A 1997 conference was organized in Casablanca by The
Islamic Fiqh Council.
A consensus was reached “that
cloning does not bring into question any Islamic belief in any way.
Allah is the Creator of the universe but He has established the system
of cause-and-effect in this world. Sowing a seed in the ground is the
cause but only Allah produces the effect from it in the form of a
plant. Similarly cloning is a cause and only through Allah’s Will it
can produce the effect. Just as the person sowing the seed is not the
creator of the resulting plant, so the cloning technician is not the
creator of the resulting animal. Allah alone is the Creator and all
creation takes place solely through His Will.
” Most attendees
concluded that cloning is permissible for plants and animals, but not
humans. “The extension of cloning to
human beings would create extremely complex and intractable social and
moral problems.

In case you didn’t know, man created an “artificial” bacteria. All that means is that they manually created a DNA strand from scratch, put it into a shell of another bacteria, and the thing worked. It lived, and it had the traits the geneticists wanted it to have.

The reaction has been pretty close to that of Dolly the Sheep, the first cloned mammal. “Man’s playing God” etc.

But I really appreciate the muslim teaching above, which was adopted shortly after Dolly. It’s about cloning but I think it really applies to this idea of “artificial life” as well.

If you believe that all life and all creation comes from God, then no matter how that creation takes place, it’s still from God. I think it’s a pretty sophisticated look at the question, and it rings true for me.