Organ Transplant

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Q: What is the status of organ transplants in Islam? Will it be permissible to be a donor? Will it be permissible to receive an organ?

A: DONATING AND RECEIVING HUMAN ORGANS


A. Donating or receiving human organs is not permissible. Allah Ta'aala says in Surah Bani Israa'eel (chapter 17, verse 70): WE HAVE MOST CERTAINLY HONOURED THE CHILDREN OF ADAM… This honour entails even the respecting of human parts and organs. 

The Ulama rule that when any part of the human body is severed, it must be buried out of respect. 

In the book Siyar Kabeer of Imam Mohammed (Rahmatullaahi Alayh) it is stated that if a man is dying of hunger, he may eat carrion or pork, but he will not be allowed to consume the flesh of another human being even if that human being gives the dying person permission to do so. This answers the question of whether one may consent to the removal of organs. This is clearly not permissible. 

What one is not allowed to do personally, cannot be asked of others. The prohibition of donating organs applies even in respect of family and close relatives. 

It appears in one Hadeeth of Bukhaari that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) cursed the female who adds human hair to her natural hair for purposes of beauty and make-up. Among the various reasons for prohibition is that human hair is sacred and cannot be used for any purpose once it has been severed from the body.

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) once said: Breaking the bones of a dead person is like breaking his bones whilst alive. (Abu Dawood). This statement also proves that bodily organs are sacred, whether the person is dead or alive. 

Once Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) saw people running with a Janaazah, he prohibited them saying that such an action causes discomfort to the dead. This Hadeeth emphasises that a dead body must be treated with utmost care and reverence. When an organ is removed, the body is subjected to disrespect, which is forbidden.  

So, the underlining reason here is the sacredness of the human body. So much so, that every limb and portion must be placed under sand and not recycled and re-used. 
Hence donating organs or receiving organs is not allowed.

Since organ transplant is not permitted, the question of using non-Muslims' organs will not arise, since this too will fall under the prohibition. 

Allah Ta'aala knows best. 

Mufti Siraj Desai