The Islamic Foundation of Toronto (IFT), based in the suburb of Scarborough, has a thriving seniors’ program. As part of its programming, on October 29, 2017, several members of our team were privileged to attend the IFT’s 4th Annual Seniors Conference, which featured a discussion of organ donation and transplantation. The event was very well attended, with at least 200 seniors and their family members present, as well as MPP (Scarborough-Rouge River) Raymond Cho.
Imam Shaykh Yusuf Badat spoke about the ethics of organ donation. He noted that the jurists of the Islamic Fiqh council of the Muslim World League, who deliberate on the rulings of Shari’ah law in relation to practical problems faced by Muslims, have concurred that organ donation and transplantation are permissible for Muslims because these procedures are consistent with saving, preserving and protecting life.
“And whoever saves a life, it will be as if he has saved
all of humanity”
Surah Al-Ma’idah [5:32]
Both living donor kidney transplant (LDKT) and deceased donor transplant (DDKT) are permitted for Muslims as long as the following conditions are met:
- When an organ is removed from a donor (deceased or living), it must be treated with utmost dignity and respect
- Living donors must experience no adverse effects as a result of donating a kidney
- Donation must be undertaken for spiritual and honourable purposes; organs are a priceless gift that must not be bought or sold
- A donor (deceased or living) must provide consent to have his/her kidney removed
- Organ donation must be undertaken with the sole purpose of saving lives
Following Shaykh Badat’s talk, Dr. Istvan Mucsi and Abeera Ali presented our team’s research on the disparities in access to kidney transplant experienced in Canada among members of the Muslim community as compared to other groups. During a panel discussion, conference participants posed excellent questions about organ donation to Shaykh Badat, Dr. Mucsi, cardiologist Dr. Faizan Amin, and Valeria Chavez of the Trillium Gift of Life Network. Ms. Afsana Siddique spoke about her experience as a liver transplant recipient in 2004, and Ms. Sajeda Khan made a presentation on IFT’s programs designed to promote social cohesion, integration and inclusion among Muslim seniors. The afternoon ended with thanks to the presenters, awards presented to several seniors, and a friendly and tasty lunch.
Hover over photos for descriptions
A stretching exercise for all of us participants, led by Mr. Shafeek Mohammed