Summary of the interview with the Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah with Al-Raiy Al-A’am Daily on cloning .Shawwal 28 1423h- January 2 2003A.D.

We must let science direct its advantages in the best interest of human beings:

The common trend showing nowadays amongst all Muslims, Sunnites and Shiites, which keeps delivering accusations of unbelief emanates from a state of backwardness rather than a state of faith. And we uphold the thought, which confirms the mind that is opened to inspiration because we do believe in the mind as an inner messenger.The edicts of the Shiite religious authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, often represent an advanced conception in the way Islam approaches prevalent cases. Certainly, it would not be an exaggeration to say that most of his edicts give rise to rich and controversy debates and discussions at both jurisprudential and intellectual levels. Those edicts obtain the enthusiasm of the enlightened persons and are ‘lapidated’ by ‘the people of caves and caverns’ as he calls them, as an indication to their feeble-mindedness.The attitudes of this religious authority - whose knowledge in jurisprudence, whose stupendous culture, and whose sobriety in dealing with cases of philosophy, life and the challenges facing Islam are unquestionable and indisputable - appear to be unfamiliar sometimes such as his recent opinion regarding the subject of cloning.Sayyed Fadlullah considered cloning as a scientific event that does not defy the religious doctrine believing in God as the One and Only Creator. He, moreover, pointed out to the fact that “scientists have discovered the divine law in creating living beings; and all the discoveries and inventions of human beings could not make a law, they only arrived at the laws deposited in the universe, and the human being does not possess the secrets and principles to create the law.”In an interview with “Al-Ra’y Al-‘Aam” (The Public Opinion), his Eminence emphasized the idea that “science is God’s gift for human beings. The problem does not lie in science itself; it rather lies in misusing it” and that “breaking away with established customs [or procedures] does not represent a human disaster. Islam regards the mind as the basis of responsibility and the foundation of the sane thinking. Nonetheless, the problem is that some people still live in the caves of backwardness and the caverns of the past; they do not understand the ground principle of Islam and so they lapidate everything new, accusing it of disbelief, atheism and deviation.”Fadlullah, furthermore, clarified that he supports neither the universalization nor the undermining of the cloning phenomenon. After having explained the advantages and disadvantages of cloning, he said that “this phenomenon will remain within its scientific limits and will not be allowed to become widely spread. Consequently, no danger, originating from these experiments, is threatening humanity. And it ought to be said that Islamic legislation maintains that once evil vanquishes good in any subject, transgression prevails, and vice versa.”

The Shiite religious authority disagreed with the Vatican and Al-Azhar that saw cloning as an abuse of the human being and an offense to his dignity; he wondered “why don’t we consider taking an eye, a kidney or a heart from a human being and transplant it in another as an abuse of the human being’s organs?” On the contrary, Sayyed Fadlullah said that if cloning turned out to be a solution or a remedy for some of the human being’s problems, it would then redound to the benefit of preserving his dignity. He, then, called people to consult sociologists, psychologists and jurists rather than jurisprudents in order to identify the positive as well as the negative consequences of cloning. His Eminence explained further that “cloning does not cancel the individual human evolution in what the human being’s thinking can move towards new directions and emotions; and in consequence, there is no need to clone a new Hitler or a new Nero, etc… because the natural way of reproduction and the objective circumstances will make for us, in one way or another, examples [and examples] of them.