By Abass A. Abdul Azeez and Mojeed Ajibola Adeyinka.
Asaleye Central Mosque – the popular venue for the monthly Forum of Ash-Shumuliyah, was again on Sunday, January the 19th packed to capacity as the organization brought yet another exhibition of Islamic Scholarship to the heart of Oyo town.
The ground of the January 2020 edition had Professor Ibrahim Jamiu Otuyo (Department of Islamic Studies, Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, Kwara State) as the discussant on the topic, “Islam and Contemporary Issues – Surrogate Motherhood, Artificial Womb and Cloning”.
In consonance with the habitual practice of the organisation, the forum was organised in phases. While Professor Ibrahim gave scholarly exposition of the Islamic view on the topic in the second phase, Dr. Ishola Mujeeb opened the propitious event in the first phase by providing medical stances and explanation of the topic.
In his presentation, Dr. Mujeeb gave the medical explanation of Surrogate Motherhood artificial insemination and Cloning. “Surrogate Motherhood is a medical process in which a woman is made to carry the pregnancy of another woman, while artificial insemination involves the medical process by which seminal fluids are mixed outside the Womb in an artificial environment”, he enlightened.
“People practice Surrogate Motherhood for many reasons which may include, but not limited to, infertility of a partner or homosexuals that desire childbirth”, he further expounded. However, Dr. Mujeeb cleared the ambiguity associated with surrogacy and artificial insemination stating that they often goes hand-in-hand.
In addition, Dr. Mujeeb described Cloning as the creation of a new being from a pre-existing one such that the new being has an identical genetic make-up with the pre-existing one. “Cloning can be natural – as in the case of identical twins – or artificial through technological intervention”, he added.
On the flip side, Prof. Ibrahim enlightened his audience that human Cloning is evil and not allowed in Islam because Allah has created human being in the best form and the creation of Allah cannot be further improved by the activity of man. He then added that the cloning of plants and animals is allowed for the purpose of research and knowledge.
His well-informed exposition was inclusive of Islamic jurisprudence on the use of DNA test, stating that, “The use of DNA test is new but allowed in Islamic jurisprudence as it brings about easier method and up to 90% accuracy in the determination of genetic relationship”.
While providing explanation on artificial insemination and surrogacy, Prof. Ibrahim mentioned that it is only allowed between spouses and not with a third party – as doing surrogacy and AI between people that are not in a marital bond will only give rise to children born out of wedlock.
Also included in the forum was an interactive question and answer session where the discussants gave further information and enlightenment. Giving response to a question asked about the permissibility of selling body organs, Prof. Ibrahim said, “It is not permissible in Islam to sell body organs, rather, body organs can be donated on the condition that the donor will not face any health problem resulting from such donation.
Also addressing the gathering was the coordinator of Ash-Shumuliyah monthly Forum, Ustadh AbdulHakeem Adebayo. In his speech, he appreciated the turn out of audience and promised that Ash-Shumuliyah forum will not relent in bringing such experienced and seasoned Scholars for the benefit of her audience and towards the fulfilment of her mission. “The March 2020 edition is promised to be more enticing as Ash-Shumuliyah has partnered with Ansar-ud-Deen Youth Association, FOMWAN and other Islamic Organisations in Oyo to bring it to the limelight”, he added.
The January edition of Ash-Shumuliyah monthly Forum was elegantly decorated with an array of respected dignitaries such as – Professor Ibrahim Jamiu Otuyo; Dr. Adeniran (Senior Lecturer, EACOED, Oyo); Dr. Ishola Mujeeb (CMD, Favour Land Hospital); Ustadh AbdulMumin Abdulazeez (Proprietor, Al-Fathu Comprehensive College, Oyo); Sheykh Abdul Lateef Jumu’ah Ayodele, Sheykh Miftahudeen Oloyin, Sheykh Hassan Olowogbola and a host of others.