Subject : Ruling of Sharia on Cloning
Fatwa Number : 439
Date : 05-01-2010
Classified : Medicine & seeking treatment
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

To what extent does Sharia allow science to benefit from cloning?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.


Two of the most important higher objectives of Sharia are preserving lineage from mixing and loss and warding off corruptions as regards country and people.

Contemporary Muslim jurists have based their Ijtihad regarding "Cloning" on these two objectives. Consequently, Islamic academies, bodies, and institutions have unanimously decided to absolutely prevent and prohibit "Cellular reproduction"-in which an egg is fertilized through a non-seminomatous cell- regardless of any excuse. This is because cloning leads to loss of lineage and poses a serious threat to community system. As a result, it is prohibited by most worldly laws of today.

The second type of human cloning is called "Embryonic cloning" where the egg is fertilized by the sperm of the husband. Upon  division, individual cells are separated producing multiple copies, then placed in the wife`s womb.

Although this type is less damaging than the first, it entails great evils, so it must be banned save in some cases, such as precarious pregnancy, which needs cloning and freezing.

As for the cloning of plants and animals, the ruling of Sharia  depends on the purpose behind it. If it is intended for the beneficial scientific research, such as improving species, providing treatments, extracting drugs or organ transplant, then this is permissible. However, this must be done in moderation and not reach the level of causing harm, tampering, or producing dangerous strains.

The scientific extent allowed by Sharia as regards cloning is reflected in the following rule: "Bringing benefit and warding off harm."

The controlling of benefit and harm is the responsibility of the experts from among the scholars, jurists, and officials who outweigh public interest over material or personal interest. Thus, greedy pharmaceutical companies, which have great influence on the economic arena today, are excluded from this.

Amongst the important aspects influencing the adoption of the correct view as regards cloning are:

1- Formation of a fatherless embryo. How could this be acceptable in Sharia which even forbids this, from a man and a woman, out of wedlock.

2- There is a huge increase in world population and extensive efforts are exerted to control birth. Regardless of whether it is permissible or not, cloning mostly serves the interest of the rich and powerful people.

3- There is high probability of failure of experiments, which means damage and destruction of multiple human parts and embryos, and this is disrespecting mankind.

4- The produced human could live for a short time or be dwarfed, which contradicts calls for promoting eugenics. It is true that this isn`t general, however, it is possible for business purposes, as presented in research.

5- Cloning is still in a research phase, so its results and risks are unclear, and it is feared that Third World Countries could be experimentation ground.

6-Some forms of non human cloning represent messing with other creatures that Allah enjoined us to be kind to. Among the feats of Islam is that it prohibited killing animals save through lawful slaughtering and for food. Thus, Islam prohibited killing an animal, which is unlawful to be eaten, unless it is harmful.

7-The character of the father is mixed with that of the son. Is he his? Part of him? Or his brother? This entails many right-based considerations.

8-There is high probability of destructive error in these experiments, which could cause people to regret that just as they regretted the nuclear production. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.      




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