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Keywords:

  • biomedical ethics;
  • cloning;
  • fatwah (legal ruling of Muslim scholars);
  • Hadith (saying of the Prophet Muhammad);
  • Islamic Law;
  • ijtihad (study of Islamic principles to derive legal opinions from the law);
  • maslahah (consideration of public interest);
  • nutfah (zygote);
  • pursuit of knowledge;
  • Qur'an;
  • stem cell research;
  • Sunnah (supported statements and actions of the Prophet)

Abstract.

In Islam, the acquisition of knowledge is a form of worship. But human achievement must be exercised in conformity with God's will. Warnings against feelings of superiority often are coupled with the command to remain within the confines of God's laws and limits. Because of the fear of arrogance and disregard of the balance created by God, any new knowledge or discovery must be applied with careful consideration to maintaining balance in the creation. Knowledge must be applied to ascertain equity and justice for all of humanity. Research in Islam must be linked to the broad ethical base set forth in the Qur'an and the Sunnah. Whether embryonic stem cell research or cloning is ethically acceptable in Islam depends on the benefits derived from such applications. What is most important for the scholars is to adhere to the concepts of compassion, mercy, and benefit to everyone.