Environmental Sustainability Through Genetically Modified Foods – An Islamic Ethical Perspective


Naeema Halim
Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
Nur Jannah Hassan
Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia


Genetically Modified (GM) Foods have created a strong divide between pro-GM scientists and food purists. This, followed by the regulations imposed on this technology, has prevented it from reaching the consumer acceptability level to the maximum. Lately, its proponents have been touting it as a practical solution in alleviating world hunger, while balancing the other SDGs related to food and environmental sustainability. Although the Qur’an does not explicitly mention “sustainability”, it is replete with verses that allude towards the concept. Since there exists no related example of GM Foods in the classical texts, the meanings of kulu and oyyib regarding ethical food production need to be explored further. This includes analysing their effects on the environment, considering the concepts of stewardship (khilafah) and balance (mizan). GM foods can be a viable solution to the "Feed the World” problem, but they should be analysed beyond the traditional binary lens of alal and aram. Muslims, while adopting such technologies, must not neglect their responsibility towards the holistic well-being of society and the environment.

August 22, 2023