Islamic Perspectives on Cloning


14 Feb 2014


Yasir Qadhi

In this brief clip from an undated question and answer session, Yasir Qadhi answers a question about cloning from the perspective of Islam.  He notes that “science explains how and not why.”  He says that while “we have learned to Xerox photocopies of species”, we have not learned to create from scratch, because “only Allah can”. He states that “there is no inherent power in anything except Allah”, so “we can only take the creation of Allah and add things.”

This copy of the video was uploaded by Why Islam?.  It includes labels encouraging subscribing to their video feed, as well as front and back bumpers promoting this proselytizing group.


The material on Islam is within the bounds of what Muslims have historically understood as acceptable.

Although some contemporary scientists would disagree that God/Allah is the only entity with creative power, it is true that cloning is currently only copying, sometimes with slight changes, the DNA from extant species.

There is insufficient historical material on which to base an evaluation.

About Yasir Qadhi

Born in 1975 to Pakistani parents in Houston, Texas, Yasir Qadhi is among the most influential and controversial Islamic scholars in the world. An incredibly smart young man, Qadhi graduated two years early from high school as valedictorian and went on to earn a Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston. While at the University of Houston, Qadhi became interested in pursuing Islamic studies and eventually studied at the Islamic University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia. There he earned a second Bachelors Degree in Hadith, and a Masters in Islamic Theology.  He then attended Yale University where he earned two more Masters degrees in Islamic Theology and Philosophy, respectively, and is expected to receive his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies in the near future.

Qadhi began his career in Islamic scholarship as studying through a Salafist lens, though his views have tempered over the years. In addition, on Christmas Day 2009, one of his former students from the Al Maghrib Institute (an Islamic Studies institute with locations around the world) was convicted of attempting to blow up a plane headed to Detroit by sewing a bomb into his underwear. More of Qadhi’s former students have also been convicted in terrorist activities. This led to Qadhi being investigated by the US government and he eventually emerged as a spokesperson for a nonmilitant portion of Salafi Islam.

As of 2015, Qadhi is still an instructor and Dean of Academic Affairs at the Al Maghrib Institute. He is also the Resident Scholar at the Memphis Islamic Center in Memphis, Tennessee in addition to lecturing as an Assistant Professor at Rhodes College, Tennessee. Qadhi is very active on social media with Facebook and Twitter pages amassing close to a million followers. His articles as Resident Religious Advisor to Muslim Matters, a popular Islamic blog, can be found on the website.

Selected Bibliography:

Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d.  Accessed 18 June 2015.

Elliott, Andrea. “Why Yasir Qadhi Wants to Talk About Jihad.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 19 Mar. 2011. Accessed 18 June 2015.

Qadhi, Yasir. “Dr. Yasir Qadhi.” Muslim Matters. N.p., n.d. Accessed 18 June 2015.

Qadhi, Yasir. Facebook. Facebook, n.d.

Qadhi, Yasir. Twitter. Twitter, n.d.

Rhodes College | Faculty & Staff.” Rhodes College | Faculty & Staff. Rhodes College, n.d. Accessed 18 June 2015.

Yasir Qadhi.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Accessed 18 June 2015.