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Can You Give Zakah to Couple Doing In Vitro Fertilization?

15 September, 2022
Q Is it lawful to pay zakah to help a sterile woman have an in vitro fertilization procedure, especially if she cannot at all afford the cost of the medical treatment required?


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

There is nothing wrong in giving zakah to help a sterile woman have an in vitro fertilization operation if that woman can’t afford paying the costs of the medical treatment.

Responding to the question about giving zakah to a couple doing In Vitro Fertilization, Dr. `Abdullah Al-Faqih, Supervisor of the Islamic Web, states:

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Who should receive Zahah?

If the woman in question is principally a worthy recipient of zakah (being poor, for example,) there is nothing wrong about paying the zakah to her.

Allah Almighty says: {The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarer; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is Knower, Wise.} (At-Tawbah 9:60)

But it is to be taken into consideration that (human) artificial fertilization is not lawful in all cases in the point of view of Islam. It is permissible only when there is no alternative way for the couple to impregnate the wife.

Also, it is to be done under certain conditions, such as that the embryo to be deposited in the woman’s uterus be the result of the fertilization between this same woman’s ovum and the sperm of her husband.

Zakah to Couple Doing In Vitro Fertilization

If these conditions are met in the case of the woman the questioner wants to pay zakah to, it is lawful for him to pay zakah to her. But if there is something unlawful concerning the fertilization procedure [such as when the ovum is not hers, or the sperm is not her husband’s], we advise the questioner not to pay zakah to her in this case so that he does not participate in an act of disobedience to Almighty Allah.

Allah Almighty says: {Help not one another unto sin and transgression, but keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is severe in punishment.} (Al-Ma’idah 5:2)

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.