Islam does not in any way
condemn man’s freedom in scientific inquiry unless it has ethical or moral
implications. Cloning is a step forward in this direction. Human cloning,
generally defined as the production of two genetically identical individuals,
apparently cannot be objected to. However, human cloning is in a very very
rudimentary stage at the moment. Currently, it is even very difficult to say
whether science will ever succeed in this objective or not. It is also quite
impossible to say what exactly will be the result. Cloning an adult sheep was
extremely difficult to do; over 270 attempts were needed before Dolly was born.
Many foetal lambs did not survive the early stages of development. Those lambs
that were carried to term were born with health problems, including malformed
kidneys, and all but Dolly subsequently died. See for example, The Washington
Times, ‘Before there was Dolly, there were Disasters’ (March 11, 1997).
Furthermore, there are several
unanswered questions at the moment: Will genetically identical people be
physically and behaviourally identical, too? Will they have identical
personalities? What if a clone is cloned again, and again? What would be the
result and status of these subsequent ‘beings’? Will it be possible to clone the
human soul, along with the body and if it is possible to clone the soul, what
would this mean? In contrast, if the body is cloned, but not the soul, what
would this mean? Until scientists are able to say something definite regarding
these questions, a final verdict on human cloning would just be a wild guess.
For the moment, the only thing which can
be said with certainty is that research and investigation in the area of human
cloning cannot be objected to. Scientists say that human embryo research and
embryo cloning can be used to conduct research into the development of
contraceptives, in studies aimed at understanding the causes of human
infertility and its solutions, in research involving genetic testing, genetic
engineering, disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment, and tests on various
medicines and medical procedures.
All this of course, cannot be
disapproved in any way, unless, of course, something unethical comes up.