Genetically Modified foods


Q: Are Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or ingredients or products containing GMO's Halaal?


At the outset our guiding principles must be based on the Shariah. At this stage the issue of Genetic Modification is highly nebulous and no definite decision can be given based on the sparse and indefinite nature of the facts available.

On the one hand, some would advocate that the process is in itself Haraam because of the Quranic prohibition of tampering with the creation of Allah:

"I shall mislead them, and I shall create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah, Whoever, forsaking Allah, takes Satan for a friend, hath of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest". [an-Nisa:119]

An issue then of the product itself being Haraam is separate from whether the process is permitted or not. On the other hand, grafting of one tree onto another was practiced and permitted during the lifetime of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.

It cannot be said with definite certainty at this stage in which of the two (if either) GM falls in. The next guiding principle would be whether GM is harmful or beneficial to mankind. Again, the pro and anti camps swear to the truth of their respective causes, but at present, the debate continues. None can thus say with certainty whether GM harms or benefits.

What is certain is that a great doubt exists in various aspects, such as the health implications, environmental impact, political agenda of the GM companies etc.

It is our hope that for the sake of the Ummah and mankind in general, Muslim scientists of repute and integrity could shed some independent light on this matter.