Organ Donation in Islam: Haram or Noble Act of Compassion?

Syed Bukhari

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The Islamic Perspective on Organ Donation

Is Organ Donation Allowed in Islam?

Is It Haram To Be An Organ Donor In Islam? – The Islamic Perspective on Organ Donation -Organ donation is a noble deed that can save and enhance the quality of life for many people who suffer from organ failure or disease. It is a gesture of solidarity and compassion that reflects the universal values of humanity. 

All major faiths in the United States, including Islam, endorse organ donation as a morally acceptable practice. Islam is a religion that teaches kindness, mercy, and the sanctity of life. To donate a part of one’s body to help or heal another person is an act of charity and generosity. These values are in harmony with the spirit of Islam, which encourages Muslims to be benevolent and helpful to others.

Is It Haram To Be An Organ Donor In Islam?

What is the Islamic stance on organ donation and transplantation?

The Ethics of Organ Donation and Transplantation in Islam

  1. Organ donation can be a lifesaving act of charity. This makes it permitted and even rewarded in principle within Islam’s ethic of saving lives. However, boundaries safeguard core values.
  2. Living Donors: Donation cannot severely harm or disable the donor. Only renewable organs like kidneys are permissible to donate. Vital organs like the heart are prohibited. Vital organs like the heart cannot be donated while alive. This would hasten death, violating the principle of avoiding harm. Only non-vital organs may be considered if the risk is low.
  3. Deceased Donors:Unlike secular law, classical Islamic law does not accept brain death criteria. Only after the heart and lungs cease functioning can organ removal occur.
  4. Across All Cases:Informed consent without coercion is mandatory. Sale of organs is forbidden – dignity transcends market values. Donating reproductive organs is prohibited to protect lineage.
  5. Protecting Lineage:Donating reproductive organs like ovaries or testes is prohibited. This safeguards progeny and lineage, a core Islamic value.
  6. Parameters for Other Organs:Donation of any organ that would significantly harm or disable the living donor is disallowed. For deceased donors, vital organs may only be removed after definitive death, not brain death.

In general, living donation of non-vital paired organs like kidneys is permissible if low-risk. After death, tissues like corneas may be donated. Emerging procedures require further research.

Guiding principles are avoiding harm, informed consent, and protecting human dignity. Within this ethical framework, organ donation can fulfill Islam’s 

Can Muslims Donate Organs?

Yes, Muslims can donate organs and it is not haram to be an organ donor. According to the Fiqh Council of North America, organ donation is a noble deed that can save and enhance the quality of life for many people who suffer from organ failure or disease1. It is a gesture of solidarity and compassion that reflects the universal values of humanity and Islam1.

However, organ donation is subject to certain conditions, such as the prohibition of selling one’s organs, the prohibition of harming the donor or the recipient, the consent and authorization of the donor, and the respect for the dignity of the human body1. Organ transplantation, in general, is also deemed licit by the Fiqh Council of North America. You can read more about their fatwa and the Islamic perspective on organ donation and transplantation on their website1.

Understanding Islamic Rulings on Organ Donation

Organ donation is a complex issue that requires Muslims to be well-informed about the Islamic rulings on it. It helps them to avoid confusion and to make decisions that are consistent with their faith. Islam is a religion that provides guidance on all aspects of life, including organ donation. By studying the Islamic laws on this matter, Muslims can understand the benefits and the conditions of organ donation, and how it relates to their religious values.

Islamic Rulings on Organ Donation

The Islamic Stance on Organ Donation -Is It Haram To Be An Organ Donor In Islam?

  • Organ donation is a complex issue that requires Muslims to be well-informed about the Islamic rulings on it. These rulings are issued by various fatwas from different countries, which reflect the diverse opinions and practices of Muslims around the world. The fatwas take into account the cultural, textual, and regional factors that affect how Muslims perceive organ donation.
  • Muslims seek guidance from Islamic groups and scholars who help them understand and decide about organ donation, based on both religious and ethical principles. Organ donation is a noble act that can save and improve the lives of many people who need transplants. It is also a way for Muslim communities to support organ donation and to foster dialogue and cooperation with other faiths on medical ethics.
  • As the field of medicine and ethics evolves and Islamic scholars continue to debate, the views on organ donation in Islam are not static but dynamic. However, it is generally agreed that organ donation is permissible in Islam.

Permissibility of Organ Donations in Islam

The preservation of human life is a sacred duty in Islam, along with the acts of kindness and generosity. These principles guide the ethical judgment of organ donation in Islam. According to some scholars, the urgency of saving a life outweighs the respect for one’s bodily wholeness after death.

Conditions for Organ Donation in Islam

Organ donation in Islam requires fulfilling some criteria to uphold ethical and religious standards. The most important condition is to obtain clear permission from the donor or their relatives. Islam respects the rights of the dead and honors their choices. Moreover, the organ donation should not inflict any damage or suffering on the donor, as Islam values one’s well-being above all.

Donation of Organs in Islam: Restrictions and Considerations

Ethical and Religious Aspects – Is It Haram To Be An Organ Donor In Islam

  • Moral Motives: The reasons for organ donation are very significant. One must be cautious because saving a life should not jeopardize the donor’s life. • Donation of Living Organs: Donating an organ while alive is subject to more stringent rules. The well-being of donors is paramount, and the process should not harm or trouble them in line with Islamic values.  The extraction of org
  • Honoring the Dead: It must be done with the utmost respect and care, in line with Islamic reverence for the body of the deceased. Respect for burial customs is essential.
  • Diversity of Opinions: Islamic laws may vary depending on the views of scholars and the cultural context. It is vital to consult with well-informed religious authorities. 
  • Balancing Purpose and Outcome: While noble, the aim of organ donation should consider the potential benefits and drawbacks. It should be in harmony with the broader Islamic principles and the common good.

Process of Organ Donation in the Islamic Context

Steps and Regulations Islam has specific rules for organ donation, which involves several crucial steps. The organs must be handled and transported with the highest respect and care, in line with Islamic values that honor the human body. This process should respect the Islamic traditions and practices of burying the dead. 

The process of organ donation also requires the participation of medical experts and institutions. They have the duty to ensure that the procedures and protocols comply with Islamic rules. They must uphold honesty, permission, and avoidance of unnecessary harm during the transplantation process.



Q:Can Muslims donate their body to science?

A:It is not permissible for the Muslim to donate his body for medical research after he dies, because medical research is based on dissecting, cutting and examining the body, and carrying out research or tests on it. It is not permissible to do such things to the body of a Muslim.

Q:What religions don’t allow organ donation?

A:Tibetan Buddhists believe the spirit may remain in the body until about a week after death, therefore organ donation can be seen as interfering with the next rebirth. Pure Land Buddhism is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism that is against organ donation.

Q: Do organ donors feel pain?

Deceased donors do not feel any pain during organ recovery. Most major religious groups support organ and tissue donations. Organ procurement organizations treat each donor with the utmost respect and dignity, allowing a donor’s body to be viewed in an open casket funeral whenever possible

Q:Is organ donation allowed in Islam Hanafi?

A. Organ donation from live donors is permissible. Organ donation from brain-death (DBD)is not permissible. Organ donation from circulatory death (DCD) is only permissible after elective [sic] irreversibility has been established. This is the opinion of Mufti Muhammad Zubair Butt (Butt 2019).

Q.Is hair transplant Haram in Islam?

A. It is permissible to have a hair transplant because it is aimed at correcting a fault, not at changing the creation of Allah.

Q.Can I donate my heart while alive?

A. There is no doctor or hospital that would accept a donation if you were healthy and not critically injured. You can sign up to be an organ, tissue, and eye donor. Make sure your family knows your wishes, as they are needed to answer some questions. However, there is something called ‘directed donation’.