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Mutilate dead.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

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

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Respected Brothers Burhan

 

The Hadith Mubarakah quoted by sister-in-faith Nida Latif looks sound & authentic. I'm forwarding her below email for your review & comment. Jazakallahu khayran. May Allah SWT reward u for all their Noble efforts in spreading the True Essence of Islam! (Ameen)

The Messenger of Allahsaid: "Breaking the bone of a dead person is similar (in sin) to

breaking the bone of a living person". (Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan Ibn Majah & Musnad Ahmad)

 

This is the hadith i found in reference to mutilation of the dead body and this has been extrapolated to say that autopsy would probably not be recommended in our religion and same goes for organ donation since they have to do surgery to harvest organs.


(1) It has been reported from Sulaiman b. Buraid through his father that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him to fear Allah and to be good to the Muslims who were with him. He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. Then invite them to migrate from their lands to the land of Muhairs and inform them that, if they do so, they shall have all the privileges and obligations of the Muhajirs. If they refuse to migrate, tell them that they will have the status of Bedouin Muslims and will be subjected to the Commands of Allah like other Muslims, but they will not get any share from the spoils of war or Fai' except when they actually fight with the Muslims (against the disbelievers). If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them. When you lay siege to a fort and the besieged appeal to you for protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet, do not accord to them the guarantee of Allah and His Prophet, but accord to them your own guarantee and the guarantee of your companions for it is a lesser sin that the security given by you or your companions be disregarded than that the security granted in the name of Allah and His Prophet be violated When you besiege a fort and the besieged want you to let them out in accordance with Allah's Command, do not let them come out in accordance with His Command, but do so at your (own) command, for you do not know whether or not you will be able to carry out Allah's behest with regard to them.  (Book #019, Hadith #4294)



What is your and brother Burhan's opinion in the light of this Hadith

 

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Answer:

 

Mutilate dead

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.

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 3201 Narrated by Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: Breaking a dead man's bone is like breaking it when he is alive.

 

The above quoted hadith is indeed considered authentic by the majority of the scholars and jurists in Islam.

 

The Holy Quran and Sunnah are silent on the issue of autopsy, donating organs, etc. 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 there is a stark difference of opinion amongst them. 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 ones 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.

 

Other scholars though have voiced their opinion saying that it is forbidden to donate ones body parts to another or perform an autopsy. Their daleel or argument is that man is not the inherent owner of his own body, as the body was only given 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.

 

And Allah Alone Knows Best.

 

Your Statements: This is the hadith i found in reference to mutilation of the dead body and this has been extrapolated to say that autopsy would probably not be recommended in our religion and same goes for organ donation since they have to do surgery to harvest organs.

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 3201 Narrated by Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: Breaking a dead man's bone is like breaking it when he is alive.

 

The scholars who have opposed the concept of autopsy or organ transplants have generally not based their opinion on the above quoted hadith.

 

Even the scholars who have opined that autopsies or organs transplants are permissible have declared that if one were to mutilate the body of the deceased as an extension of ones hatred, or as a form of revenge, or to vent their anger, or with the intention to humiliate or disrespect the body of the deceased..indeed it would be a grave sin in the Sight of the Lord.

 

But if the process of autopsy or transplant, etc. is performed with the deceased body with the intention to help those who are alive, with absolutely no intention to humiliate or mutilate or vent ones anger towards the deceased, there is no harm. And Allah Alone Knows Best.

 

Respected sister in Islam, because the Glorious Quran and the Sunnah are silent on this (and other such) issues, it should only be expected that there will remain a difference of opinion amongst the scholars regarding its permissibility/impermissibility until the end of time..because both parties have valid arguments for their opinions in light of the Guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah..and if truth be told sister, on the few issues where there is no clear Guidance in the Quran or the Sunnah, there is room in deen of Islam for the differences of opinion, provided the opinions are based in light of the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah.

 

After the death of the Messenger of Allah (saws), a few issues arose with time over which even the noble and closest companions of the Prophet (saws) had a difference of opinion amongst them..and because Al-Islam is a way of life which provides guidance on every single aspect of life, such difference of opinion on a few small matters should only be expected and respected.

 

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

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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