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Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board

03/29/01 at 10:32:48
I was amongst Muslim brothers at a family gathering, and the topic of genetic engineering/cloning was being discussed.  People turned towards me and asked what Islam says about it.  I had a decent idea, and one of a very high level, and that is, we as human beings are not allowed to play with Allah's creation. In other words, HE is the giver and taker of life. I didn't know about the greater or the intricate details.
Interestingly enough, some important questions arose from this:
What happens if genetic engineering is used to improve or save one's life?  

I would like answers to some of these questions.  I'm hoping that this would generate a discussion as this issue maybe of great importance to all of us at some point in the future Inshallah.

Re: Cloning
03/29/01 at 10:39:56

i remember br mokhtar discussing this one night.. anyone have the notes? se7en?, dhikr?, khathija? kiwi??? adi??
Re: Cloning
03/29/01 at 11:16:59

I'd also like to see these notes please!
Re: Cloning
03/29/01 at 12:31:51

I really like Br. Mukthar, but have only seen him a couple of times.  Apart from the current topic, how about posting some of his other interesting lectures ?
Re: Cloning
03/29/01 at 12:32:25

Yeah, and any of his tapes out there ?
Re: Cloning
03/29/01 at 13:40:03
wa alaykum as salaam wa rahmatAllah,

Yeah, I have those notes.  He covered giving blood, grafting, donating organs, cloning, and some other things as well, all in two sessions.

It was pretty awesome :)

inshaAllah I'll post em up.. (I have to find em first :)  and I owe kathy some notes on ibraheem as)

There is one sister in our community who has the majority of his tapes.  They are not produced or sold regularly.  I'll speak with her about it, inshaAllah.

wasalaamu alaykum.
Speaking of NOTES!!!!!!!!!!!
03/29/01 at 13:34:06

Where's mine? ???
Re: Cloning
03/29/01 at 13:44:48
yeah, I owe you notes too... gimme a topic
Re: Cloning
03/29/01 at 18:32:05

Me too please, se7en.

Re: Cloning
03/31/01 at 15:04:30
hmm, I'm also very very interested to hear what Imam Mokhtar said regarding these issues!

I was particularly interested in a lot of bioethical issues facing Muslims today, so I did some research on some topics like organ donation, post-mortem examination etc. for a brief paper (directed towards a Judeo-Christian audience, so keep that in mind) called "A Trust From Allah: Health and the Human Body in the Shar’iah and its Implication in Islamic Bioethics". After reading a few snippets from some Muslim commentaries on the issue of cloning, I sort of decided to include something about it.

Here's what I wrote, it's pretty brief. I didn't want to go into detail on it mainly because of course I don't have the qualifications to really comment on it! Another reason I am curious to what Imam Mokhtar will say, but nevertheless here it is. There are some commentaries out there, Yusuf al-Qaradawi has spoken on the topic and its social consequences, many of which I simply echo. And as usual, what's between the asterisks are just some uneducated thoughts and opinions! Not much substance, just a bunch of rhetorical questions. May Allah forgive me for any mistake and may He lead me to the proper understanding.


Under the recommendations of the Prophet (pbuh), Muslims are encouraged to seek treatments for every disease. Under the Shar’iah infertility is considered a disease that can be treated, provided no extramarital genetic boundaries are crossed. With the advancement of fertility techniques as well as biomedical research, the issue of cloning has become one that can no longer be ignored in bioethical discussions.

The Qur’an describes human creation as a divine act and describes human beings as agents, trustees of God. Imitation or duplication of this act is at the very best redundant and at the very worst, the epitome of human arrogance in attempting to imitate the Creator. Islamically, necessity can dictate exceptions occasionally in terms of medical treatment of a disease; therefore exceptions can be made to the general rule if it saves life. In the case of cloning, however, this condition does not necessarily exist, because no particular disease is being treated. If the goal of cloning is simply the satisfaction of ego and not the treatment of disease, then it raises questions about its legality if its means are legally and morally questionable. This notwithstanding, some Muslims have declared human “copying” as an act of disbelief and immorality since it interferes with the creation of Allah as a challenge of His will.

Is it a challenge of Allah’s will? Many Muslim commentators have stressed that it is impossible for human beings to challenge God’s will. In fact, every scientific breakthrough made by humanity is by the will of Allah and they argue that if human cloning is achieved it will be because God has willed humanity to acquire this technology. The crucial part of the issue of cloning, rather, is whether the outcomes of cloning are acceptable according to the Shar’iah. What are its goals? If the goal of cloning technology is to treat hereditary diseases and improve human health, then this is a tenable reason according to the Shar’iah, as it promotes the public interest and welfare, under the same concept of [i]al masalih al mursalah[/i] discussed earlier. Prenatal corrective genetic intervention may perhaps be justified, for example. But what of the cloning of full human beings who will be members of society?

This is where other guiding principles of the Shar’iah may recommend against cloning. One principle is [i]al mafasid muqaddam ala jalb al-masalih[/i] or “averting causes of corruption has precedence over bringing about benefit”. While the improvement of genetic disease may result, many Muslim jurists have begun to point out that more harms may arise from cloning. As full human beings and living things, clones would be recognized as such in Islamic society. Who is responsible for their moral and social upbringing? Islamic society is based on the institutions of marriage and family as the cornerstone of nurturing an individual. The introduction of clones could interfere with this and deprive them of the natural, essential, rights to grow up in a family. Moreover, cloning is essentially a form of asexual reproduction. Would it lead to the abandonment of marriage and male-female procreation? Given the immense importance of marriage in the Shar’iah, this would be unacceptable. So would the threat of confusion in distinguishing “clones” from the “originals” that could result in disturbances, and even fraudulent violations, of interpersonal relationships, particularly marital relationships, causing serious social and moral problems.

It is the question of how cloning may affect familial and marital relationships that Muslim thinkers and jurists are extremely wary of the technology. The perceived benefits are superceded by the greater perceived likelihood of abuse and corruption. In addition, the moral status of cloning technology itself brings it into question. Experimentation in cloning, particularly in ectogenesis, has already led to instances where growing embryos have had to be destroyed due to mistakes in the technical methods that still need to be refined. While the technology may improve and lead to an endpoint where embryos and fetuses are no longer destroyed, unjust and unethical means do not justify a noble goal. Given the sanctity of life in the Shar’iah, the “growing pains”, i.e the sacrifice of numerous embryos and fetuses in this experimentation, inherent in the refinement of this technology, is difficult to accept. This alone, can be argued to preclude any legitimization of cloning from an Islamic point of view.

Therefore, for these reasons and others, the current and overwhelming majority of Muslim opinions on cloning are not in favor of it. While genetic engineering for the sake of developing genetic therapies for certain diseases is valid and can be encouraged, the idea of human cloning itself is at best highly discouraged and unacceptable according to current interpretations of the Shar’iah.
And Allah knows best. [slm]

Re: Cloning
03/30/01 at 01:44:59

i wrote some things down on organ donation and animal use, but i usually miss the first hour cuz i have to teach my class :( the notes i have are more like questions/hadiths to consider when discussing these issues.

A good book that also goes into some Islam and biomed issues is [i]Abortion, Birth control and Surrogate Parenting: An Islamic Perspective By Abul Fadl Mohsin Ebrahim.[/i]

Also a mountain of work has been done in the Islamic biomedical ethics field by Dr Shahid Athar. He currently resides in indianapolis (his daughter was a good friend when i was there :))

Alot of his stuff is very interesting and much of it is on his website: [url][/url]

A Source and an Exclamation Mark
03/30/01 at 05:35:56
Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullah.

The following is a link to a book on this subject:

Please note that my directing you to this is just as a source of information. My doing so is not an endorsement, any more than me notifying of this disclaimer is due to a raised eyebrow. Remember that if you don’t know who you are taking your Islamic opinions from, then you have no basis for trusting that which you are reading/hearing. So utilise the link as information which you can go away and discuss with those you *do* know, who have the necessary knowledge, and trust.

Please, I don’t want my intent to be misconstrued here. I am not casting aspersions on the author of the book. I am just saying that for me, when it comes to my Deen – and specifically fiqh – I demand extremely high standards of who I take from. That does not mean that this book is not reliable, nor that it is. Just that I don’t wish to be anyone’s excuse on the Day of Judgement for directing them to a source which they accepted thinking that my referral was a greenlight to take from it. I don’t have the knowledge or inclination to do that and I don’t wish to assume the burden of responsibility in the akhira if someone mistakes me directing you to the link as a rubberstamp giving it the thumbs up. It isn’t. Nor it is a thumbs down. I leave it for you to act accordingly, without me commenting on the veracity of the substance therein. Subhan’Allah how arrogant that reads, a’uzubillah, may He (awj)  protect us from exalting ourselves.

When one – like myself- lacks proficiency in fiqh, it is easy to find many things convincing. Yet without the knowledge, upon what basis is the material being assessed? You can find yourself being swayed by one thing, and then by another thing that opposes it! So the cycle begins. For others it goes on, and they spend forever scratching their heads. And we don’t wish to be like feathers in the wind. I have seen such a phenomenon time and again, the back and forth volleys that occur when one lacks sufficient direction and discernment in knowing how to best approach the tenuous matter of acquiring fiqh answers. Moreso when the question is a novel one. Compound that by the polarisation that is witnessed  in our age and it can quickly become confusing and then consuming, and really, our time needs to be focussed on more beneficial concerns. (That is not a point directed at this question, but rather at the Yellow Pages approach to fiqh that some of us suffer with.)

Forgive me – if it came across as somewhat unnecessary - this extended ramble, I just felt it necessary to make the point. Else I may be accountable in the hereafter, and I already have plenty to contend with!

May Allah (awj) forgive me for my excesses, and transgressions.


Abu Khaled
Re: Cloning
03/31/01 at 03:18:42

Interesting essay Abdul Basir.  Since you live in Albany, why don't you show this essay to Br. Mokhtar and get his input about what you wrote?  

Then come here and share with us what he said :)

Wassalamu alaikum.
Re: Cloning
03/31/01 at 19:47:44
[quote]show this essay to Br. Mokhtar and get his input about what you wrote?[/quote]
[slm] like the rest of ya, still waiting on those lecture notes of his on the subject...:)

hmm not a bad idea...I'd have to give him a nice big red pen with it too probably...:)


Re: Cloning
04/01/01 at 18:48:05
as salaamu alaykum wa rahmatAllahi wa barakatuh,

I got some bad new for y'all.. I took a look at my notes from the session, and the issue of cloning wasn't addressed at all.  (unless jannah is talking about a different dars?)  There was one mention of cloning, in passing, in reference to something else, definitely not at all what you were looking for.

I can still type the notes up for you guys if you'd like.  Let me know if you're interested.

Re: Cloning
04/01/01 at 22:27:49

memory is the first thing to go in old age.. hmm remember when dolly came out? he talked about it then??
Re: Cloning
04/02/01 at 14:19:28
Aslamu alaikum

Halaqah Media group recently released a cassette called Genetic futures which contained information about cloning and its repurcussions, but like always they did not refer to or quote from the sources of Sharia (Quran and Ahadith).

wa salam

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