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IRSYAD AL-FATWA SERIES 276 : THE RULING OF BLOOD DONATING

Question:

Assalamualaikum SS Dato’ Seri Mufti. Can you explain the ruling of blood donating?

Answer:

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day in the hereafter.

We would begin with a brief introduction to Pusat Darah Negara PDN (National Blood Center). PDN is a well-known blood center in Malaysia. Founded in 1955 as Tabung Darah Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, then changed its name to Pusat Darah Negara (PDN) in 1988. It is situated in Jalan Tun Razak.

Early History

The pioneers for the service of PDN are a group of volunteers from Britain Red Cross Association in 1955. Early on, the center only opens from 5 to 5.30 pm in Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. As a result of this initiative, the center managed to get around 25 to 44 participants as blood donators each month. Most of the donators are among police officers, people from the military and government employees.

After 15 years of operation, 5,830 units of blood are collected, and more than 13.860 compatibility tests are carried out. Due to the increasing demand in the service the center is moved to another specialized building in Kuala Lumpur Hospital in 1971. This building is known as National Blood Service center and was officiated in April 1972 by the Head of Director of Health, Ministry of Health. The center is then placed under a hospital the ministry of health and a director is appointed.

At the start of 1975, the center played an integral role in standardizing and establishing the workflow, methodology, reagents and apparatus for blood banks in Malaysia. In 2002, a new building for the center with the same name Pusat Darah Negara is built along Jalan Tun Razak and was officiated by YBhg Tun Dr Siti Hasmah binti Haji Mohamad Ali.

Recent statistics at Pusat Darah Negara, PDN (National Blood Center)

Information that we obtained states that 180,651 blood donators are recorded in the year 2017 compared to 180,052 in 2016. From that total, 82,619 new blood donators are recorded in 2017 compared to 76,213 new blood donators recorded in the previous year. This shows a positive trend of Malaysian citizens that will help in meeting the demands of patients under the Ministry of Health in Malaysia.

The ruling of blood donating

Regarding the matter of blood donating, we are of the opinion that it is recommended and rewarded especially when it’s for helping patients that are in desperate situations. It’s in line with the Quranic verse:

وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ

“And cooperate in righteousness and piety,”

(Surah al-Ma’idah:2)

Syeikh al-Maraghi said: Because of that, it’s compulsory for humans to help each other in anything that leads to goodness. The help can be from an individual or a society and it can be regarding worldly matters or the life in the hereafter. (See Tafsir al-Maraghi, 3/1474) 

And it’s not limited to just that, it also includes helping our family or friend when they are in need. So true is what the Prophet has said:

مَنْ نَفَّسَ عَنْ مُؤْمِنٍ كُرْبَةً مِنْ كُرَبِ الدُّنْيَا نَفَّسَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ كُرْبَةً 

مِنْ كُرَبِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ

“Whoever lightens the burdens of a believer in this world, Allah will lighten his burdens in the hereafter,”

Sahih by Muslim (2699)

Any test from Allah SWT towards humankind is in reality a test for each of us. How will we act when our family or friends need help? This narration explains the two examples in which if we help to lighten their burdens in this world, Allah will lighten our burdens in the hereafter. Helping others is the characteristic of a real believer and the help can be in any forms, may it be in the form of money, energy, thoughts and others. (See al-Kafi Syarah Hadis 40, pg. 337)

The same narration continues with,

وَاَللَّهُ فِي عَوْنِ الْعَبْدِ مَا كَانَ الْعَبْدُ فِي عَوْنِ أَخِيهِ

“Allah will help a believer as long as the believer helps another believer,”

Sahih by Muslim (2699)

Furthermore, the demand and need for blood from patients in hospitals and clinics are high but the supply is low. The blood supply is at its critical stage and in desperate need of more donators. Thus, donating blood is important and the National Blood Center is in need of more blood donators. We hope that more people would be willing to donate blood in helping those in need.

Here, we include a few of the ruling and opinions from renowned Islamic agencies and scholars:

  • 4th Conference of National Fatwa Proceeding Committee for Matters Pertaining Islam

The conference was help on 13-14th April 1982 and the issue of blood donating and the usage of non-Muslims blood for Muslims and vice versa is discussed in depth. The conference decided:

  1. The ruling for donating blood is it is permitted
  2. It’s not necessary to separate the blood of non-Muslims and Muslims
  • An appreciation in the form of money is not advisable
  • Fatwa from Syeikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim Alu al-Syeikh, Ex-Director of Hai'ah Kibar Ulama' Sa'udi

He said: Donating blood is permitted as long as it’s not harmful to the donator’s health and well-being and when it’s deemed helpful to other Muslims that needs it. Second, a blood bank should be set-up to store blood for use in case of emergencies.

  • Syeikh Muhammad Mutawalli Sya'rawi, a well-known commentor and scholar in Egypt

He said: “Donating blood made it compulsory for the person to be rewarded by Allah,”

  • Syeikh Hasanain Makhluf, Egypt’s Ex-Mufti

In his book, Fatawa Syar’iyyah wa Buhuth Islamiyyah, he explains the ruling of transfusing blood from one individual to another for medical purposes are as follows:

The donation of free-flowing blood - even though the initial ruling is impermissible according to Quran and Sunnah, in desperate times and when the situation forced it to be done then it should be done. But only after consulting an expert Muslim doctor and he confirms that there’s no other way to treat the patient.

According to Islamic law, when there’s no other way to treat a patient and it’s a critical and desperate condition, then it is permitted to be treated even when the treatment would require the use of impermissible substances. But again, this is a last resort and an expert muslim doctor must be consulted with first.

  • Syeikh Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradhawi

He said that in the case of blood donating in our time and society nowadays, it can be considered as a great form of charity. This is due to the fact that donating blood isn’t just helping patients but it’s vital in life saving surgeries or treatments. Thus, it’s surely a great deed in Allah’s view. Allah said in the Quran:

وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا

“And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.”

(Surah al-Maidah:32)

  • Syeikh Dr. Ali Jumu’ah, mantan Mufti Mesir

He said: If donating blood could save someone’s life, and doctors has state that it will not bring any harm to the donator, in terms of physical health, life or work then it is permitted. This is due to the fact that it falls under the Islamic law of saving a life since life must be maintained as Allah has decreed upon us. Donating blood can also be considered as a form of sacrifice and prioritizing someone else which is encouraged in Islam. Allah states:

وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ

“They love those who emigrated to them, and give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in need themselves,”

Surah al-Hasyr (9)

This issue is similar to other cases such as helping people that are trapped in fire, someone that’s drowning or someone that’s sunk or submerged under soil or rubble.

  • Syeikh Zaid bin Muhammad al-Madkhali[6]

He said: When there’s benefit and no harm to oneself, then donating blood are not forbidden but will be rewarded as stated in the Quran and the prophet’s narration.

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ ﴿٧﴾ وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

“So, whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it, And whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it.”

Sural al-Zalzalah (7-8)

The Prophet PBUH said:

وَاَللَّهُ فِي عَوْنِ الْعَبْدِ مَا كَانَ الْعَبْدُ فِي عَوْنِ أَخِيهِ

“Allah will help a believer as long as the believer helps another believer,”

Sahih Muslim (2699)

  • Syeikh Dr. Husamuddin bin Musa 'Ufanah[7]

He said: donating blood is an important deed that should be done. Furthermore, it can also be said that it’s a rewarded deed and it’s not too much too say that it’s a communal obligation for Muslims.

To end the discussion, we hope that after the publication of this article it will encourage more Muslims and people in general to donate blood regardless of religion and race. Campaigns for blood donation and an incentive from the Ministry of Health specifically and Malaysian government should inspire more people to donate blood. May the issue of blood supply shortage at the National Blood Center could be overcome quickly. Amin.

End note:

[1] See the official website for Pusat Darah Negara (PDN) at corporate information, www.pdn.gov.my 

[2] See newspaper article in Sinar Harian on 20th June 2018. http://www.sinarharian.com.my/ultras/liga-antarabangsa/majoriti-penduduk-malaysia-berdarah-o-1.847108

[3] Date published, 11 Ogos 1999.

[4] Official website Syeikh Sya'rawi: https://khawateralsharawy.wordpress.com

[5] Official website Dar al-Ifta’ al-Misriyyah, Fatwa number 194, Year 2005. http://www.dar-alifta.org

[6]His real name is Zaid bin Muhammad al-Madkhali,a scholar from Saudi Arabia. Born in al-Rukubah, in Jazan region in the year 1938 M and died on a Thursday, 12 Jamadil Awwal 1435 Hijrah or 14th March 2014. The funeral was held after asar on a Friday.

[7] Born in Abudis al-Bawwabah al-Syarqiyyah, Baitul Maqdis on 16 Zulhijjah 1374 Hijrah or 5th August 1955. A scholar, mufti and writer from Palestine. Main lecturer in Fiqh and Usul in University al-Quds. Answers many questions and active in writing Islamic books.


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