[Al-Quran 50:6-8] Have they not looked at the heaven above them - how We structured it and adorned it and how it has no rifts? And the earth - We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind, Giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah].

Monday, August 7, 2017

Organ Harvesting & Organ Transplant

Murder & Corruption    

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ الْقَيِّمِ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَ يَوْمٌ لَّا مَرَدَّ لَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَصَّدَّعُونَ
مَن كَفَرَ فَعَلَيْهِ كُفْرُهُ وَمَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِأَنفُسِهِمْ يَمْهَدُونَ
لِيَجْزِيَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ مِن فَضْلِهِ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْكَافِرِينَ

[Q30:43 - 45] So set your face to the religion right, before [that] comes a Day not (can be) averted [it] from Allah. That Day, they will be divided. Whoever disbelieves, then against him (is) his disbelief. And whoever does righteousness, then for themselves they are preparing, That He may reward those who believe and do righteous deeds (out) of His Bounty. Indeed, He (does) not like the disbelievers. 


1.     What is The Right Religion?
The phrase ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ (The Right Religion) has been used in Q9:36, Q12:40, Q30:30 & in Q98:5 as وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ in the Quran. Q30:43 quoted above commands us to فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ الْقَيِّمِ   (So set your face to the religion right). Q30:30 informs us that one of the decrees of The Right Religion is that there should be no change in the creation of Allah, especially humans.  
Q4:119 informs us that Satan has vowed to mislead bani Adam, and one of his misleading commands is to change the creation of Allah.
Satan knows that mortals desire immortality, therefore he effectively uses longevity/immortality as a promise to lead humans into error. He used it with Adam, and he has used it with many mighty civilisations, causing them to wrong their NAFS.     

2.     How / when are organs harvested?  
Current technology requires that organs be harvested from the body while the person is still on the ventilator, which means the person is still breathing. When doctors think that they can no longer save a patient, the patient is evaluated for brain death. If the patient is found to be brain dead, organs are harvested. Legally, organs can be harvested according to the will of the patient, if he/she has pledged his/her organs, or with the permission of his/her family. Also read Organ Trade for related issues. 
Though 'a brain dead donor is preferred, but only a small percentage of deaths are brain deaths. Therefore, the majority of human organ sources are post cardiac death', while there is at least still some brain activity. 

3.     Is a brain-dead person dead?
Not always. There have been cases where a patient who has been declared brain-dead is removed from the ventilator but continues to breathe and live on for sometime.

4.     When we die, do we no longer need the body?
According to The Bible and The Quran, we are made of dust. This means that we are the body. When we die, we stop living and transfer to the realm of the dead. Death is a subsequent stage, a state of being. We know very little about that realm, but The Quran informs us that the dead exist in an alternate state of being.
   
5.     What happens to the soul?
The popular concept regarding the soul is not rooted in the scriptures. According to the Quran, we are our body and we have a NAFS. Please read Human: Body or Soul? for details.
   
6.     When the NAFS is removed from the body at the time of death, why is it then not okay to harvest organs from a dead body?
As mentioned above, we are the body!
Q39:42 informs us that the NAFS is removed from the body every time we fall asleep; would it be okay to harvest organs of a person while he/she is asleep?
   
7.     If the NAFS is the software and contains all the information needed to resurrect us, then why is the body important?
According to some ayaat of The Quran, it seems that the same earth that perishes from our dead body will be used to resurrect us. Please read the section titled Body in Human: Body or Soul? for details.

8.     Saving human life is important, in fact an ayat of the Quran states that saving a single life is like saving all humans. Organ transplants save lives. Isn’t it a good deed?  
The ayat is Q5:32. The same ayat also contains the exception clause 'he who kills a soul other than (for) a soul or (for) spreading corruption in the earth then (it) is as if he has killed all [the] mankind'.  
i)              When organs of a patient declared brain-dead are harvested, there is no sure way of knowing if the person is already dead or the harvesting of vital organs will result in the death of the patient.   
ii)             When an organ is transplanted into a patient, the body is being corrupted with a part of another person. This includes the hardware or physical material (dust), as well as the software (DNA). This is in violation of Q30:30 which clearly forbids change in the creation of Allah. Q91:7-10 emphasizes the importance of purifying the NAFS. It is already suffering the corruption caused as a consequence of the error of Adam. By adhering to The Right Religion, we can hope that Allah will correct and purify us on the Day of Judgment.

9.     How about growing organs specifically for the purpose of transplants?
Allah creates in the womb as He wills. In The Quran, there is mention of three unusual cases of conception. Abraham and his wife, Zechariah & his wife, and the Virgin Mary. In all three cases, they have not been directed to take any particular treatment/medical intervention; rather they have been told that Allah’s command will be done.
In Q4:1, we have been cautioned to keep our duty regarding the womb.  The Quran mentions the womb along with corruption as in Q47:22. The womb must to be guarded from corruption. 
Harvesting organ from an entity grown specifically for the purpose would entail some form of medical intervention to grow such an entity, as well as eventually killing the entity to harvest the organ. That would be a major crime in itself. 

10.  How about non-human organs?
Transplanting a non-human organ will also result in corruption.

11.  Why is this corruption a bad thing if it saves lives? 
Allah creates perfectly. He has decreed mortality in this life, and promises immortality in the Hereafter. Adam erred in his pursuit of immortality. The Quran specifically warns against making changes in the NAFS. Every civilization that made changes in their NAFS was punished, except the people of Jonah. Please read Wronging the NAFS. 



قُلْ إِنَّنِي هَدَانِي رَبِّي إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ دِينًا قِيَمًا مِّلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَٰلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

[Q6:161-163Say, "Indeed (as for) me, has guided me my Lord to a straight path - a religion rightreligion (of) Ibrahim - a true monotheist. And not he was from the polytheists. Say, "Indeed, my prayer, and my rites of sacrifice, and my living, and my dying (are) for Allah, Lord (of) the worlds. No partners for Him; and with that I have been commandedAnd I am (the) first (of) the ones who surrender (to Him). 

Few years ago, when I neither understood the science nor knew the directives of the religion, I pledged my organs. Now, all thanks to Allah for having guided me in the matter, I have unpledged my organs. I have also informed my family and friends that, Allah forbid, if such a situation arises, please do not transplant any organs into me. 



إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُولَٰئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
[Q25:70] Except (he) who repents and believes and does righteous deeds, then (for) those Allah will replace their evil deeds (with) good ones. And is Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 

I know that there are many people who have pledged their organs, and some are also earnestly working for the cause, sincerely assuming it to be a good deed. May Allah guide us all, enable us to submit to the guidance in The Quran, forgive us and be well-pleased with us. 




         

Further Reading:
Organ Transplantation
Organ Trade


Last updated on August 11, 2017