“And whoever saves one life it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.”
-Surat Al-Ma’idah [5:32]

One cornea donor can give the gift of sight to two people changing their lives forever. But the challenge is that people in Pakistan do not believe in donating corneas after their death mainly due to the mistaken perception that it is prohibited in Islam. An associated issue is the family’s concern that the face of the departed will be disfigured.

Here is a list of references/fatwas from renowned National and International Islamic scholars and Mufti’s view that organ donation is permissble in Islam so long as the donation will not lead to the death or harm the donor:

Local Islamic Authorities on Organ Donation

In an Islamic conference held at the ‘Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre’, University of Karachi, last year, all the ulema – from every school of thought – gathered to discuss deceased organ donation. All the ulema agreed, and were on one page that as per need, organ transplantation is allowed and legitimate in Islam. They also agreed that deceased organ donation was entirely in accordance with Islamic principles.

Mufti Munib ur Rehman
“As per human needs organ transplantation is allowed and legitimate in Islam.”
“The best human being is the one who serves the most humanity and saving lives through transplantation is great service to humanity”

Dr Abul Khair Mohammad Zubair, President – Jamiat-i-Ulema Pakistan-Noorani
“Charity was the deed of prophets and organ transplantation is the greatest charity to save human lives. Saving lives can never be against Islam”

Allama Babar Zaidi
“The matter is need of the hour and organ transplants need to be used widespread in order to save lives”

Mufti Mohammad Ibrahim, a CII member from Sukkur
“Islam promoted conveniences and Shariah allowed transplantation when one needed that for survival.”

International Authorities on Organ Donation

Highest Council of Scholars, Riyadh
“It is permissible to transfer whole or part of organs from a deceased to another person, if the need for such a transplant is critical. Live organ donation is also allowed if the recipient is in urgent need of the organ.”

Fatwa of Mufti of Egypt, Dr Muhammad Syed Tantawi
“Live organ donations are permissible by consensus of jurists, whether the recipient be his relative or a stranger, as long as such a donation is considered to be of benefit by a trusted doctor…[Taking organs from the body of a dead person to transplant to someone who needs it, whether to save his life or to cure him, is permissible, and this ruling is [also] based on consensus of jurists.”

Fatwa Commitee of Kuwait
“If an organ to be transplanted is taken from a deceased person, the ruling is that such a transplant is permissible, no matter whether the intention for the transplant by the donor was made in the form of a will by the deceased or otherwise. This is based on exigency (darurah), such as saving a life, that transforms what is originally forbidden into a state of permissibility. Thus, organ transplants are permissible, as long as there is an urgent need for it.

Fatwa of Dr Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi
“Someone who wishes to alleviate another human’s suffering, such as kidney disease, by donating one of his healthy kidneys, is allowed to do so in Islamic law. [I]n fact, it is considered to be a good act and the donor will be duly rewarded. This is based on a Prophetic tradition in which the Prophet p.b.u.h. is reported to have said that those who show kindness on earth will receive God’s mercy and kindness. On this, I am of the opinion that there is no prohibition from donating an organ or body part to someone who needs it to cure him/her, and to replace his/her non-functioning organ, such as the kidney or heart etc. with the intent of giving charity. And this is considered to be a continual (jariah) donation, and the rewards for the donor continues to be accrued for as long as there are those who benefit from it

Fatwa of The National Fatwa Council of Malaysia
Cadaveric transplant of the eye and heart is permissible if the following conditions are observed:

  • In the case of extreme need and exigency, in which the life of the receiver depends on that organ, and there is sufficient evidence that the transplant process will be successful.
  • In the case of heart transplantation, the death of the donor must be determined before the transplant can be performed. Proper action must be undertaken to ensure that there is no killing and trading of organs involved.

Consensus:
Organ donation is allowed under the following conditions

      1 Health of Donor should not be affected/ Body should not be disfigured
      2 It should not be done for monetary gains
      3 Major health and life benefit to the organ recipient

Cornea Donation in Pakistan

There are 300,000 lives lost in darkness and awaiting the gift of sight through corneal transplant. There are virtually no corneal donations in the country. We therefore have to import corneas primarily from Sri Lanka which is surplus to them but is a very expensive option to the extent that it becomes unaffordable for NGO like LRBT. Most of these patients will be condemned to suffer a life of darkness and destitution due to the shortage of corneal tissue.

LRBT
Although LRBT is the largest performer of corneal transplants, we were only able to do 202 in 2015/2016 due to the lack of corneal tissue. With a pool of 300,000 this huge public health issue can only be resolved if the people overcome their inhibitions & preconceived notions and start to pledge their corneas after death. Join us in our fight against curable blindness in Pakistan and give the gift of sight to the poor and needy of our country whose lives can change with your support.

Fill out our cornea donation form today as your sadqa e jaria.

Cornea Donation Form