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Enhancement Technologies and the Person: An Islamic View

Posted: 5 Apr 2008 Last revised: 18 Apr 2013

Shahid Athar

Indiana University School of Medicine; Islamic Medical Association of North America


Physically and intellectually, man is not the same as a million years ago. This improvement in humans has occurred over a period of time and not as a result of any outside biotechnical intervention. So, the question is what is the need now? The fine line between what can be done technically and what should be done morally is the reason for biomedical ethics. What is the nature of man, and what is his relationship with his creator and his environment? Whose interest (man, God, and environment) are we as scientists and physicians to guard? What are the rights of the unborn, and who protects those rights? While seeking medical treatment for infertility and reconstructive surgery for a malformation or genetic manipulation for a genetic disease might perhaps be appropriate and recommended, is it also appropriate to create a super healthy, super human with genetic manipulation? If so, then are we embarking on the path of ethnic cleansing of humans of lesser ability, and is it appropriate to discriminate? In this paper, such questions and concerns are discussed from an Islamic perspective.

Keywords: Human Genetics, Stem Cell research, Islamic medical ethics, Cloning

Suggested Citation

Athar, Shahid, Enhancement Technologies and the Person: An Islamic View. Islamic Law and Law of the Muslim World Paper No. 08-20. Available at SSRN:

Shahid Athar (Contact Author)

Indiana University School of Medicine ( email )

107 S Indiana Ave
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Islamic Medical Association of North America

101 W. 22nd Street, Suite 106
Lombard, IL 60148
United States

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