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Exploring the Islamic Perspective on Organ Donation

Imams engaged to help raise awareness within Muslim communities

In July 2019 Kidney Research UK, in partnership with the Scottish Government, hosted the first ever Scottish Muslim Imams event in Glasgow.  Around 35 eminent Imams and learned scholars from around Scotland attended to participate in discussions exploring the Islamic religious and medical aspects of organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Islam.

The event was coordinated by Bushra Riaz, Peer Educator Coordinator for Kidney Research UK in Scotland, and coincided with the publication of Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt’s fatwa on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Islam: An Opinion.  The fatwa – which is a nonbinding legal opinion on a point of Islamic law - discusses the reasoning and research undertaken around whether Muslims can donate their organs after death (as well as considering living donation).

Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt, a UK-based Sunni scholar, and Jurisconsult from the Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence in Bradford was invited as a guest speaker to present his research, findings and share how he reached the conclusions in the fatwa. 

Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt said:

“I sincerely hope that this fatwa will bring some clarity on a variety of widely held concerns around the permissibility of organ donation and transplantation and will serve as a catalyst for Imams, Muslim chaplains and scholars to discuss the issue amongst themselves and with their congregations and audiences. 

Event Chair, Amjid Ali, a Muslim transplant recipient who has been working with NHS Blood and Transplant as the lead on the Transplantation in Islam project, spoke about his personal account of kidney disease and what prompted him to seek the clarity on the rulings of Islam on organ donation.

Delegates from the Muslim Council of Scotland, Imams from Central Mosques in Aberdeen, Dundee, Lanarkshire, Stirling and those from local Glasgow Mosques and institutions also heard from Dr Rajni Tejwani, Consultant Physician, on kidney disease and renal failure amongst the South Asian communities and Dr Radha Sundaram, Intensive Care Consultant, on end-of-life/ICU care and issues facing minority ethnic patients and families. 

The event also covered the planned move to an opt-out system of organ and tissue donation in Scotland, and what this change means for those from Muslim communities.

Many supportive Imams spoke about the success of the event in raising and discussing such a controversial topic within the Muslim community.

 

Further information

Read the full text of the ruling and 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.

Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt interview - Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt talks about how he researched organ donation and how he hopes his fatwa will add to the discussion around organ donation.