Artificial Insemination by Husband (AIH)
AIH is used when the husband can produce semen, but his semen is not quite adequate to achieve fertilization. The inadequacy of semen can be attributed to low number of active sperms or the inablility of sperms to swim fast enough towards the ovum. AIH can also be used when the husband is suffering from permature ejaculation.
In AIH, the sperm is obtained from the husband by his masturbation and is then concentrated and 'improved' in the laboratory. This semen is then introduced into the wife's cervix at the best fertile days. The semen is introduced by an injection. Depending on the regulations of each institute, the injection can be carried out by a doctor or a nurse, or by the couple themselves.
As far as the shari'ah is concerned, there is no problem in the Artificial Insemination by Husband (AIH) as it is done between lawfully wedded couple.
Masturbation is forbidden, then how can the husband's semen be obtained for AIH? It is true that masturbation is forbidden in Shi'ah fiqh, but we have also said that masturbation by one's spouse is permissible! Therefore, in case of AIH, the wife can masturbate the husband in order to obtain the semen. It will be interesting to know how the Roman Catholics intend to solve this problem: "The Roman Catholic Church does permit artificial insemination if the husband's semen is used and is the product of intercourse with his wife, not masturbation, but this usually involves intercourse in a doctor's office and is 'hardly romantic,' Father Wolak said."1
1. The Vancouver Sun (March 11, 1987), p.A7.
Adapted from: "Marriage & Morals in Islam" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi"
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