Fatwa: # 16282
Category: Jurisprudence and Rulings...
Country: Pakistan
Date: 21st February 2008


Is organ donation and autopsy permissible in Islam?


1)is organ donation and autopsy permissible in islam,can u xplain prohibition of dissection of cadaver according to Quraan or Hadiths?
2)if a person dies in condition of ghusal,for xmple sumone masturbated and afterward he died before doing ghusal, will he b in state of imaan ?
3)wats the difference b/w gunah and haraam..Is smoking gunah or haraam and wat about selling cigrettes?


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

1) Many Islamic scholars and Jurists have written on the subject of organ transplant. Over the decades, medicine has improved and advanced dramatically, taking medical technology to extreme heights.

Today, through the vast medical advancement, almost any transplant of the human body can be performed. Owing to the technological medical changes, prominent and renowned jurists of the world have carefully analyzed the process of organ transplant and upon investigation made the following observations:

1) When any person's limb or organ becomes unusable and that limb or organ is needed to function in the future by a suitable replacement then the following conditions must be considered:

a) Use of a non-living artificial component.

b) Using the organ of those animals that are permissible to eat and were slaughtered according to the Islamic law.

If there is an imminent fear of loss of life or danger of losing the organ and the replacement is only found in haraam animals or in permissible animals (which can be eaten) but not slaughtered according to Islamic law, then use of such a component will be permissible. However, if there is no imminent danger of loss of life then it will not be permissible to use anything from the pig.

2) Similarly, a transplant of any nature whatsoever is permissible from one part to another part of the body of the same person when necessary.

3) The sale of any part of the human body is haraam.

4) If any ill person reaches a stage where a specific organ becomes unusable to such an extent that medical experts are absolutely certain that besides the human organ there is no other life-saving substitute, the human organ is easily available to the patient, and the patient's life is in danger, then in that dire need a human organ transplant will be permissible.

5) When a perfectly healthy person on the advice of an expert physician confirms that the removal of one kidney will not harm nor cause ill-health whatsoever and considering the deteriorating health of his sick immediate family member which may cause death and there is no other alternate or substitute then this will be permissible with the condition that the kidney be donated and not sold.

6) The wasiyya (bequest) of the organs after death is forbidden in shari'ah.

2) Dissection of a cadaver (autopsy) is also impermissible due to the same reasons mentioned above. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam has said:

كسر عظم الميت ككسره حيا

"Breaking the bone of a dead person is similar (in sin) to breaking the bone of a living person." (Sunan Abi Dawud, Vol. 2, P. 101, HM Saeed)

However, it will only be permissible in cases of necessity when it is required by law or in criminal cases.

Most of the scholars of the Arab world have approved autopsies for medical science research. This issue was discussed by the Islamic Fiqhi Academy of Makkah Mukarramah in October of 1987 where permissibility was given as long as the following conditions are observed:

a) An approval should be obtained from the deceased before his death or his heirs should agree to it after his death.

b) The body should not be opened up more than what is necessary.

c) Only female doctors should be allowed to a post-mortem of a female body.

d) The body should always be buried in the end.

(Fiqhi Feslain, P. 183-184, Islamic Fiqhi Academy, India)

الإنتفاع بأجزاء الآدمي لم يجز

(Fatawa Alamgiree, Vol. 5, P. 354, Rashidiyya)

والآدمي مكرم شرعا وإن كان كافرا فإيراد العقد عليه وابتذاله به وإلحاقه بالجمادات إذلال له . أي : وهو غير جائز

(Raddul Muhtar, Vol. 5, P. 58, HM Saeed)

والآدمي مكرم شرعا وإن كان كافرا فإيراد العقد عليه وإبداله به وإلحاقه بالجمادات إذلال له .

(Fathul Qadir, Vol. 6, P. 425, Mustafa Babil Halbi)

(Fatawa Mahmudiyya, Vol. 18, P. 336-338, Faruqiyya)

3) A person passing away in a state of ghusl with no physical impurities on him has nothing to do with being in the state of iman. A person who sincerely believed in Allah as his Lord and Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) as the final messenger at the time of death will be one who passed away in the state of iman.

4) Haraam refers to a prohibition. If a person acts upon a prohibited act without a valid excuse he will be considered faasiq and sinful. (Bahishti zewar 11/4 Kutub Khana Isha'at Islaam)

Ghunah is an Urdu word meaning sin. A person gets ghunah after committing an act which is haraam or makruh tahreemi (abominable). The act of smoking has been proven to be injurious to health. Most Hanafi scholars have regarded smoking to be makruh tahreemi. Therefore, it is unlawful.

The selling of cigarettes and the act of smoking both have the same rule. Any income from cigarettes will also be makruh.

(Fatawa Mahmudiyya, Vol. 18, P. 388, Faruqiyya)

And Allah knows best


Ml. Asif Umar,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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