Is It Permissible to Use Modern IVF Treatments to Pick the Gender of My Baby?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I have been blessed with 3 beautiful little girls, alhamdulilah. I wanted to know if it is permissible to use modern IVF treatments to pick the gender of the next baby if we attempt to have one? So, can we use modern science to have a boy, if we already have 3 girls?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

This would be permissible according to the resolution passed by the Majma al-Fiqh al-Islami in 2007. The view is also supported by leading scholars, such as Mustafa Zarqa, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and Abd Allah ibn Bayya, among others. This is so long as (a) the procedure is safe and (b) it follows the general shariah guidelines of medical treatment.

Those scholars who prohibited such a practice, however, did so due to a number of legitimate concerns and reasons. One factor, for example, was the widespread gender bias in certain communities and peoples. This is clearly contrary to Islamic guidelines and people who have such gender biases should be firmly discouraged from choosing the gender of future children. Indeed, the Quran refers to the disappointment that people felt at having daughters as an evil and the least that this indicates is blameworthiness of such an attitude.

Additionally, one must also stress an element of content with one’s decree in not choosing the gender of a future child. As the Qur’an states, “To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what He wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males.” (49:50) While choosing the gender of a child is not necessarily being discontent with divine decree, it is superior to simply leave such matters in the hands of God.

Wassalam,
[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.