Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Message From Brother Ashfaq

I pray that Allah’s blessings and peace be upon you and your family as we enter the year 2018.  It is a tradition, and Muslims are no exception, we make new year’s resolutions and there is nothing wrong with that.  Our resolutions, however, must go beyond the normal resolutions of physical appearances, and must not be a yearly thing for us, but a daily effort on our part to become better in our living as Muslims.

Let the year 2018 be a revolutionary one that will change our lives for years to come.  Let us make our resolution a family resolution:

  • Let’s start with making salah in congregations at home, especially Fajr and Isha.  If you can take your family to the Masjid, that is even better.
  • Recite Surah al Mulk and other prophetic Azkar (remembrance of Allah) together every evening.
  • Be involved with the Masjid activities.  Remember the saying of the Prophet, a Muslim away from the jama’a, is a target for Satan like the lone sheep is a target for a wolf.
  • Contribute to the community at large that we live in.  We are obligated to improve the quality of life for all, not just Muslims.  You do not have to this alone, we the Masjid have several opportunities to do this throughout the year

Let your resolution be reachable goals and Inshaa Allah we will see a difference in our lives for the better, both in this world and the next.

IAA Raises Funds for a Brighter Future by Yasmin El-Husari

On Saturday, December 9, the Islamic Academy of Alabama held its second biannual fundraiser at the HCIC. The turnout was low-- it had just snowed the day before, and the weather was icy, but by the end of the night, IAA had raised $107,000 of its $180,000 target. Alhamdulillah, after our gratefulness to Allah, we have the community to thank.

The fundraising program began with a beautiful dinner followed by nasheeds and skits performed by IAA students. Dunia Shuaib, a Dallas-based family counselor, author, and international speaker joined us for the night. She was highly impressed by the students’ performances, and encouraged the community to give with their akhirahs in mind.

Alhamdulillah, our community responded with nothing less than their best.  I would like to reiterate Sister Dunia’s message and ask the community to continue giving to our school. It provides a way for us to gain the reward of continuous charity, spreading beneficial knowledge, and gaining the duaa of the next generation.

I myself am an IAA graduate, and would be the first to advocate for the school’s impact on the community. After spending fourteen years at IAA, I graduated with honors from the School of Education at UAB before returning to IAA as the high school Social Studies teacher.
I have spent a lot of time in other schools as part of my training as an educator, so I know the value IAA adds to our community. In addition to offering competitive education in core subjects, IAA also gives students the gift of an Islamic foundation.

The Muslim community today is no stranger to the challenges American society presents to Islamic Aqeedah, and the problem will only continue to grow. IAA’s goal is to graduate youth with the tools they need to meet the challenge of a changing society. And in that sense, supporting IAA means supporting a successful next generation of American Muslims.

The IAA office is still collecting donations to meet its remaining $73,000 deficit for the 2017-2018 school year.

Month of Rabi ul Awwal by Ashfaq Taufique

We recently bid farewell to the month of Rabi ul Awwal, a month of great significance and importance in Islamic history.  This is the month when mankind was blessed with the birth of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) .  

Once the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on Monday, he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said “That is the day I was born.”  I respect the varying practices of celebrating the Prophet’s (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) birthday, but fasting on Monday is an authentic way to celebrate the birth of our beloved prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).  Using this occasion to teach our children about our prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is also acceptable.

More than ever, now is the time for us as Muslims to study the life of our Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and mold our lives according to his (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) teachings. The only way to survive in this time of peril and distress is to hold tight to the rope of Allah and the teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).  Our love and respect for our Prophet must be manifested in our daily lives by learning his (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) Sunnah and implementing them in our daily lives.  Mere lip service is not part of our faith.

“And whatever the Messenger has given you - take; and what he has forbidden you - refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” (Surah Hashr, Verse 7)

May Allah make us among those who model our lives according to the teachings of Islam. Ameen.

Distributing Coats to Children with Holy Family Cristo Rey School

In living with the spirit of BIS vision statement:

To become the unifying platform for nurturing and sustaining a vibrant Muslim community in the Greater Birmingham area, and to help improve the quality of life for society at large.

Our community responded to the call from Holy Family Cristo Rey School and distributed winter Jackets for the children.  

Choosing Faith Over Fear by Sakeena Ahmed

Sr. Dunia Shuaib, motivational speaker and author, visited us at BIS earlier this month. She was scheduled to arrive and speak on our surprise snow day. Despite the weather in Birmingham, she traveled from Dallas, TX to speak to our community. The weather made us change our original plans from a Friday night community dinner to a Saturday afternoon talk. As a result, the attendance was fairly low, but alhamdulillah her talk was well received by those who were able to be there.

Sr. Dunia spoke on an important and timely topic titled, “Choosing Faith Over Fear.” In today’s heated political climate and current events, many Muslims may feel overwhelmed with practicing their religion. They fear what others may say or do to them since we as Muslims are “different”. We have different beliefs; we appear or dress differently; we pray differently. But yet, we must still hold steadfast to our religion. How is one to uphold their religion when it can actually be quite stressful for some?

Alhamdulillah, we have been given prayers, stories and examples from the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) on how to handle such fear and anxiety. The companions of the Prophet experienced much worse trials in their lives than we have or ever will in our lives (insha’Allah). Despite the daily tortures they faced, they still remained strong in their faith and believed strongly in the words of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and the Prophet (peace be upon him). Knowing our history can help us put our lives into perspective when feeling overwhelmed with all that is taking place in the world today.

Sr. Dunia prepared a handout with daily remembrances and duas that we should be reciting. She reminded us to begin and end each with a daily set of adhkar. We have specific du’as given to us asking for Allah’s protection, what to say when and if we are afraid of a group of people, du’as for fear of oppression, what to say if we feel frightened, and prayers to say when leaving our homes.

May Allah reward Sr. Dunia for taking time out of her busy schedule to visit us. She has visited us several times in the past and has always been a community favorite, mashaAllah. May Allah bless her work and time. We pray that Allah protect the Muslims and keep us strong in our faith to allow us to choose it over any fears we may have in our lives.

If you missed this talk, you can view part of a recording of it on our Facebook page -

Dua'a Worksheet from Faith Over Fear Talk

Bham Now Comes to HCIC for Storytime

Bham Now reporter Liz Brody missed the interfaith Story Time last month with the BIS, N.E. Miles Jewish Day School and the Birmingham Jewish Federation’s PJ library, so she joined the November storytime at HCIC.  She wrote about it and it appeared, as follows, on Bham Now’s website on December 18, 2017.

BIS Story Time: Teaching Our Children Well

Back in November, Ashfaq Taufique from the Birmingham Islamic Society (BIS), told me about BIS’s Story Time at the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School and how they’d like Bham Now to do a piece about the event. I’ve written several pieces about the importance of Jewish and Muslim solidarity in Birmingham. This was the story I was born to cover.
But sometimes, you have to wait.

Sometimes you’re just not ready to do something. You might think you are, but something puts you on hold. You get a surprise, like, the only substitute available on the day of an event calls in with a family emergency and there’s no way sticking your students in another class for the day is gonna fly. You’ll let the guilt pile up, but you’ll also watch the world change, you’ll change. And when you are ready to do that something, it’s more meaningful.
This isn’t about politics. This is about simply teaching us how to get along. And about the importance of experience.

Story Time is a monthly event. December’s Story Time was held at BIS on a Wednesday night. When I walked into the room, the storyteller, Kirin Nabi, stood by a table covered in picture books and stickers. Her background as a librarian was evident in her display prowess and her ability to control a crowd of children without raising her voice. She greeted me with a hug and told me to sit anywhere. The propped up books, the fluffy red carpet, the kids sitting cross-legged in a cluster, trying to determine the best angle to turn in to see the pictures, and I was back in 2nd grade, waiting for the elementary school librarian to introduce the new Caldecott winner. It’s a warm memory, I’m sure I’m not alone in my nostalgia.
Story Time is a thematic event, each month focuses on a particular issue or life skill. This month was about problem solving. Each book was read with an appropriately dramatic flair. The kids laughed as they leaned in to get a closer look at the illustrations. After each story, Ms. Nabi lead a short discussion about the book. What was the problem to book presented? How did the protagonist handle the problem? Did it solve the problem, or just hide it? What types of problems are there?  Ms. Nabi was asking the kids these questions, but the adults nodded their heads in contemplation as well.  She is warm, she is funny, she is incredibly gifted at what she does.
I had seen pictures from Friendship Story Walk, the event at the Day School. There was a very good turn out. The story, “Do Unto Otters,” was interactive, being told via crafts and activities. Laurie Keller’s Otter series deals with the importance of communicating with those who are different from us, understanding and celebrating those differences, and the ways we can show each other respect.
The event also had snacks, and parents were encouraged to bring along non-perishable foods to donate at the door.
Mr. Taufique’s goal for future events is to pair with “churches, parochial schools, homeschooling administrators, etc, would like to follow suit and have joint storytelling with the Islamic Center.  This will go a long way in promoting understanding.”  BIS often partners with local religious groups and charities to do service projects and community building, like their recent coat drive with Holy Family Cristo Rey High School in Ensley.
I’ve written before about being a fan of Mr. Taufique. I know that leaves me with a major bias, but I say, only because it’s true, Mr. Taufique and the community he represents are unsung heroes of the city of Birmingham, doing so much good with very little publicity or recognition outside of a few Facebook posts.
When I contacted Mr. Taufique about proceeding with an article about an event that, in journalism time, had happened in the ancient past, he simply responded that he knew things would work out, that he hoped everything was okay, and that there was a spot for me on that fluffy red carpet for the next Story Time.
Goin’ on a bear hunt!

Children’s books have always played a central role in the way we interact with the world. Whether you are the one being read to, the one reading with a child on your lap, or a group of kids on the floor, trying to absorb as much of the book’s art as possible, these are the stories that put our problems, our beliefs, our prejudices, into the simplest terms and makes us exam them in ways that are sometimes difficult for us to produce on our own.
Ms. Nabi is currently working on bringing a Little Free Library to BIS. She also keeps a Pinterest board updated as her own virtual library. Her book choices range from Islamic to secular, serious to silly, and focus on diversity, identity, courage to do what’s right, and critical thinking.
Here is a list of the books from December’s Problem Solving Story Time:
There’s an Alligator Under My Bed by Mercer Mayer                                           

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Message from Brother Ashfaq

Sometime ago, I was actively involved in the teaching of our Weekend Islamic School students. Once in the class I asked a question, “Why should we not consume drugs?”  I got diverse answers from the teenagers ranging from being against the law to bad for my health.  All the answers were correct, but we as Muslims have ignored our priorities.  The reason we do not consume drugs is because it violates our covenant with Allah, as Allah has forbidden intoxicants.  

We should make our covenant with Allah as the primary reason for evaluating all our thoughts and actions regarding all the matters of our lives.  The criteria for how good of a son, father, mother, sister, employee, employer, neighbor, I am being, is my adherence to the laws that Allah prescribes.  Without this core understanding, we are lost.  

Continuing my thoughts, I had voiced in my October 2017 article, I would like to propose a practical step towards our efforts to make us a better Muslim community.  

Inshaa Allah, I will convene a meeting with our Executive Committee and Imam to discuss the theme of the month, that will deal with our mannerisms (adaab, Akhlaq etc).  If agreeable, our khutbahs and lectures should be dealing with that issue for that month. Inshaa Allah we will make a dent in our society, and be the Muslims that can stand on the Day of Judgement with rewards in our bag of deeds.

Anyone in the community at large that wants to help me in this aspect, please contact me.

Dr. Wakar Uddin's Rohingya Crisis Presentations by Farook Chandiwala

The Birmingham Interfaith Human Rights Committee (BIHRC) joined hands with two other organizations, Peace and Justice Committee of the Universalist Unitarian (UU) Church and the Institute for Human Rights (IHR), to arrange a total of four programs locally featuring Dr. Wakar Uddin in the Birmingham area to discuss the Rohingya crisis.   

The first program was on Sunday, at 10 am with the children at the UU church, followed by an address to the church congregation.   

After that, 10 or so people met for a meeting for a newly formed group, called Refugee Interest Group, of which Br. Ashfaq Taufique and I are members, representing the Muslim community.  Dr. Uddin also spoke there for about 30 minutes about the Rohingya crisis; a lot of questions were asked and very ably answered by him.

The third program was on Sunday, Nov. 12 at Hoover Crescent Masjid at 6 pm.  Dr. Uddin made his excellent presentations via his well-prepared slides on the history of the Rohingya people, the details of the conflict, and the current desperate situation of the Rohingya people.  Though many of us have seen the pictures of the dire conditions of the Rohingya people in the news and social media, his slides were painful to watch.  A question/answer session followed, and pizza was served after Isha salaat.  The attendance was fair, around 50 people.  Since most Muslims do not want to come to other venues, HRC decided to bring the program to HCIC.  We wish more people would attend these programs in the future.

The fourth of this series in two days, was done at UAB at the Edge of Chaos.  This program was also attended by around 60 people, consisting of community members, and students from UAB.  Again, a similar slide presentation was made after which questions from the audience were answered very well by Dr. Uddin.  Light refreshments consisting of South Asian snacks and baklava were served for those who decided to stay behind and socialize.

The fourth of this series in two days, was done at UAB at the Edge of Chaos.  This program was also attended by around 60 people, consisting of community members, and students from UAB.  Again, a similar slide presentation was made after which questions from the audience were answered very well by Dr. Uddin.  Light refreshments consisting of South Asian snacks and baklava were served for those who decided to stay behind and socialize.

Dr. Wakar Uddin is himself of Rohingya origin.  After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in Burma (now Myanmar), he finished his Master’s and Ph.D degrees in USA, and has been teaching at Penn State University in Pennsylvania.  He is also the director of the Arakan Rohingya Union, which comprises of over 60 Rohingya organizations located throughout the world.  He travels and lectures on this topic, has connected widely with the members of UN general assembly and security council, and has met and still meets with many heads of state, foreign ministers of various European and Muslim countries.  After this event, he went to the UK, Turkey and to attend a meeting of OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Lynda Wilson and Tina Kempin Reuter from These UU and IHR helped in not only arranging and facilitating the events, but also by donating substantial amounts of funds to help defray some of the expenses. They also were influential in sharing basic historical information about the Rohingya and encouraging people to help.  

UU posted on their social media streams the following: “Rohingya were there in the 7th Century. Arab missionaries, spice traders arrived in the 14th Century. There was no Burma but the Arakan Kingdom was there.  Burma invaded and conquered it in 1785. ‘Ethnic cleansing’ is used instead of the action-requiring ‘genocide.’ Burma basically turned Muslims in their country into undocumented people.  Over 2 million of a total 3 million people have been displaced. Currently a million are in camps, half of which are children. Thousands have died. The Burmese/Myanmar army/government is conducting a ONE-SIDED ‘clean up’--totally destroying villages.  Indiscriminate killing.  It's all documented. International pressure has affected some minimal improvement. But people can't harvest because of extremist violence. Dr. Uddin's group and others are quietly helping to get food and non-perishables to brave people who have stayed in the country. He emphasized 'to some' people. The congregational donations today go to the UUSC, which is contributing to the effort. Contributions can also be made to Dr. Uddin's group.”

The Human Rights Committee raises its funds through the sales of BIS calendars annually and uses these funds to invite guest speakers from outside Birmingham.  Over the years we have arranged several programs, such as talks on Afghanistan, Drone Wars, The White Helmets in Syria, the Zaatari Camp movie made by a local Muslim sister, Duniya Habash.  These programs are arranged at different locations at UAB, and local public libraries in Hoover and Vestavia.  Many of them were well attended, and a few sparsely attended.  Various films have been shown also, especially those made by UPF (Unity Productions Foundation).  We urge the Muslim community to help us by coming to these programs and help by spreading the word.  

We have a Facebook page, called Birmingham Interfaith Human Rights.  Br. Fayez (Vic) Saad has been video graphing these programs and is in the process of uploading them on the FB page.  You can also go to YouTube and then put Justice Now in the Search Engine, find J marked in a circle, and subscribe and watch the programs till such time as they are completely uploaded on the BIHRC FB page.  We hope you will spend some time on the FB page and YouTube site, and give us your feedback after watching some of our current and past videos.

Donations were solicited and a total amount of approximately $1700 was collected for the Rohingyas living inside Burma; Dr Uddin has a way of getting the money to them.

Prepared by Br. Farook Chandiwala

Chairperson, Birmingham Interfaith Human Rights Committee

A Large and Generous Crowd make CAIR-AL's Fundraiser a Success by Orooj Chandiwala

CAIR Alabama hosted its second annual fundraising banquet on November 5, 2017, at Haven.  Approximately 300 guests enjoyed the program and dinner catered by B&A Warehouse Catering.  
Khaula Hadeed, CAIR-AL executive director, spoke about the growth of CAIR-AL over the past two years.  She remembered a time when an Alabama chapter of CAIR was just a fledgling idea.  Over the past two years they’ve succeeded at establishing a media presence and defending victims of hate crimes all over the state.  Nihad Awad, CAIR National Executive Director, spoke about the rising incidence of hate crimes against Muslims, but also the unprecedented solidarity Muslims have experienced at airports and mosques.  He ended his speech with an inspirational message:  If you want to see the change for a positive Muslim image, get involved.
This year the Building Bridges Interfaith Leadership Award was given to two recipients, Dr. Mahmood Zaied of Montgomery, AL, and Aladin Beshir of Huntsville, AL.  Dr. Zaied worked tirelessly to obtain approval by his local Homeowner’s Association to build a mosque, often knocking on doors to meet with dissenters personally.  His efforts paid off and the construction of the mosque was approved.  Mr. Beshir spent decades promoting positive interfaith relationships.  He is the Director of Outreach for the Huntsville Islamic Center.  He is a long standing board member of the International Society of Huntsville, an organization that broadens awareness of diverse cultures through cultural, educational, and social programming.  His real passion, however, is serving as President of Interfaith Mission Services.  Interfaith Mission Services is a co-op of forty religious institutions who work together to promote social justice, create interfaith dialogue, provide direct service to those in immediate need, and address racial inequalities and cultural barriers.  Khaula Hadeed was then presented with a surprise gift and donation to CAIR from King Simmons Law Firm - a framed photograph of Mohammad Ali’s famous knockout punch against Sonny Liston to represent the ongoing fight for justice.
Hassan Shibly, CAIR-FL Executive Director, conducted the fundraising.  CAIR-AL Board of Directors got the ball rolling with a $30,000 donation.  Several organizations subsequently joined in, including Birmingham Islamic Society ($10K), Madison Islamic Masjid ($10K), Gadsden Islamic Society ($10K), Huntsville Islamic Center ($10K), Anniston Islamic Center($11K), and The Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America ($5K).  Individual contributions totaled over $70,000.  Thanks to inspirational speakers, Shibly’s dynamic fundraising, and the generosity of donors, the evening raised over $150,000!  
The evening concluded with a speech by the guest speaker, Linda Sarsour, Co-Founder of MPower Change and Co-Chair of Women’s March National.  Sarsour came to “tell like it like it is” as an “unapologetically Muslim-American, Palestinian-American, from Brooklyn, NY.”  She presented a realistic view of modern white privilege, Islamophobia, racism, and misogyny.  She reminded us of our history of segregation and Japanese internment, and asked us to never allow these things to happen again.  Her ultimate message was one of hope – hope for a positive future if we all participate in the ongoing fight for justice by not being bystanders during difficult times.

Dr. Zoghby's Speech on the Arab World by Ashfaq Taufique

The Palestinian and Israeli conflict in the Middle East is so often the heart of international politics.  The mainstream American population continues to be ignorant of the historical roots of the conflict, and are easily swayed by the political pundits in favor of Israel.  Time after time the Palestinians become the victims of this bias information.
To combat the ignorance, Birmingham Islamic Society in partnership with the Institute of Human Rights invited a renowned scholar, Dr. James Zoghby on November 14, 2017 at the UAB Alumni House.  The topic of the lecture was “What You Don't Know (But Need To Know) About the Arab World Today”.
The lecture was very well attended and captured the attention of the audience.  Dr. Zoghby attributed the failure of our foreign policy in that part of the world, to the fact that we engage in wars without knowing the culture, rules of engagement, or the commitment needed.  Unfortunately, we continue to pour dollars, human life and political capital without having a clue.  This lack of education, popular media, and political culture has led to where we are in that part of the world.
For those who missed the lecture here is the link to Dr. Zoghby’s speech:

IAA Humanitarian Club Tidies Up the Muslim Cemetery by Jenan Abdein

On November 11th, 2017, the IAA Humanitarian Club, volunteering students, and parents pursued their Islamic responsibility by cleaning up Birmingham’s Muslim Garden Cemetery.

About 30 people gathered for three hours to cut and clear out overgrown tree branches, pull and clear out leaves, add rocks where needed, and pick up any trash.  

The IAA Humanitarian Club brings together students who strive to positively impact our local community through selfless acts of kindness, such as visiting elderly homes, raising money for local charities, and cleaning the school campus.  The club encourages global citizenship and leadership through random acts of kindness. The school and club work with the belief that, “Together, we can work towards positive change through awareness, focused outreach activities, and dedicated community service.”

The Islamic cemetery, called Muslim Garden, is contained within the Oakland Cemetery in Ensley, which is located at 1230 Warrior Road, Ensley, AL 35218. The entire 500 plot area, owned by BIS is fenced, and bushes are planted on the periphery to create a natural separation from the rest of the cemetery.

Interfaith Friendship Story Walk by Sakeena Ahmed

On Sunday morning, November 19, BIS along with the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School and the Birmingham Jewish Federation’s PJ library, organized a story walk for children ages 5 and under with their families at the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School. It was a beautiful effort to collaborate with community members who may not otherwise have met. Approximately 30 families, including over 40 children participated in this event. Muslim, Jewish, and Christian families met, chatted, and enjoyed watching their children play together. Despite their religious differences, families came together for a morning of fellowship and making connections.

A story walk is when pages of a book are transformed into signs that are then laid out on a trail inviting families to follow the path of the pages. This may also involve other activities, games and stations along the way. The book chosen for our story walk was Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller. There were five stations for the story walk: (1) music station, (2) snack station, (3) donate a canned good for the needy station, (4) friendship bracelet craft, and (5) decorate a banner and free play station. The children enjoyed the activities and families were overheard saying they would love to see more such events planned in the future.

MY Group Boys Wrap up Another Successful Year by Rashid Almuntharee

Alhamdulillah, we have had a very busy and successful year with continued projects, as well as new additions.
As it relates to the continued projects, we recently completed our Annual MY Group 3 on 3  Basketball Tournament.  The winners were Salaam Qashou, Muadh Sabahi, and Muhammad Ashour.
We also had our Annual Iron Bowl Tailgate party on Saturday, November 25th at HCIC.
Over the past two years MY Group boys have consistently delivered food backpacks to children in the Hoover School system. Alhamdulillah, in our third year we have expanded and are now delivering to Hayes Elementary School in Birmingham. Our youth single handedly maintained an entire school by themselves for two years. They have grown and shown outstanding leadership, and I am honored to be a witness and aid in their greatness. I am expecting more great things from them and even more great things from the MY Group Juniors insha'Allah.

Thoughts on Organ Donation by Dr. Esraa Eloseily

It’s a story that can affect each and every one of us. Most of us know of a friend or even a family member who either had or is waiting to have an organ transplant. Being on the waitlist for an organ transplant is daunting, both for the patient and their family.

The aim of this article is not to discuss the scholarly opinions, but to raise awareness about such an important topic. Organ donation is considered to many as a religious generosity for which a Muslim would be rewarded from Allah, a duty that we owe to our fellow ill human beings. In Islam, saving one life is equated to saving the whole mankind. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told us: “Whosoever of you can render any benefit to his brother should do so.” No benefit can be considered greater than saving someone’s life by giving him the gift of an organ or tissue donation. This is not only considered as a charitable act but also as a sadaqah jariyah (ongoing charity) from which the donor will continue to reap rewards after his/her own death, so long as the donated organ continues to function in the body of another human being.”
Of course it’s a personal choice and if anyone is feeling doubtful about it, he or she should seek advice from a scholar that he trusts.

Organ donation is divided into two main types. Living donation is received from a living donor; this is the case with liver and kidney donations. A normal person can survive and be healthy with only one kidney and a part of a liver. This type of donation doesn’t only save the life of the recipient but also the next person on the deceased organ waiting list.

The other type is the deceased organ donation which is giving an organ or tissue at the time of the donor’s death. An individual may be able to donate organs, tissues or eyes even if he or she is not eligible to donate blood. Transplantation is a medically acceptable treatment for end-stage organ failure and post-transplant survival rates continue to improve.

More than 116,900 people are waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. A new person is added to the waiting list every 18 minutes. People frequently die while waiting for a suitable organ to be available.

If you want to be an organ donor, it is important to have a conversation with your family about your donation wishes because this makes it easier for them at the time of death. You should also indicate your wishes on Legacy Organ & Tissue Donation Registry. When you register as an organ donor, you can choose which organs and or tissues you would like to donate. You can always withdraw or change your choices online anytime.

It’s also important to know that organ and tissue donation does not prevent a family from proceeding with desired funeral arrangements. While the time of loss can be very hard for the family, organ and tissue donation is considered as a positive experience by many. Families find resolve that a life-saving operation came out of the tragedy; a part of their beloved one still lives and helps another fellow human being to survive.

To conclude, the practice of organ donation is thought to be congruent with the Islamic principles that are universal and humanitarian. These principles include rahmah i.e. to show compassion, helping one another, and making continual (jariah) charity. It should always be a personal choice and family members should be informed about it.

Esraa Eloseily, MD, MRCPCH
Consultant of pediatric rheumatology
Assiut University Children Hospital

Assiut, Egypt