Psychological and Societal Impacts of Unknown Descent and The Islamic Objective of Nasab. A Preliminary Study of Chosen Biomedical Technologies

Anke Iman Bouzenita*, Feryad A. Hussain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is a preliminary study on the expected implications of some chosen biomedical developments on the loss of descent (nasab), its psychological effects on children and parents, and sociological effects generally. In the first part, this paper elaborates the meaning and importance of nasab (descent) in Islamic law, under consideration of the Higher Objectives of Shari’a, and explanation of some related legal rules. The second part investigates psychological impacts of unknown descent and reviews existing research in the field. The third and final part, presents five chosen scenarios i) human cloning through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT); ii) surrogate motherhood; iii) IVF with sperm or egg donors; iv) anonymous milk banks; and v) mitochondria (mt) transplantation; in the light of the Islamic objective of nasab, its existence or non-existence, and possible consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-186
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Medical Journal Malaysia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • biomedical technologies
  • descent
  • Islamic bioethics
  • maqāṣid al-sharīca
  • nasab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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