation: “I am to my slave as he thinks of Me, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him).”


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Bilal Yusuf Pandor

Student Darul Iftaa

Lusaka, Zambia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.



جامع الفتاوي-ج3-ص240 [1]


الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (4/ 27)

يجوز أن يستمني بيد زوجته أو خادمته،


رد المحتار - ط. بابي الحلبي (4/ 27)

 وقدمنا عن المعراج في باب مفسدات الصوم يجوز أن يستمني بيد زوجته أو خادمته وانظر ما كتبناه هناك


بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع (5/ 124) 

 وكذا إذا كان بها جرح أو قرح في موضع لا يحل للرجال النظر إليه فلا بأس أن تداويها إذا علمت المداواة فإن لم تعلم تتعلم ثم تداويها فإن لم توجد امرأة تعلم المداواة ولا امرأة تتعلم وخيف عليها الهلاك أو بلاء أو وجع لا تحتمله يداويها الرجل لكن لا يكشف منها إلا موضع الجرح ويغض بصره ما استطاع لأن الحرمات الشرعية جاز أن يسقط اعتبارها شرعا لمكان الضرورة كحرمة الميتة وشرب الخمر حالة المخمصة والإكراه لكن الثابت بالضرورة لا يعدو موضع الضرورة لأن علة ثبوتها الضرورة والحكم لا يزيد على قدر العلة هذا الذي ذكرنا حكم النظر والمس.


الاختيار لتعليل المختار (4/ 154)

وينبغي للطبيب أن يعلم امرأة مداواتها، لأن نظر المرأة إلى المرأة أخف من نظر الرجل إليها لأنها أبعد من الفتنة، فإذا لم يكن منه بد فليغض بصره ما استطاع تحرزا عن النظر بقدر الإمكان


الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (1/ 42)

 وأما فرض الكفاية من العلم، فهو كل علم لا يستغنى عنه في قوام أمور الدنيا كالطب والحساب


الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (6/ 371)

(قوله وينبغي إلخ) كذا أطلقه في الهداية والخانية. وقال في الجوهرة: إذا كان المرض في سائر بدنها غير الفرج يجوز النظر إليه عند الدواء، لأنه موضع ضرورة، وإن كان في موضع الفرج، فينبغي أن يعلم امرأة تداويها فإن لم توجد وخافوا عليها أن تهلك أو يصيبها وجع لا تحتمله يستروا منها كل شيء إلا موضع العلة ثم يداويها الرجل ويغض بصره ما استطاع إلا عن موضع الجرح اهـ فتأمل


الجوهرة النيرة (284/2) 

قوله (ويجوز للطبيب أن ينظر إلى موضع المرض منها) أما إذا كان المرض في سائر بدنها غير الفرج فإنه يجوز له النظر إليه عند الدواء؛ لأنه موضع ضرورة وإن كان في موضع الفرج فينبغي أن يعلم امرأة تداويها فإن لم توجد امرأة تداويها وخافوا عليها أن تهلك أو يصبيها بلاء أو وجع لا يحتمل ستروا منها كل شيء إلا الموضع الذي فيه 

علة ثم يداويها الرجل ويغض بصره ما استطاع إلا من موضع الجرح وكذلك نظر القابلة والختان على هذا


المبسوط للسرخسي (10/ 156)

وكشف العورة من غير ضرورة لمعنى الشهوة لا يجوز وإذا أصاب امرأة قرحة في موضع لا يحل للرجل أن ينظر إليه لا ينظر إليه ولكن يعلم امرأة دواءها لتداويها لأن نظر الجنس إلى الجنس أخف.

ألا ترى أن المرأة تغسل المرأة بعد موتها دون الرجل وكذلك في امرأة العنين ينظر إليها النسا


المحيط البرهاني في الفقه النعماني (5/ 337)

وإذا أصابت المرأة قرحة في موضع لا يحل للرجل أن ينظر إليه، علم امرأة دواءها لتداويها؛ لأن نظر الجنس إلى الجنس أخف وكذا في امرأة العنين تنظر إليها النساء،


الدر المختار شرح تنوير الأبصار وجامع البحار (ص: 656)

إلى موضع مرضها بقدر الضرورة) إذ الضرورات تتقدر بقدرها، وكذا نظر قابلة وختان وينبغي أن يعلم امرأة تداويها لان نظر الجنس إلى الجنس أخف


صحيح البخاري (9/ 121) [2]

يقول الله تعالى: أنا عند ظن عبدي بي

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