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How Does Islam View Genetic Engineering?

Egypt - Islam Online - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Source: INFAD, Islamic Science University of Malaysia – 5th Dec 2006

Question:

Could you please shed more light on the Islamic view on genetic engineering and its ethical principles?
 
Answer:

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
 
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
 
Thanks for your question, which reflects your concern about Islam. We really commend your efforts in pursuit of truth. This is what is required of all people, to seek truth and not to give in to anything that may cloud their minds with fake ideas about Islam.
 
Genetic engineering is one of the greatest discoveries of our time. It can be used for treating genetic diseases. All such new discoveries that help alleviate the suffering of humanity is welcomed in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “There should be neither harm nor reciprocating injury.”
 
Responding to the question, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states the following:
One of the blessings of Islam is that it never abstracts scientific programs or narrows the scope of the mind in the field of science and technology. Unlike other religions, there is no conflict between science and religion in Islam. Christian clergy opposed scientists, thinkers and pioneers of technology that we take for granted today. Many were punished, tortured and sentenced to death.
 
The Qur’an shows that Allah, Almighty, bestows many gifts on mankind enabling them to discover the mysterious nature around them and to recognize the laws that control the universe. Allah Almighty also submits the whole universe with its heavens, earth, sun and moon to mankind.
 
Allah Almighty says: (See ye not how Allah hath made serviceable unto you whatsoever is in the skies and whatsoever is in the earth and hath loaded you with His favors both without and within? Yet of mankind is he who disputeth concerning Allah, without knowledge or guidance or a Scripture giving light.) (Luqman 31: 20)
 
He Almighty also says, (And in the earth are portents for those whose faith is sure. And (also) in yourselves. Can ye then not see??w (Adh-dhariat 51: 20-21)
 
When man’s knowledge advances, it becomes compulsory for him to deepen his faith and moral virtues. One must not go alone, doing whatever one wants, ignoring religious morals or the welfare of people in general.
 
The problem in Western civilization is that science is separated from religion and in some cases it fights religion.
 
Allah Almighty says, (And when he turneth away (from thee) his effort in the land is to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle; and Allah loveth not mischief.) (Al-Baqarah 2: 205)
 
We welcome the idea of genetic engineering. It is one of the greatest discoveries of our time and is shared by many countries. Whether it is considered more important than the discovery of penicillin or man landing on the moon, we hope it is used for the benefit of humanity and that its guidelines will be according to the views of qualified jurists.
 
There are many benefits we can derive from this, say, for instance, in treating genetic diseases by using the effective genes to prevent harm or disease. This is something commendable in Islam according to the legal rule "Prevention is better than cure"; the rule is taken from the hadith; “There should be neither harm nor reciprocating injury.”
 
By this, through the assistance of such a scientific device, man will be able to prevent many diseases.

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