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Islamic Perspectives on Cloning and Genetic Enginerring

Asif Razvi, M.D., Islamic Center of Boston

O mankind! Fear
Your Guardian Lord,
Who created you
From a single person
Created, out of it,
His mate, and from them herain
Scattered (like seeds)
Countless men and women -
Fear Allah, through Whom,
Ye demand your mutual (rights),
And be heedful of the wombs
(That bare you): for Allah
Ever watches over you

(Chapter 1, verse 1)


  • Creation of the universe and mankind
  • Purpose of creation of mankind
  • Creation of heavens and the earth in true proportions

Hierarchy in Islam?

  • There is no hierarchy in Islam
  • Allah (God) is the supreme being
  • Every Muslim prays directly to God
  • Five scholars in the 8th and 9th century
  • Maliki
  • Hanafi
  • Shafi’I
  • Hanbali
  • Jafari

Islam and Science

  • No conflict between Islam and science
  • Many scientific facts today were described in the Qur’an 1400 years ago
  • Qur’an was revealed for all mankind and for all times
  • As we understand science better, we understand some of these facts in the Qur’an better

Islamic Beliefs

  • Oneness of God
  • Angels
  • All the prophets from Adam (PBUH) to Muhammad (PBUH)
  • All the Scriptures from “Suhul” of Abraham (PBUH), Psalms of David, Torah, Bible, and the Qur’an
  • The Last Day and the Hereafter
  • The Divine Decree

The Divine Decree

  • “For to anything which We have willed, We but say ‘Be,’ and it is. (Ch. 16: 40)
  • Fundamental belief in rationalizing and accepting scientific developments
  • God has the ultimate power to regulate and govern everything that happens in the universe

Ethics of Genetic Technology

  • Staying within the conformity of God’s Will (Ch. 81: 29)
  • Any improvement to further the cause of humanity or human health
  • Genetic manipulation to improve the health of a fetus
  • Improving the chances of fertility and conception within the sanctity of marriage


  • Inter-personal human relations heavily weighted in Islam
  • Development of an embryo without any spiritual or moral connection between a man and a woman
  • A mother can only claim motherhood if she carried the child in her womb
  • Potential for abuse
  • Dominance of a race
  • Black market for organs
  • Who makes the decision
  • Islamic legal issues
  • Cloning of sheep by God’s will
  • Is it a test for the human race?

“Allahu Alim”

We can theorize all we want, and debate all we want, but we have to admit that only God knows the real truth

Email link | Feedback | Contributed by: Boston University. Video adapted from the Issues for the Millennium Workshop

Islamic Perspectives on Cloning and Genetic Enginerring

Introduction: Jensine Andresen and Robert Neville
John Westling - Introduction: Do we have dominion over ourselves?
Overcoming Preconception Relating to Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Implications of Animal Cloning Experiments for the Potential Cloning of Human Beings
Production of Embryonic Stem Cells from Differentiated Somatic Cells
Application of Cloning to the Production of Biopharmaceuticals to Treat Human and Animal Disease
Xenotransplantation and its Associated Safety and Ethical Issues
Excluding Life from Patenting: Arguments against the Patenting of Genes
Science Panel Discussion
Ethical Challenges in a Post Genome Era
Human Rights and the New Genetics
Human Rights and Cloning
Democratizing Decision Making Relating to Biotechnology
Genetics, the Market, and Policy
Much Ado About Mutton: An Ethical Review of the Cloning Controversy
Why Worry about Human Cloning?
Modified Natural-Law Approach to Genetic Technologies
Ethics Panel Discussion
The World is Our Parish...So...?
Re-engineering Creation: Theological Reservations Concerning Genetic Technology
Possible Presbyterian Responses to Cloning
Biostewardish Updates
No, Not Yet, Maybe, and Why Not: Protestant Ambivalence Or Moral Discretion?
Beginning Reflections of One Unitarian Universalist on Cloning and Genetic Technologies
A Catholic Perspective on Cloning and Stem Cell Research
Created in Whose Image and Likeness? An Orthodox Christian Approach to Human Cloning
Thomas Shannon - "Playing God"
But Who Speaks for Me? The Need for the Religous Voice in Bioethics
In God's Garden: Creation and Cloning in Jewish Thought
A Jewish Perspective on Cloning and Other Techniques to Overcome Infertility
A Hindu View based on Dharma, Karma and Yoga of Human Cloning and Genetic Technologies
The Bioethics of Interdependence: Shin Buddhist Attitudes on Human Cloning
Moral Imagination
Interreligious Panel Discussion
Science and the Courts
Beyond Biology: Regulating Ownership in a Knowledge-based Economy
Biotechnology and International Trade
Disharmonization in Agricultural Biotechnology
Historical Notes Relating to the Patenting of Biological Inventions
Should Morality be Within the Purview of Patent Law?
The International Treatment of Biotechnological Intellectual Property (BIP)
Legal Issues Panel Discussion
Science, Politics and Ethics of Cloning and Genetic Engineering: Who will Decide the Future of Humankind?
Cloning and Beyond: Making Laws for Making Babies
Issues For the Millennium: Cloning and Genetic Technologies - Index


Boston University

See also:

Pain and Suffering
Books on Biology, Genetics and Theology
Dolly the Cloned Sheep
Egg Manipulation
DNA Double-Helix