Islam and Organ Donation

In Islam the Muslim Law (Shariah) Council UK issued a fatwa (religious opinion) on organ donation. The council resolved that”

  • the council support organ transplantation as a means of alleviating pain or saving life on the basis of the rules of the Shariah.
  • Muslims may carry donor cards.
  • The next of kin of a dead person, in the absence of a card or an expressed wish to donate their organs, may give permission to obrain organs from the body to save other people’s lives.

The fatwa is based on the Islamic principle of al-darura tubih al-mahzurat (necessities overrule prohibition). Normally, violating the human body, whether living or dead, is forbidden in Islan – but the Shariah believes this can be overruled when saving another person’s life.

However there are also a a significant number of Muslim scholars who believe that organ donation is not permissible and hold the view that this does not fall under the criteia of the Islamic principle of al-darurat tubih al-mahzurat (necessitites overrule prohibition) due to other overriding Islamic principles.

Both viewpoints take their evidence from the Qur’an and the Ahaadith and therefore individual Muslims should make a decision according to their understanding of the Shariah or seek advice from their local Iman or scholar.

The Muslim Law Council UK fatwa draws on one of the basic aims of the Muslim fiath: saving life.

“Whosoever saves the life of one person it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.”

Holy Qur’an, chapter 5:32

Religious views Information obtained from UK Transplant

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