Singapore Muslims will be allowed to eat lab-grown meat if it’s from halal animal cells,

SINGAPORE: It will soon be permissible, or halal, for Muslims to consume lab-cultivated meat if the cells are from animals that are also halal, and the final ingredients do not contain any non-halal components.

Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, the Mufti of Singapore, said that this decision is an example of how fatwa research has to evolve with modern technology and social change.

He was giving a speech on Friday (Feb 2) to launch a two-day conference on fatwa in contemporary societies.

In Islam, fatwas are religious rulings to guide the Muslim community on the various aspects of religious life and are formal interpretations of Islamic law by a qualified religious scholar known as a mufti.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, told reporters on the sidelines of the conference that the issue of lab-cultivated meat had been studied by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) since 2022, and that the fatwa for this decision by Muis will be issued “soon”. 

“We can be one of the first countries in the world to actually lead in this field, not only producing cultivated meat, but in also ensuring it is halal for Muslims to consume,” he added. 

More details about this decision will be unveiled during the final day of the conference on Saturday.

Both Dr Nazirudin and Mr Masagos were at the event held at the Parkroyal on Beach Road hotel, which was attended by about 400 guests comprising international religious leaders, ambassadors, as well as religious and community leaders here.  Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat was also present.

In his speech to launch the conference, Dr Nazirudin said that the religious authorities should allow for adjustments to its rulings as technological developments and social changes take place.

“We could certainly work towards an Islam that seeks to preserve and protect all human life, and secure all forms of well-being, instead of holding an exclusivist view that limits who and what we work with,” Singapore’s top Islamic leader said.

One such development is that of alternative food sources. Singapore is the first country in the world to approve the sale of lab-grown meat.  

Dr Nazirudin said that while there are those who argue that there is no need for such food sources and that the Muslim community should continue to enjoy “real” food such as real meat, the Fatwa Committee of Muis had carefully considered whether lab-cultivated meat is permissible for consumption by Muslims. 

Previously, there was no Islamic ruling on whether lab-cultivated meat may be consumed by Muslims here. 

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