‘Will cloned chickens be allowed in Islam?’: Premier cautions over new fatwa amidst climate change challenges

From left: Misnu, Asfia, Dr Zulkifli, Abang Johari, Kipli, Dr Abdul Rahman and Dr Juanda photographed during the Sarawak Fatwa Seminar held at Sarawak Islamic Complex, Kuching on June 25, 2024.

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, June 25: Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has cautioned over the issuance of a new fatwa (legal ruling based on Islamic law) amidst the emergence of new challenges posed by climate change.

Speaking during the Sarawak Fatwa Seminar held at Sarawak Islamic Complex here today, Abang Johari pointed out the possibility of food shortage, especially in poultry and meat, as the whole world experiences climate change.


“If tomorrow we don’t have enough livestock and we decide to clone them in order to produce enough food, what is the fatwa in eating the cloned products?

“For example, we have the scientific knowledge to clone chickens, but is it allowed in Islam?

“This is something that may or may not happen, but we must take precautions in the event that it does happen,” he said when addressing the audience.

Abang Johari further stressed that while the power to issue a fatwa falls under the State List, there must be a coordination between the fatwas issued by the state and the federal view to avoid contradiction.

“Thus, I believe that those who are empowered to evaluate and make decisions should consist of experts in the issues raised in the world today.

“There may be issues that have already been decided, but science and research are always changing. It seems that we have new issues where we must make the right decision in issuing the fatwa as our pillar to manage and develop our society,” he added.

He also cited the use of robotics in healthcare today, where robots are programmed to perform a variety of critical functions, such as assisting in surgery.

At the same time, he warned about the danger of having ‘instant mufti’ on social media that issue fake fatwas that could mislead Muslims.

“Additionally, we now have generative artificial intelligence (AI), which is able to produce the voice of a dead person and even produce a video depicting the dead person speaking in real-time.

“Therefore, we need to have a framework or a parameter for us to limit the issues that can bring harm to the society, apart from referring our science-based analysis to the teachings in Al-Quran,” he emphasised.

Also present were Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) Speaker Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar; Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) Senator Dr Zulkifli Hasan; Deputy Minister for Utility and Telecommunication (MUT) and Minister in charge of Islamic Affairs and Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi; Deputy Minister in Premier’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya; Sarawak Islamic Council (SIC) president Datu Misnu Taha; and Sarawak Mufti Datu Kipli Yassin. — DayakDaily