Grand Ayatollah Shirazi

Grand Ayatollah Shirazi discusses ruling of insemination during daily scholarly session

The daily scholarly meeting of Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Sadegh al-Hosseini al-Shirazi was held on Sunday, the 21st of Sha’ban. In this session, like the previous meetings, the Marja answered the questions of the attendees about various jurisprudence issues.

Regarding the ruling of inseminating a man’s sperm in the womb of a woman, Grand Ayatollah Shirazi said: My understanding of the Sharia-based evidence is that a married woman cannot do such a thing, nor can a woman who is mahram to a man, like an aunt or sister, do such a thing. A widowed or divorced woman who is still in the ‘waiting period’ cannot do this either. So, the woman wanting to undergo insemination must be non-mahram to the ‘owner of the sperm’ and not be married to a husband and not in the waiting period. In addition, at the moment of insemination, a temporary contract of marriage must be established between the two, otherwise, in my opinion, the practice is not permissible.

Regarding the ruling on insemination of a married woman who wants to use the sperm of a stranger to conceive a child, his Eminence said: Such a woman is required to be the wife of the owner of the sperm at the time of insemination, whether the marriage contract (‘Aqd) lasts for more than a few minutes or an hour. Therefore, the woman must divorce her original husband and complete her waiting period, and then become married to the man who owns the sperm, even if it is in the form of a ‘temporary marriage’ and only spanning the time of insemination, even if no actual encounter takes place between them.

He further said: When these conditions are met, the representatives of both parties can enter the man and the woman into a marriage contract (‘Aqd), even if this ‘Aqd is ‘temporary marriage’ and lasts for one or several hours and is only intended for the purpose of insemination.

In relation to the ruling on how this woman should return to her original husband, his Eminence said: When the waiting period of this sperm has been completed, that is, when the child is delivered, this woman can marry again. For example, she can return to her original husband and marry her.

Regarding the ruling of the parents of a child born in this way, the Marja said: This child is not considered the child of the original husband of this woman, and in fact the mother of this child is this woman and their real father is the owner of the sperm.

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