Are Muslims Allowed to Be Organ Donors When They Die to Save the Life of Others?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Mufti Taha Karaan (ra) as presented by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Are Muslims allowed to be Organ Donors when they die to save the life of others?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah guide us to what pleases Him.

Anas narrated that the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “None of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Tirmidhi]

My late teacher, Mufti Taha Ibn Yusuf Karaan (may Allah have mercy on them), a renowned mufti of the Shafi’i School, wrote the following legal ruling (fatwa) on the ‘Organ Donation Guidelines,’ dated 26 Dhu l-Hijjah 1440 / 28 August 2019:

“The position which the MJC [Muslim Judicial Council] espouses on organ donation is as follows:

1.1. Any form of organ donation that does not involve the death of the donor is permissible and praiseworthy. This includes kidney donation, bone marrow transplants, and blood transfusion.

1.2. Scholarly opinion differs on forms of organ donation that involve the death of the donor coupled with the concept of brain death.

2. Having studied both sides of this divide, the MJC places itself on the conservative side that has reservations about brain death, and hence takes a restrictive view on organ transplantation when it involves brain death.

3. Notwithstanding the position which the MJC adopts for itself, it considers the contending view with respect, and as such has no objection if any member of the Muslim public wishes to adopt that view for themselves.

And Allah knows best.
Mufti Taha Karaan (may Allah have mercy on him)

Also see:
My Husband Is Against My Wishes to Be an Organ Donor. What Should I Do?

Presented by [Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani 

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.