Is Genetically Modified Food Permissible?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Is genetically modified food halal?
Answer: assalamu `alaykum
A number of major scholarly bodies have deemed genetically modified foods as permissible provided that they do not not cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment. These include the Majma` al-Fiqh al-Islami and the Islamic Fiqh Academy of India. The Dar al-Ifta’ of Nadwa al-`Ulama’ has also deemed it permissible.
Discussions relating to the potential benefits and harms of genetically modified foods have been plentiful. The legal opinions that have discussed the permissibility of genetically modified foods seldom discuss in detail how harm is to be calculated and what levels and extent would potentially make such foods impermissible since such determinations are admittedly difficult, require protracted periods of observation, and must account for numerous factors. Nonetheless, we have been commanded to consume food that is not merely permissible but also “wholesome” (tayyib), and therefore the discussion on genetically modified food is not merely one of permissibility but requires more serious and meaningful ethical discussion on how we as a community envisage wholesome lifestyles and practices.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.