Fatwa against Organ donation – In a bizarre incident in Kanpur, Muslim clerics have issued a Fatwa against a Muslim doctor who had pledged to donate his organs to people in dire need. It asked the Muslim community to boycott the doctor. The clerics argued that it is prohibited in Islam to donate organs. The donor, Arshad Mansuri, has signed up to donate his organs after death. The self-appointed protectors of Islam immediately sprung into action, hurling frivolous allegations and arguments against the innocent doctor. While a local Maulana claimed that the doctor is trying to defame Muslims, Maulama Hanif Barkati went a step ahead and decided to declare suo moto that the donor cannot be a Muslim, for he is not following what has been decided by the almighty. Barkati also asserted that Mansuri may have just kept a Muslim name in order to mislead people and defame Muslims.
However, Dr. Arshad has remained defiant in the face of the Fatwa issued against him. He has clearly stated that he has pledged to donate his organs for the welfare of his society and that he wants others from the Muslim community to do the same.
He also boldly said that it is not him but the Maulanas who appear to be fake. He says what he has done is for the greater good of mankind, and that in his opinion, serving mankind is his biggest religious duty.
At the outset, what one fails to understand is how the donation of organs by a Muslim could have possibly defamed Islam. This seems to be a case of Maulanas and self-appointed protectors of Islam trying to stifle an innocent citizen. What these Maulanas and extremist Muslims do not understand is that there can be no religion greater than mankind. One fails to understand how serving mankind or coming to the rescue of those who are in need of dire help can be antithetical to or prohibited by any religion. In an ideal world, religious clerics must promote such activities, which are perpetrated in the greater good of mankind and seek to help those in dire need. However, in this case, the argument made by the Maulanas is a pure absurdity. It also hints at the uninterrupted freedom of the Maulanas to label anyone as anti-Islam and to declare anything as ‘Haram’ or un-Islamic.
This also raises serious questions as to the extent to which religious clerics can go and the restrictions which must be put in place to check blatant violations of individual liberty. Islam must have nothing to do with the fact that an individual wants to donate his organs. The Constitution of India vests the fundamental right to freedom and liberty to every citizen of India. Liberty of the individual and the right to live with dignity is sacrosanct. India cannot allow it to be violated in the name of religion. Maulanas trying to restrict the right of an individual to bodily integrity is nothing less than an attempt to create a Taliban of sorts within India.
This also points to the need of putting restrictions against the capricious powers of the Islamic clerics to issue Fatwas and ostracize members of the Muslim community at the drop of a hat. It is not the prerogative of a Maulana to instruct the boycott of the doctor by the Muslim society or to declare that the donor is not a Muslim or that he is not following the command of Allah. In fact, any attempt by a religious cleric to ostracize an ordinary citizen from society must be investigated and treated as a case of harassment.
But one must appreciate and thank Dr. Arshad for staying defiant. This country has very few people
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