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The ruling on gender selection

What is the ruling on gender selection through modern techniques such as In vitro fertilization i.e. using the husband's sperm to fertilize his wife's eggs?


Allah has created man in balanced proportions by creating him in pairs — male and female. He further distinguished each with characteristics suitable to the functions He created them for and revealed the necessity of such for man's continual existence. Allah the Almighty says,
O mankind! Fear your Guardian Lord Who created you from a single person, created out of it, his mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;-Fear Allah through Whom ye demand your mutual rights), and be heedful of the wombs (that bore you): for Allah ever watches over you. [An-Nisaa`: 1]

That He did create the pairs,-male and female, from a sperm drop when lodged ( in its place). [An-Najm: 45-6]

And of everything we have created pairs: that ye may reflect.[Al-Zariyat: 49]

This diversity in creation and balance in nature is deemed necessary by the judgment of Allah, the Almighty, All Knowing and All Powerful. Allah the Almighty says,To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He created 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.[Ash-Shura: 49-50]When dealing with an issue such as gender selection, it is necessary to take two both the individual and community levels into consideration.

The individual level: The principle in everything is permissibility and it is the principle when dealing with gender selection on this level. This is because man can either get married or not. If he does, he can beget offspring or not and if he does, he can either use birth control or not — each couple according to its circumstances and conditions. It is likewise permissible for man to strive to increase the possibilities of gender selection as determined by specialists i.e. by choosing certain foods, engaging in intercourse before or during ovulation, sperm spinning and other methods known to experts. It is likewise permissible to use pre-implantation microscopic examination of chromosomes and DNA for the same purpose.

There is nothing in Islamic law that prevents the practice of gender selection on the individual level. However, all of this is contingent on not using a technology that may harm the fetus at any time in the future and this is determined by specialists. Moreover, it is unacceptable to tamper with or experiment on human subjects.The community level: The matter is different when dealing with the issue of gender selection on the level of the community. This is because the matter is connected to disturbing the natural balance which Allah the Almighty has created as well as disturbing the male-female ratio which is an important factor in human procreation. On this level, gender selection is tantamount to objecting to Allah's creation by trying to change His system, disturbing the structure He has created and undermining the means upon which He has based human life.

-The ruling

There is a difference in the ruling for practicing gender selection on the individual and community levels based on what is determined by Islamic law concerning the difference in the ruling and on its relation to the individual and the community. This is frequently found in books on jurisprudence, an example being that it is permissible to fight the residents of a city if they refuse to perform the supererogatory prayer associated with the Dawn prayer or the adhan (call to prayer) even though it is permissible to omit these on the individual level.

Allah the Almighty knows best.

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