After previously insisting that vasectomies were banned under Islamic law, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has softened its stance on the matter, saying vasectomies are allowed so long as they are carried out in accordance with Islamic Sharia.
“As long as the vasectomy is done according to Sharia, then it is mubah (allowed),” the secretary of MUI's Central Java branch, Ahmad Rofiq, said Wednesday as quoted by tempo.co.
He said the decision was made during the MUI fatwa commission's congress, held from June 29 to July 2 at the Cipasung Islamic boarding school in Tasikmalaya, West Java.
However there were some requirements for a vasectomy to be allowed, Ahmad said. These include the intention that the vasectomy would not be permanent; that a man undergoing the procedure was 50 years old or older; that permission was sought from and granted by the subject's wife; and that the procedure was not carried out for immoral purposes.
He added that the MUI had previously banned vasectomies due to concerns that men who underwent the proceudre would be permanently sterile, which is not allowed in Islam.
However with the advance of technology, vasectomies are no longer permanent and can be reversed.
Ahmad said the MUI had received information from men who had previously had vasectomies who had gone on later to have children.
Islam, he said, allowed contraception for postponing further births in families who already had children, but without removing the opportunity for reproduction. (iwa)