In a potentially controversial decree, Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has said that donation of blood and body parts was against the tenets of Islam, but observed that giving blood to save the life of a near and dear one was acceptable.
However, the opinion of the prominent Islamic seminary has not gone down well with several Muslim intellectuals who have asserted that religious bodies have already stated that there was no (no) problem with blood donation.
In a 'fatwa' issued in response to a question, the seminary said donating blood or body parts was not permitted in Islam as human beings are not the "owners" of their bodies. The decree is posted on the website of Darul Uloom's fatwa section dealing with 'haram and halal' issues, where a questioner asked the seminary its opinion on whether taking part in blood donation camps is right or wrong.
Terming the fatwa as 'incorrect,' noted scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan said it should not deter the Muslim community from donating blood. "We have time and again appealed to the community to come out to donate blood, and will continue to do so," he said, when his response was sought on the issue.
In the fatwa, the seminary said, "We are not owners of our body parts to handle them freely. So it is unlawful to donate blood or body parts."
However, it added, "If someone donated blood to save the life of a near relative, it is allowed." Chairman of the Department of Islamic Studies at Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi, Akhtarul Wase said donating blood was necessary to save lives and recalled that the Islamic Fiqh Academy -- the body that deals in Islamic jurisprudence -- has already stated that there was no problem in donating blood. He said a fatwa is only an opinion.