Cloning and Its Dangerous Impacts

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Islamic Medicine
Staff member
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

"Genetic engineering has only proven to be a nightmare since animal cloning was carried out and then applied on the famous sheep, Dolly.

In fact, the whole process can never be viewed as a kind of creation or even recreation; rather, it is a process that involves destroying the nucleus of the egg cell of the species to be cloned. The nucleus is then removed from a body cell of an animal of the same species. This donor nucleus is injected into the egg cell. The egg, with its new nucleus, develops into an animal that has the same genetic make-up as the donor.
As said before, animal cloning has become a nightmare scenario for many people all over the world, as they have premonitions of it being practiced on human beings.

Islam and Cloning:

Islam embraces scientific progress and research, as throughout Islamic history there has been no evidence of conflict between Islam and science. In fact, it is regarded as Fard Kifayah (collective duty) in Islam for a nation to achieve progress in every field of science. However, this progress, like everything in life, must not collide with faith. It must move in parallel with the limitations set by religion, which must prevail over man’s course of life and customize it according to its principles.

Permissibility Conditions for Animal Cloning:

1-It must bring about a real benefit to all people,
It must not result in harm which is greater than the benefit it has produced,
2-It must not bear any kind of harm to the animal used in the process; causing harm or torture to an animal is forbidden in Islam.

Human Cloning Is Forbidden in Islam:

Viewed from the Islamic general objectives, rulings, and texts, human cloning is completely prohibited. Islam prohibits such cloning because of the following reasons:

  1. It contradicts with diversity of creation.
    Allah has created the universe on the base of diversity while human cloning is based on duplicating the same characteristics of the original bodies. This bears great corruption to human life, even though we did not realize all its forms. For example, if a student of a cloned class did something wrong, how could a teacher identify him/her while the whole class had the same features?
  2. If human cloning is permitted, how will we determine the relation of the cloned in regard to the original – will he be his brother, his father, or even himself? This is a confusing point.
  3. Cloning contradicts with the pattern of creating things in pairs, as Allah said in His Glorious Qur’an “And of everything We have created pairs, that ye may receive instruction.” (Az-Zariyat: 49). Cloning goes against this principle since it depends on only one gender. And this matter will cause harm to people.
  4. Knowing that man cannot live alone even in Paradise, Allah, the Exalted and Glorified, created Hawwa’ (Eve) along with Adam to stay with him in Paradise, and thus they would be a source of love and intimacy to one another. It is not only parents who need one another in order to proceed with life, but also their offspring need them both. All these meanings can never be acquired through cloning.
Cloning and Treatment of Disease:

It becomes clear from the above discussion that cloning a whole human body is completely prohibited even if it is for the purpose of treatment. However, if it goes into cloning only specific parts of the human body such as heart and kidneys, for the purpose of treatment, this is permitted and actually recommended and rewarded by Allah.

Important Notes:

Cloning is not a creation of life. It uses already existing life, as the egg cell, from which a nucleus is removed and the cell that is injected instead of it, are already created by Allah, the Exalted and Glorified.

The idea of cloning helps portray one of the Islamic beliefs, namely, resurrection. If man managed to return back to life in a new form, would it be out of Allah’s control to recreate the human beings on the Day of Resurrection! Surely not, as He says, “He it is who produces creation, then reproduces it and it is easier for Him. His is the Sublime Similitude in the heavens and in the earth. He is the Mighty, the Wise." (Ar-Room: 27)"
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