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Can dead body feel and see dissection and autopsies

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As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

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Asalaam Alaykum. I am a third year medical student and would like to take this oppurtunity to say well done for all your efforts and I sincerely pray Allah grants you and all those connected with the forum, and people who have the courage to ask their questions a place in Jannah. I have afew questions and would be very interested in reading your thoughts. Although some parts of the questions I may know the answer to, I do still feel it is appropriate to ask as other brothers and sisters would benefit from your succint answers.

1. Organ transplantation. What are the islamic regulations?
Many asian/muslim patients I know of require organ transplantations (i.e kidneys etc) but alot of the donors, in
England, are white non muslims. Do you think muslims should be encouraged more to donate their organs and donate blood? Would is be permissable if organs were recovered from the dead bodies of everybody and used to help sustain live in others. So we would not have problems with organ shortages.

2. My next question is to do with dissection and autopsies. As medical student we see alot of dead bodies, but have always wondered what has happened to the soul. I always treat bodies with respect etc but was wondering if the soul of the person would be able to see me, or feel anything that was done to them.

I hope my questions were put across well and made some sense. I know my questions are many, and time is so limited, but I would appreciate any answers to help me in my future career. Please contact me if you are not sure about my questions.

Thank you

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

Answer:

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

May Allah Subhanah reward you with the best of this world and the Hereafter for your kind comments of encouragement for our humble efforts in the propagation of the Truth.  If our humble and modest efforts have helped even one brother or sister get closer to Allah and His Deen of Truth, then we would consider ourselves indeed fortunate to have been given this opportunity by the Lord Most Merciful to serve in His Cause.  We hope, beg, and pray the Merciful Lord  accepts our humble and weak efforts,  forgives us our shortcomings, and saves you, us, and all the believers from the torment of the Hell Fire.  Ameen.

 

Q-1: Organ transplantation. What are the islamic regulations?
The Holy Quran and Sunnah are silent on the issue of donating organs, as these transplants were obviously made available only after the advancements of technology and modern medicine,  which were not available at the time the Quran was being revealed.  The scholars in Islam have debated on this issue in light of the principles of the Quran and Sunnah,  and the majority of them are of the opinion that there is no harm if one donates his body organs after his death to another so that some other believer may benefit from them after his/her death; provided some conditions are met.

  1. One cannot be forced to donate his body parts.
  2. One may donate his body parts of his own free will.
  3. One should not sell or get any material benefit for donating his body parts.

 

Their argument or ‘daleel’ is that one’s body parts are only needed as long as one is alive,  and are absolutely no use to the person once he/she dies.   Thus if these parts can benefit some loved one, there is no harm in donating them.

 

A few scholars though,  have voiced their opinion saying that it is forbidden to donate one’s body parts to another.   Their ‘daleel’ is that man is not the inherent owner of his own body,   as the body was only give to man as a trust from Allah Subhanah,  Who is the Real Owner of everything.  Therefore it is not permissible to distribute something which does not belong to man in the first place.

 

The majority of the scholars however are of the opinion that if one does it of his own free will,  and does not demand or get any material benefit from it,  there is no harm in donating one’s body parts to a loved one after his/her death.

 

And Allah Alone Knows Best.

 

Q-2: My next question is to do with dissection and autopsies. As medical student we see alot of dead bodies, but have always wondered what has happened to the soul. I always treat bodies with respect etc but was wondering if the soul of the person would be able to see me, or feel anything that was done to them.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 23 Muminoon verses 99-103:

99      (In Falsehood will they be) until when death comes to one of them he says: "O my Lord! send me back (to life)

100    In order that I may work righteousness in the things I neglected."  By no means!  It is but a word he says; before them is a ‘Barzakh’ (Veil or Partition) till the Day they are raised up.

101    Then when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no more relationships between them that day nor will one ask after another!

102    Then those whose balance (of good deeds) is heavy they will attain salvation:

103    But those whose balance is light will be those who have lost their souls; in Hell will they abide.

 

The literal meaning of the term ‘barzakh’ is something of a barrier or a veil, \ or something which is kept hidden.    The period between one’s death and when one will be granted life again by Allah on the Day of Judgement, is known as ‘barzakh’.

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4735  Narrated byAl-Bara' ibn Azib

The Prophet (saws) said:  “When a believer is buried in the grave two Angels will come to him (Munkar and Nakir,  both have dark faces and blue eyes),  make him sit up,  and ask :  ‘Who is your Lord?’  He will reply:  ‘My Lord is Allah.’   They will ask him:  ‘What is your religion?’   He will reply:  ‘My religion is Islam.’  They will ask him:  ‘What is your opinion about the man who was sent on a mission among you?’  He will reply:  ‘He is the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).’   They will ask: ‘ Who made you aware of this?’   He will reply:  ‘I read Allah's Book, believed in it, and considered it true.’  Then a crier will call from Heaven:  ‘My servant has spoken the truth.    So spread a bed for him from Paradise,  clothe him from Paradise,  and open a door for him into Paradise.’  Then  some of its air and perfume will come to him, and a space will be made for him as far as the eye can see.   At the death of the unbeliever   his soul will be restored to his body in the grave.  Then two angels will come to him. They will make him sit up and ask him:  ‘Who is your Lord?’  He will reply:  ‘Alas, alas! I do not know.’   They will ask him:  ‘What is your religion?’   He will reply:  ‘Alas, alas! I do not know.’   They will ask:  ‘Who was the man who was sent on a mission among you?’    He will reply:  ‘Alas, alas! I do not know.’   Then a crier will call from Heaven: ‘He has lied,  so spread a bed for him from Hell,  clothe him from Hell,  and open for him a door into Hell. Then some of its heat and burning hot  wind will come to him,  and his grave will be compressed, such that his ribs will be crushed together.   An angel who is blind and dumb will then be placed in charge of him, having a sledge-hammer, such that,  if a mountain were struck with it, it would become dust.  He will give him a blow with it,  which will be heard by everything between the east and the west except by men and jinn, and he will become dust.  Then his soul  will be restored to him (again and the punishment repeated until the Day of Judgement).

 

From the various narrations of the Messenger of Allah (saws) it is evident that the life of Barzakh is a life full of bliss and pleasure, or pain and grief; depending on the deeds that the person has done in this worldly life.  The life of Barzakh is basically a pre-cursor of what would happen to the person after the Day of Judgement.   If the person was a righteous person, then he will be shown his place and some of the rewards he is about to receive in Paradise; and he stays happily in the anticipation of reaching his destination.  But if the person was wicked and a rebel to Allah Subhanah,  then he will be shown his place in Hell Fire and his punishment and torment would start immediately.  This person would get some of the torments and his life in Barzakh will be miserable and full of pain and agony, for he knows that what is coming ahead for him after the Day of Judgement is far far worse than what he is experiencing in the Barzakh!

 

Q-2 (Again): My next question is to do with dissection and autopsies. As medical student we see alot of dead bodies, but have always wondered what has happened to the soul. I always treat bodies with respect etc but was wondering if the soul of the person would be able to see me, or feel anything that was done to them.
The soul of the dead is returned to their Lord and deposited in the state of ‘barzakh’, and there is absolutely no connection, communication, or association between the soul of the departed and the life of this world. 

 

If the person who died was righteous, his soul would be in such a bliss that he would not even care to take another look at this lowly world; and if the person who died was un-righteous, his torture and his agony would be so severe that he would not care regarding the happenings of this lowly world!  

 

The souls of the departed cannot see or feel anything regarding what is happening in the world they have left behind; and even if they could, they would not bother!  Having said that, it is absolutely imperative that one must treat the bodies of their dead fellow brethren with the respect a human body deserves. 

  

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

Members of Islamhelpline


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