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The Web of Creation


It is sometimes implied that the only ethical consideration with regards to GM food for any religious group would be when a gene from an animal has been placed into a plant. For instance, if a pig gene has been inserted into a soybean, then this is likely to concern Muslims because pig is forbidden (haram), yet it should not concern Muslims if the gene is from a flower.

Although the transfer of a gene from a pig gene into a soybean should concern Muslims (as well as other groups and individuals), the argument that Muslims should not be concerned if a gene from a flower is inserted into a soybean is flawed. It only takes into account food at a superficial level. In itself, it fails to acknowledge the spiritual dimension to food, the more subtle physical biological aspects to food, and the wholeness of creation.

After all, creation functions as a whole; each life-form affected directly or indirectly by all other life-forms,

“By implementing technologies such as genetic modification which only consider bits or segments of creation and ignore the reality of its wholeness, we may be heading for serious problems in areas or bits which we have not considered or do not have control over.”

resulting in the maintenance of a beautifully dynamic equilibrium or balance (mizan). By implementing technologies such as genetic modification which only consider bits or segments of creation and ignore the reality of its wholeness, we invite the possibility of serious problems in areas or bits which we have not considered or do not have control over.

Making sudden changes to one bit will affect other bits, potentially causing instability on our planet and manifesting as unforeseen ecological problems and new diseases which could take years to become apparent.

By ignoring or being ignorant of this wholeness (such as by genetically manipulating life released into ecosystems), it is clear that we will be doing all of life a disservice including our own. On the other side of the same coin, when we respect this wholeness, work within it, and indeed nurture it, the wisdom of the wholeness will be there to support us. Surely that is a birthright of every individual and community.