The use of stem cells for research was allowed in Islam, but not for human cloning, said Dr. Israr Ahmed, an internationally recognized Pakistani religious scholar.
Dr. Israr is also the founder of Tanzeem-e-Islami Quran Academy.
He was speaking on the issue at a seminar organized by the Punjab University Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB) on "Ethical Issues Related to Work on Stem Cells".
Delivering a lecture on the origin of life, seen through the prism of Islam, Dr. Israr cited Quranic verses and Hadith interpretation to conclude that killing of an embryo before 120 days was regarded as 'makru', but after 120 days, it was considered as forbidden (haram) unless it was done to save the life of the mother.
University of South Asia Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr Muhammad Salim Akhter discussed development of potential life in utero and in vitro (test-tube) as a result of conception.
He described the life of stem cells up to day 120 after fertilization. He also explained the use of stem cells for implantation into the womb and the use of excess stem cells for research purpose, The Nation reported.
Member Council of Islamic Ideology Muneer Ahmad Mughal said that research on latest technologies was in line with the teachings of Islam and research on stem cells was legitimate and permissible.
Prof. Khairat M Ibn-e-Rasa concluded the workshop by saying that if we did not work on new and innovative concepts, we would lag behind the world.