“First Things First”: Application of Islamic Principles of Priority in the Ethical Assessment of Genetically Modified Foods
- 469 Downloads
Advancement of modern agricultural biotechnology has brought various potential benefits to humankind, but at the same time ethical concerns regarding some applications such as genetically modified foods (GMF) have been raised among the public. Several questions are being posed; should they utilize such applications to improve quality of their life, or should they refrain in order to save themselves from any associated risk? What are the ethical principles that can be applied to assess these applications? By using GMF as a case study, this paper discusses possible answers to these questions from Islamic perspective. Such answers are based on the understanding of the Islamic concept of maslahah (benefit) and mafsadah (harm) as well as the Islamic principles of priority. There is no specific GMF that has been declared as unlawful by Muslim scholars thus far. Nevertheless, they generally state that any GMF that contains unlawful substance is prohibited in Islam. Such statement can be understood since Islam puts highest priority to preserve shari’ah (Islamic law) which prescribes the lawful and unlawful things in human life. Priorities have also been given to preserve human health and environment therefore any GMF that may inflict harm on both entities is also considered as unlawful.
KeywordsGenetically modified foods Islamic bioethics Ethical assessment Islamic principles of priority Maqasid al-shari’ah Maslahah
- al-Buti, M. S. R. (1986). Dawabit al-maslahah fi al-shari’ah al-Islamiyyah. Beirut: Muassasah al-Risalah.Google Scholar
- al-Faruqi, I. R. (1992). Al-Tawhid: Its implications for thought and life (2nd ed.). Herndon: International Institute of Islamic Thought.Google Scholar
- al-Ghazali, A. H. (1992). al-Mustasfa min ‘ilm al-usul. Al-Madinah al-Munawwarah: Hamzah bin Zuhair Hafiz.Google Scholar
- Ali, A. Y. (2007). The Holy Qur’an: Text and translation. Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Book Trust.Google Scholar
- al-Nawawi, Y. S. (1984). Syarh matan al-arbain al-Nawawiyyah fi al-ahadith al-sahihiyyah al-nabawiyyah. Damascus: Maktabah Dar al-Fath.Google Scholar
- al-Qaradawi, Y. (1980). al-Halal wa al-haram fi al-Islam (14th ed.). Cairo: Maktabah Wahbah.Google Scholar
- al-Qaradawi, Y. (1996). Fi fiqh al-awlawiyyat: Dirasah jadidah fi daui al-Qur’an wa al-Sunnah. Cairo: Maktabah Wahbah.Google Scholar
- al-Shatibi, I. M. (1999). al-Muwafaqat fi usul al-shari’ah. Beirut: Dar al-Ma’rifah.Google Scholar
- al-Sulami, I. A. S. (2010). Rules of the derivation of laws for reforming the people (Qawaid al-ahkam fi islah al-anam) (Mohd. Zain Abd. Rahman, Trans.). Kuala Lumpur: IBFIM.Google Scholar
- al-Zuhaili, W. (1986). Usul al-fiqh al-Islami. Damsyik: Dar al-Fikr.Google Scholar
- Ansari, M. I. (1994). Islamic perspectives on sustainable development. American Journal of Islamic Social Science, 11(3), 394–402.Google Scholar
- Awan, J. A. (1988). Islamic food laws-I: Philosophy of the prohibition of unlawful foods. Science and Technology in the Islamic World, 6(3), 151–165.Google Scholar
- Ba Kader, A. B. A., al-Sabbagh, A. L. T., al-Glenid, M. A., & Izzidien, M. Y. S. (1983). Islamic principles for the conservation of the natural environment. Switzerland: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.Google Scholar
- Bakar, O. (2007). Environmental wisdom for planet earth: The Islamic heritage. Kuala Lumpur: Center for Civilisational Dialogue, University of Malaya.Google Scholar
- Bouzenita, A. I. (2010). Islamic legal perspectives on genetically modified food. The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 27(1), 1–30.Google Scholar
- Codex Alimentarius Commission. (2004). Foods derived from biotechnology. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization.Google Scholar
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (2001). Ethical issues in food and agriculture. Rome: FAO. http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/003/X9601E/X9601E00.HTM. Accessed 14 Nov 2007.
- Glowska, L. (2003). Law and modern biotechnology: Selected issues of relevance to food and agriculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization. ftp://fao.org/docrep/fao/006/y4839E/y4839E00.pdf. Accessed 14 Mar 2011.
- Ibnu ‘Ashur, M. A. (2006). Treatise on maqasid al-shari’ah (M. E. El-Mesawi, Trans.). London: The International Institute of Islamic Thought & al-Maqasid Research Centre in the Philosophy of Islamic Law, al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation.Google Scholar
- Ibnu Manzur, M. M. (1968). Lisan al-Arab. Beirut: Dar al-Sadir.Google Scholar
- International Islamic Fiqh Academy. (1997). Qarar raqam 94 (10/2) bi sya’n al-istinsakh al-basyari. http://www.fiqhacademy.org.sa/qrarat/10-2.htm. Accessed 3 Mar 2009.
- International Islamic Fiqh Academy. (2009). Qarar raqam 185 (19/11) bi sya’n al-biah wa al-huffaz ‘alayha min manzur al-Islami. http://www.fiqhacademy.org.sa. Accessed 2 July 2011.
- Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(ISESCO). (n.d.). Strategy for the development of biotechnology in the Islamic world. ISESCO: Rabat. http://www.isesco.org.ma/english/strategy/documents/Biotechnology.pdf. Accessed 18 Sep 2008.
- Islamic Fiqh Academy (1998). Bi sya’ni istifadhah al-Muslimin min ‘ilm al-handasah al-wirathiyyah. http://www.themwl.org/Fatwa/default.aspx?d=1&cidi=143&l=AR&cid=12. Accessed 3 Mar 2009.
- James, C. (2011). ISAAA brief 43-2011: Executive summary. http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/43/executivesummary/default.asp. Accessed 16 Dec 2012.
- Majali, A. S., Ergin, M., & Zou’bi, M. R. (Eds.). (2004). Biotechnology and genetic engineering for development in the Islamic world. Amman: The Islamic Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
- Majma’ al-Lughah al-Arabiyyah li Idarah al-Amah li Mu’jamat wa ihya al-Turath. (1989). Mu’jam alfaz al-Qur’an al-Karim. Egypt: Majma’ al-Lughah al-Arabiyyah li Idarah al-Amah li Mu’jamat wa ihya al-Turath.Google Scholar
- Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp). (n.d.). Malaysian Biotechnology Country Report 2009/2010. Kuala Lumpur: BiotechCorp. http://www.biotechnologie.de/BIO/Redaktion/PDF/de/laenderfokus/malaysia-country-report,property=pdf,bereich=bio,sprache=de,rwb=true.pdf. Accessed 30 Mar 2011.
- Malboobi, M. T., & Malboobi, M. A. (2012). Halal concept and products derived from modern biotechnology. In S. M. S. Shaikh Mohd Salleh (Ed.), International workshop for Islamic scholars on agribiotechnology: Shariah compliance (pp. 21–28). Malaysia Biotechnology Information Center: Selangor, Malaysia; International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications: Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines.Google Scholar
- Murphy, D. J. (2007). Plant breeding and biotechnology: Societal context and the future of agriculture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Nasr, S. H. (2005). Islam, Muslims, and modern technology. Islam and Science, 3(2), 109–126.Google Scholar
- Parvaiz, M. A. (2003). Scientific innovation and al-Mīzān. In R. C. Foltz, F. M. Denny, & A. Baharuddin (Eds.), Islam and ecology: A bestowed trust (pp. 393–401). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Riaz, M. N., & Chaudry, M. M. (2004). Halal food production. Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
- Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. (2000). Cartagena Protocol on biosafety to the convention on biological diversity: Text and annexes. Montreal: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. http://www.cbd.int/doc/legal/cartagena-protocol-en.pdf. Accessed 15 Sep 2008.
- Tan, C. C. (2008). Food woes place renewed focus on biotechnology. New Sunday Times, 4 May 12–13.Google Scholar