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Using frozen embryo after husband’s death

Fatwaa ID: 1069

Assalamu alaykum, a sister’s husband passed away at a young age. Her first child was born through IVF while her husband was alive. After his death, she decided to use one of the remaining frozen embryos to have another child, and that child was subsequently born. Some people are now telling her that having a child from the frozen embryo after her husband’s death was not permissible. She wants to find out the ruling on this. JazakumAllahu khayran.

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

We take note of the details of your query. May Allaah Ta’aala elevate his status in Jannah.

We wish to clarify that it is not permissible to freeze the embryo unless there is a genuine need. We presume that there was a need in the enquired situation. However, upon the demise of the husband, the need comes to an end. All frozen embryos at that point must be disposed. It is not permissible to use the husband’s frozen sperm or the embryo made with him after his demise.

Upon the demise of the husband, and more specifically after the ‘iddah, the nikaah terminates. Hence, the usage of the embryo in such a case is akin to zina. A child born to a woman after the ‘iddah from her husband will bring about doubts and concerns and will negatively affect her honor and dignity. Thus, aside from the religious prohibition, it also creates social harms.

In the enquired situation, the sister should make tawbah and istighfaar for whatever has happened. She should have consulted a competent scholar before using the frozen embryo. She must dispose the remaining frozen embryos. Should she wish to have children in the future, she may consider getting married again.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

10/05/1444 AH – 04/05/2023 CE | AML1-7581

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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