Is gene therapy acceptable in islam
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
As gene therapy is a contemporary issue the views of the scholars are based upon the general guidelines and principles of Shari`ah. A general ruling cannot be issued as there are different kinds of gene therapy as well as the reasons behind the therapy.
Allah records the words of Shaytan in the Holy Quran when he said “I will mislead them and I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah.” (Surah An-Nisaa: 119)
It is clear that gene therapy for cosmetic reasons, sex change as well as future bad effect on man’s offspring is not permissible. However in order to save human life in desperate situations, Daruriyyat (necessities), items or actions that were unlawful under normal circumstances become lawful in Islam.
Therefore, if a situation arises where gene therapy will help to protect from diseases, or alleviate the effects of diseases, provided that no greater harm will come about due to the therapy and the procedure and process is done in accordance with the objectives of the Shari`ah then it will be permissible. However each case and methods used will be judged on its own merits and should be discussed in detail with a knowledgeable scholar before a ruling is given.
And Allah knows best
Darul Ifta Birmingham