Our Bodies Belong to God, So What?

God’s Ownership vs. Human Rights in the Muslim Organ Transplantation Debate

  • Mansur Ali Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University


Organ transplantation is a morally challenging subject. It gives rise to several ethical dilemmas which question the very meaning of what it means to be a human being. For some Muslims, organ transplantation impinges on God’s claim to ownership. Research reveals that proponents of organ transplantation focus on the benefits afforded to the recipient, while opponents highlight the situation of the donor. For them the entire focus on the health benefits to the recipient turns a blind eye to the dignity of the donor who is viewed as nothing more than a repository for organs, to be extracted and then forgotten. After a brief survey of the different opinions on organ transplantation, I present a translation and commentary of an article written by the former grand-mufti of Lebanon, Muḥammad Rashīd Qabbānī which attempts to research the issue of whether organ transplantation impinges on God’s sovereignty over the human body or not.

How to Cite
Ali, M. (2019). Our Bodies Belong to God, So What?. Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, 19, 57-80. https://doi.org/10.5617/jais.7642