March 10

Surrogacy: Religious Objections in Islamic Countries


Surrogacy has become an increasingly popular method of assisted reproduction for couples struggling with infertility. In Islamic countries, however, Quranic law raises religious objections to surrogacy. As a surrogacy agency receiving intended parents from all creeds and origins, we must be fully aware of the implications of these objections when working with couples and families of Islamic persuasion.


Islam, a religion practiced by over a billion people, places a great deal of emphasis on the family unit and the roles of parents. Quranic law states that a child should be conceived and born within a lawful marriage, with both parents being identifiable and legally responsible for the child’s upbringing. Surrogacy first raises a series of religious objections related to infertility.

Infertility as a Test of Faith

In Islamic countries, infertility is often viewed as a test of faith, and couples are encouraged to seek medical treatment, adopt a child, or accept their situation as part of Allah’s plan. Surrogacy is seen as an unnatural and unethical means of overcoming infertility and defying Allah’s will.

In Quranic Surah named Surah Al-Kahf (The Cave), verse 48 states: “And they will be presented before your Lord in rows, [and He will say], “You have certainly come to Us just as We created you the first time. But you claimed that We would never make for you an appointment.”

This verse highlights the belief in the Day of Judgment and the idea that all things are within Allah’s control, including the ability to conceive and bear children.

Another Surah that discusses infertility as a test of faith is Surah Al-Ankabut (The Spider). Verse 2-3 states: “Do the people think that they will be left to say, ‘We believe’ and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.”

This verse highlights the belief that trials and tests are part of Allah’s plan and that infertility can be a test of faith.

In addition, Surah Al-Insan (Man) emphasizes the idea of being patient during difficult times. Verse 7 states: “Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – they will have gardens of Paradise as a lodging, wherein they abide eternally. [It is] the promise of Allah, [which is] truth, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”

This verse highlights the reward for those who remain patient during difficult times and continue to have faith in Allah.

Islam, Motherhood, and Child Legitimacy

In Quranic Law, surrogacy also raises questions about the role of motherhood. According to Islamic teachings, motherhood is a sacred duty that women must fulfill. A surrogate mother, therefore, may be seen as neglecting her responsibilities as a mother by handing over the child to another person or couple. In addition, the child may struggle to form a bond with their surrogate mother, leading to emotional difficulties and identity issues.

In terms of the duties of women regarding conception and childbirth, Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) highlights the importance of marital intimacy and the responsibility of women in conceiving and bearing children. Verse 223 states: “Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish and put forth [righteousness] for yourselves. And fear Allah and know that you will meet Him. And give good tidings to the believers.”

This verse emphasizes the importance of marital intimacy and the role of women in bearing children.

Likewise, family lineage and the legitimacy of children are crucial issues covered by Quranic Surahs.

One such Surah is Surah Al-Ahzab (The Confederates). Verse 4 states: “Allah has not made for a man two hearts in his interior. And He has not made your wives whom you declare unlawful your mothers. And he has not made your adopted sons your [true] sons. That is [merely] your saying by your mouths, but Allah says the truth, and He guides to the [right] way.”

This verse highlights the importance of establishing a child’s paternity and lineage, as well as the prohibition of treating adopted children as biological children.

Islam, Fatherhood, and Child Legitimacy

Fatherhood also has an essential place in Islam, and surrogacy raises questions about the legitimacy of the child’s paternity. In traditional Islamic law, a child’s paternity is determined by their biological father. Surrogacy challenges this concept.

The child’s lineage and inheritance may be called into question, leading to legal and social issues.

Another Surah that discusses the issue of paternity and legitimacy is Surah An-Nur (The Light). Verse 2 states: “The fornicator does not marry except a [female] fornicator or polytheist, and none marries her except a fornicator or a polytheist, and that has been made unlawful to the believers.”

This verse emphasizes the importance of lawful marriage and the prohibition of illegitimate relationships that may lead to issues of paternity and legitimacy.

Role of the Surrogacy Agency

For Muslim families, the Quranic Surahs provide guidance on the importance of establishing a child’s paternity and lineage, the prohibition of illegitimate relationships, and the responsibilities of women regarding conception and childbirth. They also establish a framework for the believers’ attitude when Allah’s will doesn’t seem to match their desires.

Surrogacy presents unique challenges to the traditional family roles and the deep-seated beliefs of Muslims. The counselors and advisors at a surrogacy agency have a duty to understand the nuances and complexities of the issues within the context of Islamic law and ethics.

It is especially crucial to ask the right questions when the intended parents are not both of the Muslim faith. What one of them considers a core belief may not be so for the other. Beyond the dissent that the matter may raise between the partners or spouses, the rights of the future unborn must remain central to the question of whether or not the surrogacy agency will initiate the process.



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