supports science that is not harmful: expert

Publish Date: Tuesday,11 May, 2010, at 12:54 PM Doha Time

By Noimot Olayiwola

Dr Qaradaghi making a point at the forum

Shariah supports the use of stem cell therapy in preserving
human lives as anything in science that is not harmful to humans is welcome
and acceptable in Islam, an Islamic scholar observed yesterday.
Presenting an ‘Overview of Stem Cell Ethical and Regulatory Issues Based on
Islamic Values’ at the Qatar Foundation public forum on stem cells science
policy, Qatar University Jurisprudence department former head Dr Ali
Mohayuddin Qaradaghi maintained that Shariah does not oppose the use of stem
cells in humans as long as it is for peaceful and life-saving purposes.
“Shariah will oppose anything that could harm a human being and supports good
or positive causes, especially of curing chronic diseases that medicine can
not cure,” he explained.
Dr Qaradaghi said Shariah assumed the stance of keeping watch over stem cells
use as some sample could have limited number of tissues and could cause
disorders in the recipients, especially when the cells are being extracted
from a foetus.
“God creates the foetus that has the umbilical cord which can be used to cure
more than 70 diseases. But there has been controversy on the use of embryo
from invitro fertilisation. Shariah is against the use of embryonic stem
cells except in certain controlled cases,” he said, adding that it is not
allowed to abort a foetus for the purpose of extracting stem cells.
“There is also a controversy about the use of stem cells from an aborted
embryo but the Fikr Council allows the extraction of stem cells from
umbilical cord in both humans and animals, provided the process will not harm
them,” he maintained.
Dr Qaradaghi explained that Shariah also bases the use of gene therapy on
three regulations of how to introduce the therapy, its legality and the
end-results of the therapy.
“If the therapy is beneficial rather than harmful to humans, it is allowed
under Shariah,” he said, adding that human cloning was illegal and not
He listed a set of instructions on how to control the whole scientific
process, saying: “Scientists should take all scientific and technical
measures to avoid any genetic harm from the extraction, they should avoid
harmful results to humans and animals alike, slight harm can be allowed when
benefits are much more greater, and above all, science therapy should be done
in moderation to avoid hurting human beings.”