Friday 18 Shawwal 1440 - 21 June 2019
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Does artificial insemination invalidate the fast?

Question

I have been married for eight years and have not had any children. I want to have artificial insemination, but because of my circumstances I will be doing the procedure to implant embryos during the day in Ramadan. Does this invalidate the fast? Do I have to offer expiation for that day or not?

Praise be to Allah

What is meant by artificial insemination is fertilising the woman’s egg with the sperm of the man, without having intercourse. 

Artificial insemination may be done internally or externally. 

In the case of internal insemination, the semen is taken from the man to be injected into the appropriate place inside the wife’s uterus, so that the sperm will meet the egg naturally and fertilisation between them will occur. 

The sperm is injected inside the wife’s uterus via a thin tube that transfers the sperm to the cervix (neck of the womb).

External fertilisation (test-tube babies) is done by taking the semen from the man and the egg from the woman’s ovary, then they are placed in a test tube, under specific physiological conditions so that fertilisation between them may occur, then the fertilised egg is transferred to the wife’s uterus so that it may attach to the wall of the uterus and grow like any other foetus. 

We have previously explained the ruling on artificial insemination in a number of fatwas. Please see the answer to question no. 3474

In order to understand the effect that this procedure has on the fast, we must explain a number of rulings: 

1.

Taking semen from the man by means of masturbation: if this is done during the day in Ramadan, then this is one of the things that break the fast, according to the majority of scholars. 

Therefore the man must avoid this during the day in Ramadan. 

See the answer to question no. 222234

2.

Taking the woman’s eggs in the case of external fertilisation is not regarded as breaking the fast, because this is usually done by means of a laparoscope (i.e., through an incision in the abdomen) or through the vagina, as a fine needle connected to the equipment is inserted through incisions made at the umbilicus and the lower abdomen, and the fluid containing the eggs is extracted, or it is done using ultrasound. 

Neither of these methods is regarded as breaking the fast. 

3.

Insertion of the man’s semen into the woman’s vagina by means of a tube is also not regarded as breaking the fast, because this fertilisation procedure does not come under the heading of food and drink, neither in a real sense nor by any resemblance, and it is not akin to eating or drinking in any sense at all. 

Modern medicine has proven that the woman’s vagina is not connected to the digestive system at all, so anything that enters the woman’s vagina cannot be regarded as breaking the fast. 

Al-Bahooti said: Rather her fast is broken if a man’s penis penetrating her vagina, because that is intercourse, and intercourse breaks the fast because it is likely to lead to ejaculation.

End quote from Sharh Muntaha al-Iraadaat (2/364) 

This is what the Islamic Fiqh Council based its view on when it stated that anything that enters the vagina is not regarded as breaking the fast. In their statement it says: The following things are not regarded as breaking the fast: 

·Anything that enters the vagina, such as a pessary, douche, scope or fingers for a medical exam.

·Insertion of a scope, IUD (“coil”) and the like into the uterus.

·Anything that enters the urethra of the male or female, such as a catheter, scope, opaque dye for certain types of diagnostic imaging,  medication or a solution to wash the bladder. 

End quote from Qaraaraat Majma‘ al-Fiqh al-Islami (p. 312) 

Insertion of semen via this method is not regarded as intercourse; hence an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: If she inserts semen via her vagina or rear passage, she is not required to do ghusl.

End quote from Rawdat at-Taalibeen (1/85) 

An-Nafraawi said: The woman does not have to do ghusl if semen enters her vagina without her maniy also being emitted.

End quote from al-Fawaakih al-Dawaanah (1/117) 

See also the answer to question no. 141858 

Based on that, artificial insemination procedures, whether they are done inside or outside the body, and implanting embryos in the uterus, do not spoil the woman’s fast. 

But it is better for the woman to avoid doing that during Ramadan if possible, so as to guard her fast and avoid any areas of doubt. 

See also the answer to question no. 49727 

And Allah knows best.

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