Organ Transplantion

The issue of organ transplantation has caused great debate among the great contemporary scholars, try academics and clinicians from around the globe.

Some scholars are of the view that organ transplantation is not permissible, and while, other scholars give its permission under certain conditions. To our knowledge no recognised Institution has given a general unconditional permission for the transplantation of organs.

We have to understand that this issue is contemporary and obviously it is impossible for us to find express rulings concerning it in the classical works. As such, the views of some scholars are based upon the general and broad guidelines of Shariah. Some of the classical works suggest that it is not permissible to derive benefit from a human body through transplants.

The rationale behind this is based on the assumption that the human body, dead or alive has great significance. It is to be honoured and the sanctity of life that is attached to it makes it unlawful to tamper with it.

In complete contrast to this rationale the established principles (qawa’id) of Islamic Jurisprudence puts forward a different perspective. This is based on the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah, which permit the use of unlawful things in cases of extreme need and necessity. In case of necessity, certain prohibitions are waived, as when the life of a person is threatened the prohibition of eating carrion or drinking wine is suspended.

Therefore, 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.

The following issues arise:

  1. The human body, whether dead or alive, has to be honoured and respected. Islam orders us to honour a human body therefore organ transplantation is not permitted.
  2. Procedures relating to organ transplantation would not be considered dishonouring a human body by reason of the fact that it is done in a respectful way in order to save a life. This explains why many regard donating organs as a good and charitable act.

MBCOL believe that this issue needs further and continued consideration. We pray and hope that through honest debate and guidance from all of our learned Ulamaa we may come to certainty on this issue.

Note: MBCOL recommends that individuals must clarify their personal position on matters pertaining to organ transplantation with their local Mosque.