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Contemporary Issues Part 2: Genetically Modified Organisms / GM foods

December 15, 2013 by TheCodeGuru. 1 comments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the Name of Allah most Gracious most Merciful

We live in a period of time where GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) / GM food is a widespread thing in this world. We won’t even know whether food we ate for lunch contained a GMO or not. When it comes to Islamic ruling on these GMOs there are different point of view between ulamas, thus it falls in our hands to chose the best to our knowledge, may Allah guide us.

Most people don’t understand what GMOs are, according to Wikipedia

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods, and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food. The term GMO is very close to the technical legal term, ‘living modified organism’ defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which regulates international trade in living GMOs (specifically, “any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology”).

It is assumed that almost 70% of the food that are consumed in US alone contain GMOs or  simply speaking, made by some scientists inside a lab. At the same time science says GMO Foods are one of the best the solutions to end the World Hunger by pointing out, You can

  1. Create food that last longer than it does in its normal way.
  2. Add extra nutrition that are a must needed to people, like you can add more vitamins to a regular food.
  3. Grow crops in an environment where it wont grow normally, so this would help increase the harvesting amount.

What does Islam says about GM foods?

Well, initially there were and are voices against GMOs pointing the some ayahs from Al-Quran such as,

الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا ” He to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and who has not taken a son and has not had a partner in dominion and has created each thing and determined it with [precise] determination. ” (Holy Qur’an, 25:2)


إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ “Indeed, all things We created with predestination.”  (Holy Qur’an, 54:49)


الَّذِي أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ ۖ وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ الْإِنسَانِ مِن طِينٍ “Who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay.”  (Holy Qur’an, 32:7)  

However, at a seminar happened in Kuwait in October 1998 on Genetics and Genetic Engineering” a group of Muslim intellectuals concluded that,

Although there are fears about the possibility of the harmful effects of GM food technology and GM food products on human beings and the environment, there are no laws within Islam which stop the genetic modification of food crops and animals.

Ibrahim Syed, an Islamic cleric and the President of the Islamic Research Foundation International has written that,

The Quranic verse forbidding man from defacing God’s creation “cannot be invoked as a total and radical ban on genetic engineering. If carried too far, it would conflict with many forms of curative surgery that also entail some change in God’s creation”

Likewise there are much more supportive arguments have been put on the table by ulamas.

It is true that there are some side effects or bad reactions on GMOs, which pushes us to do a much wider watch on the GM foods we consume. As per the news around us, we better have a little knowledge to be aware of the bad GM foods.

But yet since Islam did not say anything directly or indirectly not to consume or make a GMO, it is okay to have them as far as they are healthy and do not contain prohibited foods by Islam such as Pork .


If you have any questions in regards to this subject, please ask them here.

سبحان رب العزة عما يصفون، و سلام على المرسلين و الحمد لله رب العالمين

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