Artificial Insemination by Donor (AID)
AID is very similar to AIH. However, AID is used in cases where the husband's semen is definitely inadequate in quantity or quality. In the Western society, some single women who wish to remain unmarried but have a child also use this method to become pregnant. In England, two or four thousand births in a year are attributed to AID.
As far as Islam is concerned, Artificial Insemination by Donor is absolutely forbidden because it is by a donor and not by the woman's husband.
Since it does not involve any sexual relations between the donor and the woman, and therefore, cannot be categorized as adultery -some people may ask: how can it be haram? The Qur'an clearly says, "Say to the believing women that they ... should guard their private parts." (24:30) The divine command to guard the private parts is unqalified; it does not say that guard only from illicit sexual intercourse; it says that guard from everything except from your spouse. Allah describes the believers as "those who protect their private parts except from their spouses ... Therefore, whosoever seeks more beyond that, then they are the transgressors." (23:5) Therefore, even injecting the sperm of another man would constitute a transgression and a violation of the command of Allah.1
What is the status of a child conceived by AID?
If God forbid, a woman conceives a child through AID, then the child will not be considered an illegitimate child because he was not conceived by adultery which involves illicit sexual relations. Child-mother relationship is clear in such cases; as for the child-father relationship, most of our present 'ulama clearly state that he will be considered the child of the donor -the child will inherit him, be a mahram to his wife and children.2
This decision of the mujtahids is based on a hadith which provides an example very similar to the case of a child conceived by AID. This hadith has been narrated by various sources from Imam Hasan, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir and Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (peace be upon them all). A question was put to the Imams that if a woman had intercourse with her husband, and then immediately she goes to her slave-girl and has lesbian relations with her in which semen of the husband flows from the woman into the vagina of the slave-girl and makes her pregnant. What happens in this case? The Imam, after explaining the punishment which has to be imposed upon the two women, say that the child both from the slave-girl will be related to, and given in the custody of, the owner of the semen.3 (This is a very good example of how our 'ulama' solve the modern day problem even though they use the same old sources of Islam!)
1. I am indebted for this answer to the late Shaykh Muhammad Jawad al-Mughniyyah in his marvelous book al-Fiqh 'ala 'l-Madhahibi 'l-Khamsah, p.374.
2. al-Fiqh, p.375-6; Minhaj, vol.2, p.395; Tahrir, vol.2, p.621-2.
3. Wasa'il, vol.18, p.426-8.
Adapted from: "Marriage & Morals in Islam" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi"
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