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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

25.3 REPRODUCTIVE CLONING, al istinsaakh

By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

25.3.1 BACKGROUND TO CLONING

Cloning was achieved in sheep. It seems technically feasible in humans. It is not creation of new life from basic organic and non-organic matter since creation of life de novo is the prerogative of Allah alone. Cloning is a form of asexual reproduction that is common in plants and animals. Adam and Isa were humans from asexual reproduction. Cloning is a form of reproduction without male-female interaction. The clone is the exact replica of original. Genetic recombinations that are responsible for the great variety of normal reproduction do not occur in cloning. The Islamic tradition discourages speculative thinking about hypothetical events. Issues are discussed from the legal and ethical aspects after they have occurred. We therefore cannot engage in a detailed discussion of cloning until it has occurred and we see its implications in practice. The issue of quality of life arises in the case of cloning if ever it becomes a reality. The product of cloning will not have the same quality, as we know it in humans today. This is because a human is both matter and spirit. During the first trimester of intra-uterine development the soul, Allah inserts ruh into the body. There is one ruh for each being. Thus the cloned product cannot have a ruh and will therefore not be human being, as we know. The product of cloning will have all the biological properties of the ordinary human being but will not have the spiritual qualities. Thus the life of the cloned product will be of little or no quality. We can only speculate how that cloned product will behave. The possibilities are frightening as the brave new world of biotechnology unfolds.

 

25.3.2 MEDICAL BENEFITS

Cloning has some medical benefits such as supply of organs for transplantation

 

25.3.3 MEDICAL DANGERS

Cloning may lead to new diseases and medical problems.

 

25.3.4 LEGAL –ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS

The major ethical issues in cloning are: loss of human uniqueness and individuality, hazardous unexpected products from cloning, and criminal misuse of the cloning technology. Legal issues will arise in inheritance of the real son and the cloned son.

 

25.3.5 SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC IMPLICATIONS

Likely socio-demographic implications are loss of human dignity, production of human monsters with no family background, and destruction of lineage, nasab.

(c) Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. 2004