Is Organ Donation Haram in Islam After Death?

Shah Muhammad Suhail

Is Organ Donation Haram in Islam After Death

The value of human life is immeasurable, and each organ of the human body is a special gift from Allah. In modern times, with the advancement of medical technology, the need for organ transplantation has become increasingly important. This raises many questions about the permissibility of organ donation and sale in Islam. According to Islamic Shariah, the sale of human organs is strictly prohibited. In this post, we will discuss in detail why the sale of human organs is haram and under what conditions organ donation may be permissible. We will analyze this issue in the light of the Quran and Hadith to provide a clear understanding for everyone.

Is Organ Donation Haram in Islam?

Selling human organs is not permissible under any circumstances in Islam. This applies to both living and deceased individuals. The reasons for this prohibition are as follows:

1. Human Organs Belong to Allah

Human organs are not possessions that belong to people. Every part of the human body is owned by Allah. Regarding the sale of something not owned by an individual, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“لا تبع ما ليس عندك”

‘Do not sell what you do not possess.’ (Jami’ at-Tirmidhi: 1233)

Based on this, all scholars agree that if a person sells something he does not own, the sale is invalid. Therefore, a person cannot sell their organs while alive. Similarly, heirs do not own the body of a deceased person and cannot sell its organs.

2. The Dignity of Human Beings

Human beings and their organs are dignified entities. Selling them would violate this dignity. Allah says:

“وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُمْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَىٰ كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًا”

‘And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.’ (Surah Al-Isra: 70)

3. Prohibition of Mutilation

The fundamental rule concerning the human body is that it should not be mutilated, whether alive or dead. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“كسر عظم الميت ككسره حيا”

‘Breaking the bone of a dead person is like breaking it when he is alive.’ (Sunan Abu Dawood: 3207)

4. Economic Exploitation

If selling organs were permitted, many people might sell their valuable organs during financial crises, leading to gradual self-destruction. Allah says:

“وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ”

‘And do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction.’
(Surah Al-Baqarah: 195)

Is Organ Donation Haram in Islam?

Regarding organ donation, there is a difference of opinion among scholars. Some contemporary scholars allow organ donation under certain conditions. The acceptable view is that organ donation is permissible with specific stipulations. The conditions are as follows:

Donation by a Healthy Person

If a healthy person donates an organ, it must be an organ whose donation will not harm the donor. If the donation of an organ may harm the donor, it is not permissible. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“لَا ضَرَرَ وَلَا ضِرَارَ”

‘There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.’ (Ibn Majah: 2340)

Donation by a Deceased Person

If a deceased person’s organ is donated, it must be with the deceased’s prior consent or the consent of their heirs. The deceased has guardianship over their body during life, and after death, their heirs are responsible for safeguarding the body.

Donation by a Terminally Ill Person

If an organ is donated by someone suffering from a terminal illness or whose death is certain, the illness and certainty of death must be confirmed by reputable and truthful doctors. Additionally, it must be ensured that the donation does not impede the person’s ability to perform worship or other normal activities during the remaining days of their life.

Organ Donation in Islam Hadith

Although organ donation involves cutting and incisions, which are generally prohibited, the greater harm would be the loss of life due to the absence of the necessary organ. Islamic principles allow for choosing the lesser harm to prevent a greater one. Additionally, there is virtue in helping others and aiding those in distress.

وبالله التوفيق، وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وآله وصحبه وسلم.

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