Does the Sharī‘a permit organ donation?
Yes, organ donation is permitted and encouraged by Muslim scholars. In fact, organ donation is legal in the majority of Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran, to name a few.
In March 2019, the Fiqh Council of North America issued a fatwa that permits and encourages Muslim Americans to sign up as organ donors. The majority of Muslim scholars today permit organ donation after death, as long as the donation is made to save the life of the recipient and the donor had given consent.
The scholars who permit organ donation rely on the overarching Islamic principles of rahmah: mercy, compassion, and caring for one another. They also rely on the Islamic principle of public interest and advancing public health to permit the donation of organs. Most scholars believe such a donation is a sadaqah jariyah—a continuous good deed—that God will reward. They further maintain that saving a life is a necessity and, as such, it constitutes further authority to support the permissibility of organ donation.
Some Muslim scholars permit the donation of internal organs, but not limbs because limb donation is considered mutilation of the body. The scholars that permit organ donation upon death say under these circumstances, organ donation does not mutilate the body, since removing an organ from a dead person is the same as a surgery performed on a living person, with precision and respect to the sanctity of the body. A minority of Muslim scholars prohibit organ donation all together.
Allah knows best.
Use our HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE software to outline your preferences regarding Sharī‘a-compliant organ donation.