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Offline Seraphina

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Are blood transfusions sanctioned from Quran?
« on: September 23, 2014, 08:42:58 AM »
Salam alaikum brothers and sisters,
I've been asked this question today from my sister, and I'm not sure about response. Here's why.
Many of you are familiar with serums and infusions. If because of any health issue we can't feed ourselves through our mouth as usual, we are 'fed' through our veins, so the body is provided with food materials that would normally come from mouth. This is also the case during massive blood loss in accidents, or other conditions - we are 'fed' with blood through our veins.
Although there's no verse in the Quran that directly forbids blood transfusions, I am aware that blood transfusions were not known to 7th century Arabia, and the only known way to get something inside your body was through your mouth. And eating blood (getting someone's blood inside your body) was declared unlawful.
And yes, I am aware that "saving a life is like saving all mankind", and there may come a situation that someone's life would depend from that transfusion. But think about it - if you would be in a difficult state, and a doctor would tell you that a daily dosage of alcohol is your cure, would you accept it, even if it is not through your mouth but through your veins? I agree that blood and alcohol are not the same thing, but they have both something in common: both of them are unlawful from entering your body .
What is your opinion of this, brothers and sisters? Brother Joseph, do you have any advice for this?
Selam, God bless you!
"Say:"O my slaves who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Are blood transfusions sanctioned from Quran?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2014, 03:42:05 AM »
Dear Seraphina,

Wa alaikum assalam

From a Quran's perspective, the rules of permissibility and unlawfulness in these circumstances arguably do not apply in exceptional circumstances.

This overarching principle / sentiment is made clear by verse 5:3 which states in the context of food that:

"...Anyone who is compelled by hunger, not by will to eat what is forbidden, not intending to commit sin, will find God Merciful and Forgiving".

For example, from a Quran’s perspective, human life is sacred. Humans are not to take the life of another human being without just cause (capital punishment for murder or for spreading corruption in the land - 5:32, 4:29, 4:92-93 and 6:151). Therefore, killing another human being for food remains prohibited. One could argue then that it is permissible to consume human flesh after death has occurred naturally. However this is also negated by verse 5:3 in which carrion (dead meat) is also prohibited.

However, there is an exception that can be argued in accentuating circumstances where even dead meat can be eaten but such a situation would be extremely rare. However, there have been cases where stranded people have kept themselves alive long enough (only eating as much as they need) from the dead bodies of other humans. Again the maxim "...Anyone who is compelled by hunger, not by will to eat what is forbidden, not intending to commit sin, will find God Merciful and Forgiving". would remain applicable.

No doubt this is an extreme situation.

You kindly share:

But think about it - if you would be in a difficult state, and a doctor would tell you that a daily dosage of alcohol is your cure, would you accept it, even if it is not through your mouth but through your veins?

If there is no other option left to sustain life, then arguably from a Quran's perspective, laws governing unlawfulness in normal circumstances are relaxed to cater for mitigating / exceptional circumstances.

For example, up till approximately the 1980s, animal insulin (often derived from cows and pigs) was the only real treatment for diabetics’ wholly dependent on insulin. Obviously, if verse 5:3 is kept in mind, the only reason such medication could be consumed would be to protect life and not to consume it with a view to transgress.

I trust that you will find noteworthy that I have shared with you an explicit exception directly from the Quran (5:3).

I hope that helps, God willing.

Your brother in faith,
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Seraphina

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Re: Are blood transfusions sanctioned from Quran?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2014, 06:48:51 AM »
Dear brother Joseph,
Thank you so much! You're right when you say nowadays many ways of medications and treatment are available, (and just like the case of insulin, blood transfusions are no exception), so the cases where we have no other way rather than breaking the laws of God are becoming very rare.
That's what I love about your answers - they always make sense logically, are always in agreement with the Quran, and are always easy to be put into practice.
May God bless you,
Your sister in faith, Serafina :)
"Say:"O my slaves who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."