Organ transplantation: a Sunni Islamic perspective

Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2012 Jul;23(4):817-22. doi: 10.4103/1319-2442.98169.


This paper reviews the standpoints of Muslim jurists within the Sunni tradition on organ transplantation. Muslim jurists allowed different forms of bone grafts (autograft, allograft and xenograft) for widely broken bones. Ibn Sina in 1037 discussed this subject in Al-Kanoon 1000 years ago. In 1959, the Muftis of Egypt and Tunisia allowed, under specific conditions, corneal transplants from dead persons. Thereafter, many fatwas (jurisprudence) on organ trans-plantation have been issued from different parts of the Muslim world. In Amman, Jordan, the International Islamic Jurist Council recognized brain-death as a recognized sign of death in Islam in October 1986. This paved the way for organ transplantation from brain-dead persons, which started immediately in Saudi Arabia. In 1990 and 2003, the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA) and the Islamic Fiqh Academy (IFA) issued important fatwas on organ transplantation. By the end of 2008, more than 3600 organs were transplanted from brain-dead persons in Saudi Arabia.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Islam*
  • Living Donors
  • Organ Transplantation* / ethics
  • Organ Transplantation* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Religion and Medicine*