What to Do With Frozen 5-Day-Old Viable Embryos Stored From IVF

CategoriesMedical & Health [82]

Fatwa ID: 04263

Answered by: Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh





Someone asked me about frozen 5-day-old viable embryos stored from IVF. Parents of those embryos have three options:

1. Discard them all

2. Donate to other potential parents

3. Donate to science or research.

Would you be able to comment on what would be permissible or not from the Islamic perspective? Perhaps maybe ask someone who may be able to direct appropriately. JazakAllah.



بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful





Firstly, you should know and be clear in your mind that Allāh alone is the one who bestows children:

“To Allāh belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows (children) male or female according to His Will; or He bestows both males and females, and He leaves barren whom He will: for He is full of Knowledge and Power.” [1]


However, like with all matters, we have to seek the means. That’s why the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) encouraged people to find spouses that are loving and are able to bear children:

“Marry the one who is loving and fertile, for I will feel proud of your large numbers before the other Prophets on the Day of Resurrection.” [2]


Some people are unable to conceive naturally. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a modern fertility treatment where fertilization takes place outside the body. The process involves fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory. The fertilized egg or embryo is then implanted into the woman’s uterus.


The issue of IVF is very delicate and dangerous as not all IVF procedures are deemed lawful from a Shari’ah perspective. IVF is an issue that has been discussed by contemporary scholars. The only form of IVF that is allowed is when the eggs of the wife are taken and fertilized in the lab with spermatozoon from the husband and then implanted back into the womb of the same wife.


The IVF process involves the extraction of a number of eggs for fertilization. The contemporary scholars are of the view that there should not be any excess in the extraction of eggs. Only the required number should be used for fertilization. Any remaining fertilized eggs must be discarded and not donated to anyone else or implanted into other women.[3]



Only Allah knows best

Written by Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham





[1] Surah al-Shura: 49-50

[2] Reported in Musnad Ahmad No. 13569, Sunan Abū Dawūd in Kitāb an-Nikāh No.2050 & Sunan An-Nasā’i in Kitāb an-Nikāh No. 3227

[3] Majallah Al-Majma’ Al-Fiqhi, No. 7, Vol. 3, p. 2151-2152






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