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Deoband seminary approves consumption of cloned meat and food

By Ayub Khan, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)

The recent announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that meat and dairy products from cloned animals is safe to eat has sparked intense concern among religious communities with strict dietary codes. Muslims are genuinely concerned about the implications of the FDA’s ruling, which means that cloned food might be available in the market as soon as next year.

The influential Darul Uloom Deoband seminary in India has declared that the consumption of meat and milk from cloned animals is permissible as per the dictates of Islamic law. The edict, issued by Mufti Habibur Rahman and certified by Mufti Muhammad Zafeeruddin and Mufti Mehmoodul Hasan, says that the lineage of animals is determined through their mother.

“If a calf is born from a cow and looks, eats, and makes sounds like a cow then the ruling regarding cows will be applied to it. Drinking its milk and eating its meat is correct (permissible), according to Shari’ah,” says the fatwa.

Other Muslim scholars contacted by this writer have refused to give a ruling, saying that they will with hold their decision until the full implications of cloned food products are studied.

The Deoband fatwa is in line with the decision reached by a majority of the 125 scholars at the 1997 meeting of the Islamic Fiqh Academy held in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. While arguing against human cloning, they had declared that cloning is permissible in the case of plants as well as animals.

The 1997 meeting had also concluded that cloning does not question Islamic beliefs in any way. They had declared that cloning is similar to sowing a seed in the ground. Just as the person sowing the seed is not the creator of the resulting plant, so the cloning technician is not the creator of the resulting animal. Allah alone is the Creator and all creation takes place solely through His Will.


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