What is the Islamic opinion about Organ Transplantation using ANIMAL ORGANS?

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Islamic Medicine
Staff member
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Organ transplantation was not known before the contemporary great developments in the medical field.
There are two types of organ transplantation as for as the living beings are concerned:
First: the organ to be transplanted is taken from a human being.
Second: the organ to be transplanted is taken from an animal.
In the first situation the organ might be taken from the same body of the person who undergoes the transplant or it might be taken from one person and transplanted in the body of someone else.
If the organ is transplanted in the body of the person from whom it is taken, this is lawful under three conditions:
First, there should be a real necessity and not for mere beautification.
Second, there should not be any risk to the life of the person during any stage of the operation.
Third, there should be an authentic medical report stating that this transplantation is likely to be successful.
If the organ is taken from the body of a person and transplanted in the body of another person, the rule is defined according to whether this last person is dead, alive, Muslim, or Kafer (unbeliever).
If the organ is taken from a living Muslim or a Zimmy (non-Muslims living under Muslim rule) it can be transplanted if the following conditions are met:
(1) It does not cause any harm to the person from whom it is taken.
(2) The giver should have done so by his own choice i.e. without being obliged or pressurized to do so.
(3) The transplantation should be the ultimate and only treatment for the sick person.
(4) The probability of the success of the operation should be very high or certain from the surgical point of view.
(5) It should not be in counter-part of any material thing.
If the organ is taken from a dead person, all the five proceeding conditions should be met along with the consent of the dead before his death or the consent of his next - of - kins or the consentment of the Muslim ruler if the dead person's identity is unknown.
Many Islamic authorities have made a Fatwa legalizing this kind of transplantation among which are the International Islamic Conference in Malaysia in 1969 and the Islamic Fiqh Council in its eighth session in Makkah. The evidence for the lawfulness of the transplantation is as follows:
Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {He has forbidden you only the Maytatah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allâh (or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., on which Allâh's Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [2: 173]. Allah also Says: {But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin (such can eat these above-mentioned meats), then surely, Allâh is Oft*Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [5: 3]. So, Allah has excluded the situation of dire necessity from the prohibited things. No, doubt that the sick person who needs desperately an organ is in dire necessity because his life is endangered such as kidney failure, damaged liver or heart. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.} [5: 32].
So, this is a general rule including any deliverance of a person from death or any donation of an organ to a needy person like giving an eye to a blind person to help him recover his vision. The evidences for the lawfulness of this are numerous.
As for transferring an organ from an animal to a person its rule depends on the rule of the animal itself whether it is pure or impure.
If the animal is pure such as legally slaughtered camels goats and sheep - there is no doubt about the lawfulness of using any of its parts in medication (transplantation or others) as it is lawful to seek remedy in any lawful thing. The Prophet said: "Seek remedy as Allah has not sent down any sickness without sending a cure for it" (Abu Dawood and Tirmizi).
The Scholars are agreed that this is lawful. Al Nawawi said: "If a person gets one of his bones broken, he could put a pure bone instead of it" (Al Majmone 3-138).
In the book of "Indian Fatwas" it is stated: "There is no harm in being treated with a bone from a goat, a cow, a camel or a horse or any other animal save the pig".
So, since it is lawful to get treated with a bone from a legally slaughtered animal, then transplanting its bone in a human body if necessary is lawful as well.
But if the animal is impure such as dead without being slaughtered or of other impurities, the initial rule is that it is forbidden because putting impurities in the body annuls the prayer and all other forms of worship which require purification.
So, initially it is forbidden to transplant any organ from an impure animal into a human body. But if there is a real necessity the rule can be changed. Al Nawawi said: "If his bone gets broken, he could change with a pure bone. Our colleagues (Shafi school) said: "It is unlawful for him to put an impure bone as long as he could get a pure one; otherwise he is excused. But if he does not need it or if he finds a pure one that could be transplanted instead of the impure one and yet chooses the impure bone he then commits a sin and should take out the impure bone and put in a pure one in place of it unless this would cause much harm.
So, the initial rule is: "It is forbidden to seek treatment with impurities as long as there are purities. But if the pure is not found, the impure can be used under two conditions:
1. There should be a dire necessity for it.
2. There should not be any pure thing available and that could be used as substitute.
If one of the two conditions is not met, it is forbidden to transplant an organ from an impure animal into a human being. However, the organs taken from pigs do not fit into this category of impure animals permissible to be used in treatment for the two reasons:
1. It is forbidden to get any profit from the pig because the consensus of the Scholars is that the pig is impure, alive or dead.
2. The harmful effects that are proven to occur to the human body when a pig organ is transplanted in it are yet another reason to avoid such an operation.
A group of scientists in Roseline institute in Edinburgh stopped a project to clone pigs for their organs to replace the deteriorated organs of the human being because they discovered that the pig contains an unknown virus. This discovery upset them and caused them to fear the spread of this virus. For the above reasons, it is forbidden to transplant a pig organ into a human body or even to profit from the pig in any way whatsoever.
Allah knows best.
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