CAIRO: A recently published research by Dar Al-Ifa (the body that issues religious edicts) deemed it permissible to transplant the organs of certain animals into humans.
The research was conducted by Sheikh Moustafa Abdel Karim Mourad, from the Sharia research department in Dar Al-Ifta, and was released in February.
It stated that humans are allowed to receive organs from “pure animals that is, those Muslims are allowed to eat.
Yet the research did not sanction the use of organs from “impure animals like dogs, or from pure animals that were mutilated before their death.
In Islam, a pure animal is one that does not require Muslims to perform ablution after it touches them. Muslims must wash before praying if a dog licks them, for example.
The research findings were supported by a number of Muslim scholars and researchers.
It indicates that humans can benefit from animal teeth, bones or other organs like the kidney, liver and heart.
While the research acknowledged that the transplant of vital organs such as the heart or kidney from animals to humans was never successful before, it was optimistic about the future.
Sheikh Ibrahim Negm, official spokesperson for Dar Al-Ifta, told Daily News Egypt that this research is only an academic study that presents academic suggestions and proposals that could be altered when applied.
“The research presents the different viewpoints of Sharia on organ transplant in general, including transplants from animals to humans, Negm said.
Negm said that this research was wrongly attributed to Ali Gomaa, Egypt’s grand mufti, although he neither conducted nor supervised it.
He also said that the points mentioned in the research are nothing new and have been discussed before among Islamic scholars within the context of organ transplants in Islam.
Last week, members of the Islamic Research Center, headed by Al-Azhar’s Grand Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawy, agreed that death is determined by the death of the brain stem and not the heart.
The members indicated that as far as they are concerned, clinical death constitutes “absolute death.
However, Mourad’s research forbids organ donation by a person who is brain dead.
“Taking organs from a brain dead person is like killing an innocent soul, the research concluded.
The current organ transplant law in Egypt forbids organ donations between a dead and a living person.
However, the Ministry of Health and the Doctors’ Syndicate issued a new draft law that allows this kind of donation. The law is slated for discussion at the People’s Assembly next month.
Consensus over the definition of death is the main subject of debate.