What a totally backward, superficial and counterproductive viewpoint. This is the sort of 'anti-commonsense bullshit pretending to be religion' stuff I expect to come from Saudi idiots or some guy living in a cave in Pakistan, not from Oman and especially not from someone as generally respected as Sh Khalfan.
Organ donation, especially of corneas and kidneys, is standard practice throughout the world. Yes, there remain valid ethical debates surrounding the practice, for example about whether it should be legal to trade organs, the definition of death, cloning, and how to prioritise the waiting list for those in need of organs. But the strictures Sh Khalfan uses in his superficial argument (at least as reported) would probably be just as applicable if used as an argument banning all surgery.
In a country plagued by cataracts and diabetes, and the common result of diabetes being renal failure, this opinion is in effect trying to condemn thousands of Omanis to a lifelong hell of expensive dialysis treatment and a significantly reduced life expectancy. (A recent study concluded that getting a kidney transplant doubles the life expectancy of a patient with end-stage renal disease undergoing dialysis treatment, from 10 years to 20 years.)
I can, unfortunately and rather mean spirited of me, only hope Sh. Khalfan gets to experience the horror of renal failure personally and can therefore take comfort that the only viable treatment of transplantation is not allowed for him by his god.
Omani scholar says organ donations not permissible in Islam
By Sunil K. Vaidya, Bureau Chief
Published: September 16, 2008, 23:52
Muscat: Organ donation, including eyes, is not permitted in Islam, said an Omani Islamic scholar, who sees no harm in donating blood even in Ramadan.
"There are three schools of thought on organ donations by Muslims but the majority of Islamic scholars believe that organ donation is not permissible in Islam," Shaikh Khalfan Al Esry, a member of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque's Steering Committee for Islamic Information Centre, told Gulf News in an interview.
Blood donation, he stressed, was different, as it is replenished. He said that a minority group of scholars believe organ donation was permissible while some would like to leave it to the individual to decide.
"Our body is sacred and a dead body is respected in Islam and there's no need to scavenge it for organ donations," Al Esry said.
"We handle the body with care and give privacy to it by covering it while taking it for burial. Then how can we think of removing its parts ?" he said. Removing organs for donation, he reckons, amounts to disrespecting the dead.
Al Esry also argued that an individual doesn't own his or her body. "It is a gift of the God and in Islam an individual can neither harm his or her own self physically, mentally nor spiritually."
Personally, I don’t find even this approach at all useful – eg trying to read between the lines of a 1400 year old document to interpret meaning in a contemporary scientific setting. This is how one ends up with such stupidity as calling an injection non-surgical, or that giving blood is comparable with breast feeding and thus IS allowed. It is common sense that someone who has died has no need of their kidneys or other organs, and the care taken to recover organs means the procedure is done with the utmost 'respect'. Oman is blessed in this regard with a large supply of relatively fit young men who chose to kill themselves on the roads, and thus provide a potentially significant source of kidneys and other body parts that could be used to ease the suffering of the living.
Readers who are concerned about the issue should instead read the deliberations of people perhaps much more qualified to have an opinion on such matters, and who have given the matter a lot more thought. eg
Organ Transplant Ruling:
List of the Ulama' and Scholars who participated during the consultation and then approved the statement on
1.Dr M A Zaki Badawi Principal, The Muslim College, London Chairman, The Muslim Law (Shari'ah) Council UK.
2.Dr Jamal Sulayman, Professor of Shari'ah, The Muslim College, London.
3.Dr A A Hamid, Professor of Hadith, The Muslim College, London.
4.Dr Fazel Milani, Professor at The International College of Islamic Sciences London.
5.Dr S M A Shahristani, Principal, The International College of Islamic Sciences London.
6.Moulana Abdul Hadi Umri, General Secretary, Jamia-te-Ahl-e-Hadith (UK).
7.Moulana Qamaruzzaman Azami, Chief Imam, North Manchester Central Mosque & General Secretary, The World Islamic Mission.
8.Mufti Mohammed Yunus President, The World Islamic Mission & Imam, Woking Mosque.
9.Mufti Mohammed Muniruzzaman, Imam, Munir-ul-Islam Mosque, Rochdale.
10.Dr Abdul Halim, Senior Imam, The Islamic Cultural Centre and London Central Mosque, Regent's Park London.
11.Mufti Alauddin, Head Imam, Brick Lane Central Mosque, London.
12.Moulana Hafiz M Khalid, Head Imam, Sparkbrook Islamic Centre, Birmingham.
13.Moulana Mumtaz Ahmed, Imam of Bradford.
14.A A Bashiri Esq. Barrister-at-Law.
15.R Abdullah Esq. Barrister-at-Law.
16.Dr Safia Safwat, Barrister-at-Law.
17.Moulana M Shahid Raza, Director, Islamic Centre Leicester & Secretary, The Muslim Law (Shari'ah) Council UK.
18.Mr S G Syedain, General Secretary, Imams & Mosques Council UK.
19.Dr. Manazir Ahsan, Director of the Islamic Foundation
The last five decades have witnessed a big leap in medical science bringing great benefits and skills which were unthinkable before. It is now possible to transplant organs from one body into another, which would help the recipient to continue to live. The significance of the heart has also changed as it is no longer considered the most important organ with regard to life and death. Medical opinion now considers the brain to be the central and crucial part which controls the entire body and its functions. When it is damaged partially or totally the body will suffer either partial or total deterioration. As a consequence of the present development in medical knowledge and skills a number of questions have arisen. These are:
Is it allowed to remove an organ like the kidney from the body of a living person and transplant it into the body of a sick person whose life depends on it?
Is it permissible to remove an organ from the body of a dead person to be used to save the life of a living person?
Is a person allowed to donate his body or part of it to be used after his death in saving the life of other people?
Does Islam recognise the new definition of death that is brain stem death?
If it does is it permissible to remove from brain stem dead persons organs for transplant while there are signs of body functions like heart beat temperature and breathing?
Before answering these questions it is important to note the following principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Usul-Fiqh):
A person has the legal authority over his own body, attested by the fact that he can hire himself for work which might be difficult or exhausting. He may also volunteer for war which may expose him to death. A person is forbidden from harming himself or others (It is not legitimate in Islam to inflict harm on others or to suffer harm from them - Hadith). In case of Necessity certain prohibitions are waived as when the life of a person is threatened the prohibition on eating carrion or drinking wine is suspended.
"He has only forbidden you what has died by itself, blood and pork, and anything that has been consecrated to something besides God. Yet anyone who may be forced to do so, without craving or going too far, will have no offence held against him; for Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." (2:173)
Confronted with two evils a person is permitted to choose the lesser of the two, as in the case of a starving person whose life could be saved by either eating carrion or stealing from another person's food. He would be permitted to opt for the latter. Islam made it an obligation upon the sick to seek treatment.
In the light of the above principles the Council is of the opinion that:
1. It is permissible for a living person to donate part of the body such as the kidneys to save the life of another, provided that the organ donated would not endanger the donor's life and that it might help the recipient.
The Prophet (s.A.w.) says, "Whoever helps a brother in difficulty, God will help him through his difficulties on the Day of Judgement."
2. It is permissible to remove the organ of a dead person to be used to save the life of a sick person.
3. It is permissible for a person to donate his body or parts of it to be used after death to treat those who need transplants. So it is permissible for Muslims to carry a donor card.
4. In the absence of a donor card carried by the dead person it is sufficient to obtain the consent of the next of kin.
5. The proper authorities will act in lieu of relations if they are not known.
There's a lot more if you follow the link. Perhaps Sh. Khalfan should do a little more listening to the medical experts and a little less firing from the hip.