Divine Revelation

A blog with an Islamic perspective

At their second Global Consultation on Transplantation the World Health Organization (WHO) came up with some guiding principles on cell, tissue and organ donation and transplantation. Transplantation is increasingly seen as the best solution to end-stage organ failure. End-stage kidney disease, for instance, can only be repaired with a kidney transplant. Without it, the patient will die or require dialysis for years, which is an expensive procedure and often out of reach of poorer patients. Transplantation is the only option for some liver conditions, such as severe cirrhosis or liver cancer, and a number of serious heart conditions.

According to WHO the demand for human organ transplants far exceeds supply, fuelling the growing trend of "transplant tourism" from wealthy countries to developing nations where organs can be bought. Reports on 'transplant tourism' show that it makes up an estimated 10% of global transplantation practices.66,000 kidneys were transplanted in 2005 catering to a mere 10% of the estimated need. In the same year, 21,000 livers and 6,000 hearts were transplanted.

Recent estimates communicated to WHO by 98 countries show that the most sought after organ is the kidney. Since a person can live with only one kidney, people in poor countries are lured into selling one of them to a person in need. The poor donors are offered hefty sums for a kidney, but in the end they receive only about half because middlemen take the rest. In Western countries package deals are advertised on the internet for as low as $12,000 or $ 20,000 to receive a kidney and seven days of hospitalization in the transplant country. However live donations are not without risk, whether the organ is paid for or not and the donor must receive proper medical follow-up which is often lacking when he or she is seen as a means to profit-making. WHO recommends using organs from deceased persons as it eliminates the problem of donor safety and can help reduce organ trafficking.

The Supreme Council of `Ulama in Riyadh (in their resolution no. 99 dated 6 Dhul Qi'dah 1402) has allowed both organ donation and organ transplantation in the case of necessity. The Fiqh Academy of the Muslim World League, Makkah also allowed organ donation and transplantation in its 8th session held between 28 Rabi'ul Thani- 7 Jumadal Ula, 1405.

It is important to note that most of the jurists have only allowed the donation of the organs. They do not allow the sale of human organs. Their position is that the sale of human organs violates the rules of the dignity and honor of the human being, and so it would be haram in that case. Some jurists suggest that because people have become too materialistic and it may not be possible to find a free organ, under necessity one can purchase the organs, but a Muslim should never sell his/her organs."

Muslim scholars have stipulated certain conditions for someone to donate his/her organ.

1. He/she must be a person who is in full possession of his/her faculties so that he/she is able to make a sound decision by himself/herself;
2. He/she must be an adult and, preferably, at least twenty-one years old;
3. It should be done on his/her own free will without any external pressure exerted on him/ her; 4. The organ he/she is donating must not be a vital organ on which his/her survival or sound health is dependent upon;
5. No transplantation of sexual organs is allowed.

Similarly there are some conditions associated with deceased donors
1. The transplant must be done after having ascertained the free consent of the donor prior to his /her death. It can be through a will to that effect, or signing the donor card, etc.
2. In a case where organ donation consent was not given prior to a donor's death, the consent may be granted by the deceased's closest relatives who are in a position to make such decisions on his/her behalf.
3. It must be an organ or tissue that is medically determined to be able to save the life or maintain the quality of life of another human being.
4. The organ must be removed only from the deceased person after the death has been ascertained through reliable medical procedures.
5. Organs can also be harvested from the victims of traffic accidents if their identities are unknown, but it must be done only following the valid decree of a judge

Organ transplant is a double edged sword. Boon if you use it, bane if misused.

Posted by Arshad on Friday, April 27, 2007.


The Indian mainstream media have not taken kindly to the ban on sex education in schools by the government of Maharashtra.
They blame the politicians of pandering to obscurantists and ultra-conservatives and call it a struggle between modernity and regression. They believe that sex education will only add to children's knowledge and remove sexual repression and perverted notions of sex. They claim that sexual repression leads to sexual crimes and a lack of sex education will lead children to access information through the wrong sources.

Let us see for ourselves what the forces of modernity have achieved for their societies.

UK leads the pack of countries which have high rate of teenage pregnancies. In 2005 there were 39,683 conceptions by girls between 15 to 17 years of age. That translates to about 40 girls per thousand. The conception rate for those between 13 and 15 years was around 8 per thousand. If this was the conception rate we shudder to think about what the abortion rate might have been?

In a survey carried by the United States Department of Justice in Dec 2000 to study the sexual victimization of college women, it was found that for every 1000 women there may well be 35 incidents of attempted and completed rape in a given academic year.

The statistics for child abuse, paedophiling, incest, molestation and domestic violence in those countries who claim to be bastions of freedom and openness are equally depressing.

This miserable state of affairs is in those countries where both sex and sex education are not considered anti-ethical; where consensual sex is not stigmatized and all avenues to vent repressed sexual desires are legal and easily available.

We fail to understand why the mainstream media missed these facts and indulged in spreading misinformation assuming a gullible public.

It is moral and not sex education that is the need of the hour. We appeal to give innocence a chance.

Posted by Arshad on Tuesday, April 03, 2007.