What is the
Islamic opinion on the use of animals for medical research?
The Islamic Party of
Britain Question and Answer Forum is not intended to give Fatwahs on
questions of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence). When deciding on the
permissibility of an action, all the individual circumstances need
to be taken into account. The general principles which apply are,
however, the trusteeship of man over nature with the responsibility
of maintaining the natural balance. Animals do not have the same
rights as humans just as they do not have the same duties. In this
respect animal rights campaigners are misguided. Animals may be
utilised by man for work, and to provide food and other benefits. It
is, however, not permitted to inflict any unnecessary suffering on
other creatures. Necessary here means that it serves to avert a
greater harm or produces significant benefits. This means for
medical research that if animal testing saves human lives, it may be
permitted, provided sufficient care is taken of the animals'
welfare. It would, however, not be permitted for irrelevant or
frivolous reasons. Testing of cosmetic products would probably fall
under that category if it causes harm or discomfort to the animals.
Wherever the desired results can be obtained by other means, animal
testing should not be used simply for economic reasons or