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814 Would you be kind enough to comment as to whether Muslims are able to accept donor implants? I would like to be a possible donor in the event of my death but have been told this is forbidden.

It seems like our Muslim brothers and sisters are only too happy to accept donor implants, but are reluctant to donate themselves.

1- Is it permissible in Islam to give or donor any part of our body after our death to save others lives?

2- Is it allowed to give and receive blood in Islam?

3- What if the blood belongs to non Muslims? Some times hospitals are injected to save our life. After recovery did we need do any thing special to "clean" that blood?(ex reading Kalima etc..)

What is Islam's stance on Muslims donating their blood, or offering their organ(s) in the event of their death? Is accepting donor organs permissible?
The issue of donor transplants has led to an array of opinions throughout the Muslim world. In light of the widespread difference of opinions amongst the Scholars, it will be difficult to answer the Fatwa with conviction. Moreover, there is little guidance available on the issue from the classical Scholars. Hence a discussion outlining the parameters of the debate will be presented;

Many Scholars –including the majority originating from the Indian Sub-Continent- are vehemently against Muslims giving and taking donor transplants. This is because it violates the sanctity and respect of man. Allah (S.W.T) says in the Qur’an,

“And verily we have honoured the children of Adam” (al-Isra: 70).

These Scholars also cite the Hadith recorded by Imam Muslim, The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Allah’s curse is on a woman who wears false hair (of humans) or arranges it for others.’ (Sahih Muslim, no. 2122).

Imam Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) writes in the explanation of this Hadith: ‘If human hair is used, then it is unlawful by consensus, whether it’s the hair of a man or woman, because of the general narrations that prohibit this. And also, it is unlawful to take benefit from the hair and all other organs of a human body due to its sanctity. The hair of a human along with all his body parts must be buried.’

In times of compulsion and necessity, we are permitted to consume forbidden food, such as pork and wine. But many jurists assert that even in a life-threatening situation, a person could not consume human meat, due to its sanctity.

A human body is sacred even after his/her death. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Breaking the bone of a dead person is similar (in sin) to breaking the bone of a living person.’ (Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan Ibn Majah & Musnad Ahmad).

The great Hanafi jurist and Hadith Imam, Abu Ja’far al-Tahawi (Allah have mercy on him) writes in the explanation of this Hadith:

‘The Hadith shows that the bone of a dead person has the same sanctity and honour as the bone of living person.’

The Scholars add that the human body and parts are not in our ownership in that we may fiddle with them as we desire. It is a trust (amanah) that has been given to us by Allah Almighty. As such, it will be impermissible for one to sell, give or donate any organs of his body. Islam has forbidden suicide for the same reason.

Other scholars have compared donor transplants to ‘Muthla’, which means mutilation. This is strictly forbidden in Islam. We are not permitted to disfigure our body in any way.

Qatada (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to encourage giving in charity and prevent Muthla.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari)

In another Hadith, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Abstain from Muthla”. (Sahih Muslim).

This is also supported by the verse of the Qur’an, where Allah Allah Almighty mentions the words of Shaytan, when he said: “I will mislead them and I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah” (4: 119).

To deface the fair nature created by Allah, both physically and spiritually, is what the devil likes and orders to practice. However, there are many Scholars who allow the practice, but only when certain conditions are met.

They base the permissibility of the donor transplants on the famous Fiqh principle, ‘Necessity makes prohibition lawful’. In cases of need and necessity, impure, unlawful and Haram things become permissible. When a person’s life is in danger and he is in dire need for transplantation, he is in such a situation, thus the transplantation of organs will be permissible. This is rather like when a starving person has no other food except Haram food to eat; in such a situation, he is allowed to consume such food to stay alive.

According to Imam Shafi’i (Allah have mercy on him), it is permissible for a person dying out of hunger to consume the meat of another human.

However, even some Scholars maintain the dignity of the human body, even in the times of necessity. The classic Fiqh manual, Radd al-Muhtar, states,
‘The flesh of a human remains unlawful even in forceful situations.’ (Radd al-Muhtar, 5/215)

Likewise, Imam Ibn Nujaym (Allah have mercy on him) states: ‘It is impermissible for the one who is dying out of hunger to consume the food of another person who is also dying out of hunger; neither will be permissible to consume any part of the other person’s body.’

The advocates of donor transplants assert that there are certain cases in Shariah where the dignity of the human body is overlooked for another greater good. If a pregnant woman died and the child in her stomach is still alive, her stomach will be cut open in order to take the child out, for in there is saving the live of a human, thus the sanctity of a human body will be overlooked. In the same manner, a transplant harms the body, but it is done to save another person.

As for blood transfusion, modern Scholars are more relaxed in their attitude. Most allow the practice but only out of dire necessity. They maintain that that although blood is a component part of a human body yet the manner of its transfusion does not require any surgical procedures in the body, rather it is drawn and transfused by means of injection, thus it is akin to human milk that is extracted without any surgical procedures. All maintain however that blood should not be bought and sold like other commodities. This goes against the dignity of the human body.

(Answered by: Alims at Islamic Centre, Leicester, UK.)
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