Human Cloning; Giving Birth to your Mother
Human clinging is the creation of a genetically identical copy of a human being which is a base of dispute amongst Muslim jurists. There are two forms in which cloning occurs, therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. Therapeutic cloning is the cloning of cells from an adult for use in medicine and transplants. There are two main methods of therapeutic cloning: somatic-cell nuclear transfer and pluripotent stem cell iduction. Whereas, reproductive cloning occurs when the entire human body is duplicated, thus creating an identical twin. Many countries, including Australia, prohibit reproductive cloning, while permitting the use of therapeutic cloning methods.
The following is a clip about reproductive cloning:
The following is a clip about therapeutic cloning:
Major Sunni jurisprudential bodies have banned cloning. For instance, Majma’ al-Buhuth al-Islamiyyah has issued a fatwa against cloning and called on governments of the world to prevent it in whatever form it might be practiced. In addition, they have recommended the Islamic punishment envisaged for the “enemy combatant” to be enacted in the case of those practicing this technology.
The European Council on Proclamation of Decree generally prohibited human cloning, meaning that both therapeutic and reproductive cloning would fall under the prohibition. The Rabitat al-‘Alam al-Islami of Mecca condemned human cloning as being haram and asked for worldwide law to be drafted against it.
But, there are prominent Sunni scholars who go against the grain and issue differing verdicts. Yusuf Qardawi banned human cloning of entire body, but permitted cloning specific parts of the human body for medical purposes.
There are a list of theological and jurisprudential problems that are raised regarding human cloning. Some of the problems are valid, such as human cloning confuses lineage, creates confusion about alimony and inheritance regulations, and leaves room for criminal misuse. But, some of the reasoning is outright silly, for instance some Muslims argued that human cloning challenges the Creator and interferes in his acts and fosters homosexuality.
The Shia jurists are also in dispute about human cloning. There are three main opinions amongst Shia scholars. The first opinion is absolute permission. According to this view, all forms of cloning would be permissible. The opinion is supported with isalat al-ibahah (the principle of permissibility) stating that everything is permissible, unless it is proven to be prohibited and none of the arguments in opposition to cloning reach the threshold of prohibition.
The second opinion is conditional permission. The majority of Shia scholars fall under this category. For instance, Sayyid Sistani states: “In and of itself, but nothing in procedure could be prohibited and necessary permissions must be in place [father, husband, owner].” The “in an of itself clause” is very telling, it means that it is only permissible if there is nothing prohibited in the entire procedure, including prohibited looks. (Refer to article about when a doctor is allowed to see one’s body)
Sayyid Khamenei does not specifically answer the question, but from a couple of other statements one can conclude that he falls into this category as well. For instance, when asked about animal cloning he responds: “In and of itself permissible.” Furthermore, he permits the use of stem-cells for medical purposes with same condition.
Finally, the third opinion of Shia jurists is that of absolute prohibition. According to this opinion both therapeutic and reproductive cloning would be impermissible. The reasons that are given for this opinion are jurisprudential, disregarding the theological opinions presented by Sunni scholars.