Fatima Agha Al-Hayan
Insan (person human); insaniyyah (humanism, humanity humaneness); genetic modification (GM); genetically modified foods (GMF); genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Technology pertaining to genetically modified foods has created an abundance of food and various methods to protect new products and enhance productivity. However, many scientists, economists, and humanitarians have been critical of the application of these discoveries. They are apprehensive about a profit-driven mentality that, to them, seems to propel the innovators rather than a poverty-elimination mentality that should be behind such innovations. The objectives should be to afford the most benefit to those in need and to prevent hunger around the world. Another major concern is the safety of genetically modified food. Muslims, as well as those in other religious communities, have been reactive rather than proactive. Muslims must connect scientific knowledge and ethical behavior based on faith. In Islam, there is no divide between the two. God has commanded us to seek knowledge and make discoveries to better our lives and our environment. We are trustees of this world and everything in it. The poor, the sick, and the wayfarers have a right to be fed and cared for. God reminds Muslims continuously that the earth and all the heavens belong to God; therefore, no one should feel hunger, no one should suffer or be prevented from sharing this bounty.
(2007) 42(1) Zygon(r), 153-162