Germ-Inating Solutions or Gene-Rating Problems: An Islamic Perspective on Human Germline Gene Editing

  • Ismail LalaEmail author
Original Paper


Human germline gene editing (hGGE) poses many questions for the Muslim community. They range from the scientific: is there sufficient evidence that hGGE is better than existing technologies? To the ethical: is the lack of consent an insurmountable hurdle? What is the moral status of the embryo? What effect would hGGE have on societal inequalities? And, most crucially, can hGGE be interdicted on the basis of preventing its ineluctable use in eugenic programming? This paper confronts these issues from a religious perspective basing its judgements and reasoning on traditional sources of Islamic jurisprudence. It concludes that, except in very few instances that must be individual and case-specific, hGGE is not congruent with the tenets of Islam.


Islam Bioethics Human germline gene editing 



The author would like to express his gratitude for the support of the Centre of Islam and Medicine (CIM) where an earlier version of this paper was presented. A special mention must also be made of Arzoo Ahmed, the Director of CIM, who first suggested this topic.

Compliance with Ethical Standard

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarUniversity of OxfordBoltonUK

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