An Islamic perspective on organ donation

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Organ donation is giving an organ to help someone who needs a transplant.

In Islam there are a number of fatawa (religious edicts) with regard to organ donation.

Islamic scholars and imams play an important role in providing guidance to members of the Muslim community on organ donation.

Over the last few years, NHS Blood and Transplant has been facilitating conversations within the Muslim community, bringing together Islamic scholars, imams, umbrella organisations and hospital based Muslim chaplains to discuss organ donation. There are a number of different viewpoints.

Over 100 fatawa (religious edicts) have been produced around the world about organ donation and three of these have been published in the UK.

These rulings provide important guidance and context within Islamic law and help Muslims to make informed and personal decisions about organ donation. 

UK Islamic rulings on organ donation

2019 - Organ Donation and Transplantation in Islam: An Opinion

In June 2019, a UK-based Sunni scholar, Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt, a Jurisconsult from the Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence in Bradford produced a fatwa, Organ Donation and Transplantation in Islam: An Opinion.

Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt has been a hospital chaplain for over 20 years and has considerable experience of the organ donation process.

In the videos you can find out more about how Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt researched organ donation before reaching his opinion and how this fatwa sits with other fatawa published around the world.

Watch more videos about the ruling on YouTube

Read the ruling

Read a short summary of the conclusions Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt reached on the permissibility of receiving a transplant, living and deceased organ donation, and other forms of donation.

Read the full text of the ruling

2000 - Fatwa of the European Council for Fatwa and Research

In 2000 the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), based in Dublin, Ireland, declared its ratification of the resolutions of both the Islamic Fiqh Academy (IFA) of the Muslim World League and the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA).

Download the 2000 Fatwa of the European Council for Fatwa and Research in Arabic

1995 - Fatwa of The Muslim Law (Shariah) Council

The basic position of this fatwa was that organ transplantation is permissible, and brain-stem death is a proper definition of death.

Read the 1995 fatwa 

The organ donation process

Many Muslims have questions about the organ donation process.

Islamic views on organ donation

Hear from Muslim medical professionals discussing organ donation and addressing common questions raised by members of the Muslim community, and patients and families talking about the impact kidney disease has had on their lives.

“If you happened to be ill and in need of a transplant, you certainly would wish that someone would help you by providing the needed organ.”

Sheikh Dr MA Zaki Badawi, Principal, Muslim College, London

Making your choice

Whether or not to donate is your choice. But it can be seen differently even in the same religious groups. If you have any doubt, you should approach your religious adviser.

Make sure you talk to your family and friends about your decision so they know your decision on organ donation.

Further information

Download our guide to organ donation and Muslim beliefs

Additional information about organ donation and Muslim beliefs is available to download in the languages listed below.

Islamic donor cards

If you support organ donation, why not download our Islamic digital, printable and smartphone wallpaper donor cards?

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