Question 3: Do cloned beings not have spirits?
Submitted by on Mon, 14/09/2020 - 15:14
Dear Brother / Sister,
Some people say that the DNA of Dolly, the first cloned sheep, is the same as the DNA of her mother, that they act similarly and hence they have a single spirit. How true is it?
Answer: Animals and human beings among living beings have spirits. The most mature spirit is in humans and it has consciousness. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi defines spirit as follows:
“Spirit, which has been clothed in a living, conscious, luminous external existence, is a comprehensive and veracious commanding law disposed to acquiring universality”.1
“Consider the laws that govern in species, which to a degree resemble the spirit, and since they both issue from the World of the Divine Command and Will, with regard to their source, are to a degree appropriate for the spirit, and only lack a perceptible existence. Study them and it will be seen that if those commanding laws were clothed in external existence, each of them would become the spirit of the species. And the laws are always permanent; they are always perpetual and constant. No change or transformation affects the laws’ unity, or spoils them. For example, should a fig-tree die and be dispersed, the law of its formation, which is like its spirit, will continue in its tiny seeds; it will not die.
And so, since even the most commonplace and weak commanding laws are thus connected to permanence and continuance, the human spirit must be connected not only with permanence and immortality, but with all eternity. For according to the Qur’an’s glorious decree of: “Say: The Spirit (comes) by command of my Sustainer”2spirit too is a conscious and living law which has come from the World of the Divine Command, and which Pre-Eternal power has clothed with external existence”.3
“It has been established through certain conjecture, indeed, through observation, that the body subsists though the spirit; in which case, the spirit does not subsist through the body. Rather, since the spirit subsists and is dominant of itself, the body may be dispersed and gathered together again as it wishes; it will not infringe the spirit’s independence.
In fact, the body is the spirit’s house, it is its home; it is not its clothes. What clothes the spirit is a subtle, fine sheath, something which may be likened to a body, which is to some extent constant, and is ethereal and appropriate for the spirit. At the time of death, then, the spirit is not completely naked, it leaves its home dressed in its body-like sheath”.4
It means spirit is a commanding law that has life and consciousness and that has a luminous external existence. Attention is attracted to the fact that when some commanding laws like spirit coming from the realm of command and will were clothed in external existence, they would resemble a kind of spirit or they would be like those laws if their external existence were removed. They are commands like the law of gravity, the law of growth and the laws of development and differentiation, which function in the realm. Instead of spirit, those laws are dominant in plant life.
The body is like the home of the spirit. Therefore, the spirit is not attached to the body. It can leave that home at any time. However, the body stands with the spirit. When the spirit leaves, the body is scattered. The spirit that leaves the body does not become naked; it wears a luminous sheath suitable for the body.
Let us go back to the question above after this explanation; the spirit of each living being is separate and unique. Identical twins sometimes act similarly related to some issues. However, each one’s spirit is separate. It is an expression of ignorance to say that the lamb coming from the sheep has the same spirit as the sheep.
The only biological difference between a normal lamb and a cloned lamb is that instead of chromosomes from the father, there are chromosomes coming from the father in the mother’s cell. Besides, even if the whole genetic structure is exactly the same between two living beings, their spirits are separate. The spirits of two living beings can never be the same. It is nonsense to accept the spirits of two different living beings as the same. It has nothing to do with science and logical thought.
1.Nursi, B. S. Sözler. Türkiye DiyanetVakfı Yayınları-600. Ankara, 3rd impression, p. 643.
3.Nursi, B. S. Sözler. p. 644.
4.Nursi, B. S. Sözler. p. 642.
Questions on Islam
- How do materialists see body and spirit?
- Fourth Source: The constancy of laws despite the constant change in living beings; the immortality of the spirit as a law which is stronger than natural laws.
- First Source: The independence of the spirit from the body.
- Introduction: The proofs about the issues that the human spirit was created for immortality and that the spirits of the dead are not annihilated but preserved.
- Do animals and plants have spirits?
- Third Source: The existence and immortality of the spirit as a law and truth.
- Question 51: How does a person’s hitting his head somewhere affect the spirit, which is a being independent of the body? This question made philosophers think a lot in the previous centuries.
- What is spirit (rooh)? Can spirit's essence be comprehended? Is spirit merely brain? What is the relationship between spirit and body?
- Do animals and plants have spirits?
- What is the difference between test-tube baby and human cloning? If human cloning is possible then can the absence of the sprit be true as it is claimed? If everything has a record in DNA, then can man reach immortality by cloning himself?