Date : 15-04-2013

Question :

What is the ruling on using placenta of human's embryo in medical and cosmetics industries whereas some of those products applied internally, externally and orally?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all of his family and companions.

In principle, using the placenta of human's embryo in manufacturing medical and cosmetics products is impermissible since it is part of an honored creature, for Allah, The Exalted honored human and said (What means):" Verily we have honored the Children of Adam." [Al-Israa'/70].

However, using human placenta is permissible for medical purposes in case of necessity so long as no substitute was available. In this regard, Al-Khateeb Ash-Shrbini said:" In case of necessity and in order to survive, a person is permitted to eat from a dead human if he couldn't find animal carcass instead, because the prohibition of violating a living person is greater than violating a dead one." [Mughni Al-Muhtaj vol.6 pp.160]. Besides, using medical products which contain human's placenta whether they were applied internally or externally is permissible in case of necessity, as stated by the the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Muslim World League in its thirteen session (5/8/1412AH) corresponding to (8/2/1992).

Therefore, transplanting cornea and the like is permissible in case of necessity as stated in the resolution No.(2) for (1404 AH) issued by the Board of Iftaa':" Undoubtedly, blindness, or losing sight is a damage that befalls a human being, and preventing it is a necessity, in Islamic law, that allows transplanting corneas of the deceased in the eyes of the living, and this goes in line with the agreed upon jurisprudential rulings such as: “ Necessity knows no prohibitions “, “ Necessity is assessed by its degree, and “The milder of two harms is permissible in case of necessity. “

Nevertheless, it is worth noting that making trade of placenta is prohibited even if it was used for medical purposes, because it is a human part and doing so is considered a degrade to humanity as well contradicted to the Divine will of honoring humans. In conclusion, a person should donate placenta to medical authorized parties who are accountable to oversee this matter so long as continuous control is observed in order to prevent any unlawful trade in this regard. And Allah knows best.