Subject : Islamic Ruling on Organ Donation
Fatwa Number : 3895
Date : 04-07-2024
Classified : Current Issues
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

We are considering taking an initiative that aims to raise awareness about organ donation. What is the ruling of Sharia regarding someone bequeathing the donation of all his/her organs after death?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Allah has commanded cooperation in righteousness and piety, as He Says (What means): "And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression." [Al-Ma'idah/2] This means helping one another in acts of goodness and piety. Righteousness (Al-birr) and piety (At-taqwa) are synonymous terms, repeated with different wording for emphasis and amplification, as every act of righteousness is an act of piety, and every act of piety is an act of righteousness.

Al-Mawardi (May Allah be pleased with him) said: "Allah has recommended cooperation in righteousness and linked it with piety, saying: "And cooperate in righteousness and piety" [Al-Ma'idah/2]. This is because in piety there is the pleasure of Allah, and in righteousness there is the pleasure of people. Whoever combines between the pleasure of Allah and the pleasure of people, their happiness is complete and their blessings are widespread." [Adab al-Dunya Wa Al-Din, Vol. 1/P.183]

Under Islamic Law, it is permissible for a person to donate his or her, organs after death, to prevent harm to another person. This falls under the agreed-upon principles such as "necessities permit the prohibited" and "necessity is evaluated according to its extent". Muslims thus collaborate like a single body, as there is no greater righteousness than preserving the life of a fellow Muslim. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy are like one body; when any part of it suffers, the whole body responds with sleeplessness and fever." [Agreed upon].

In addition, among the acts of righteousness is to strive to alleviate the severe distress of one's brother. Is there any distress more severe than losing sight, kidney failure, or liver malfunction? The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever relieves a Muslim of a burden from the burdens of this world, Allah will relieve him of a burden from the burdens of the Hereafter. Whoever eases the way for one who is in difficulty, Allah will make things easy for him in this world and in the Hereafter. And whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will conceal (his faults) in this world and the Hereafter. Allah helps the servant as long as the servant helps his brother." [Abu Dawood].

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) referred to the greatest of distresses as the loss of one's "beloved ones" (eyes). By "beloved ones," he meant the most cherished parts of the body because they are the most beloved to a person due to the sorrow caused by losing the ability to see what they wish to see, whether it is something good that brings joy or something bad that they wish to avoid.

Therefore, whoever bequeaths their organs to be donated after their death to serve needy patients ends their life with a noble act from which they will benefit in the Hereafter. They will receive the reward for relieving the distress of a patient by having one of their own distresses relieved in the Hereafter. The distress of the Hereafter is far greater than the distress of this world. Nowadays, medical science has advanced significantly, and we, in Jordan, are proud of our doctors who have successfully performed corneal transplants, skin grafts, and other organ transplants. May Allah reward them with the best of rewards.

It is well known that a patient’s need for these organs or a blind person’s need for sight is greater than a poor person’s need for money. It has been established in authentic hadiths that Allah admitted a man to Paradise because he gave water to a dog that was eating soil out of thirst. Indeed, there is a reward for serving any animate (living creature). Therefore, showing kindness to a human is even more deserving.

Regarding this matter, the General Iftaa Department has issued several fatwas permitting organ donation, such as the ruling on donating the cornea of the eye (Resolution No. (2) /dated 11/4/1984), the ruling on donating a part of the liver (Resolution No. (166) /dated/ 28/7/2011), and the permissibility of organ donation (Fatwa No. (865) /dated 25/7/2010). These can be referred to for further details.

The transfer of organs from one person to another, such as transplanting corneas from deceased individuals to the living, or transferring a liver or kidney to a sick person with the intention of benefiting them, is considered permissible treatment. However, Islamic law has set specific conditions for such transplants, which are:

Firstly: Conditions for Transferring Corneas from Deceased to Living Individuals:

1. Confirmation of the donor's death.

2. The donation should not result in disfigurement of the donor`s body.

3. Physicians should think that there is high likelihood for the success of the transplant procedure.

4. The deceased should have either left a will to donate their corneas or the heirs should consent to it. This act is considered a righteous deed that continues to earn the deceased rewards after their death, and the heirs should fulfill the deceased's will without any monetary compensation.

Secondly: Conditions for Transferring Liver, Kidney, or Any Other Organ from Living to Living Individuals:

1. The donor must be of full legal capacity.

2. The removal of this part of the liver, kidney, or any other organ should not harm the donor's normal life, adhering to the Islamic principle: "Harm should not be removed by causing similar harm."

3. The transplant should be the only viable medical option for treating the patient.

4. There should be a high likelihood of success for both the extraction and the transplant procedures.

5. The donation must be made without any monetary compensation. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.





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