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I’m a first yerar medical student. as part of our studies, we are required to do anatomy which includes dissection of human bodies. i would like to know if this is permissible and if there is any particular etiquette that is to be followed.

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i’m a first yerar medical student. as part of our studies, we are required to do anatomy which includes dissection of human bodies. i would like to know if this is permissible and if there is any particular etiquette that is to be followed.

Answer

In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


Assalāmu ῾alaykum wa Rahmatullāhi Wabarakātuh

Every part/limb of a human body is sacred, irrespective whether he is dead or alive.  This will apply to the body of Muslims and non Muslims.

“The body of a human is sanctified in Shariah, even though it may be that of a Kaafir”

(Raddul Muhtar, Vol. 5, P. 58, HM Saeed)[1]

Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has mentioned:

“Breaking the bone of a dead person is equal to breaking it whilst he is alive”

(Sunan Abi Dawood, vol.2, pg.102, HM Saeed)[2]

In the light of the above, it will not be permissible to dissect a human body. However, if a woman passes away in the state of pregnancy and there is great possibility that the child is still alive, it will be permissible to operate on her and deliver the child.

(Fatawa Mahmoodiyyah, vol.18, pg.340-346, Farukiyyah)
(Badai’ us Sanai’, vol.4, pg.310, Deoband)[3]

If there is a need or one is forced to dissect a human body, care should be taken that the body is handled carefully and treated in a respectful manner. The body should not be cut open more than that which is necessary. A male should not dissect the body of a woman and vice versa. Care should also be taken that one should not divulge any information or describe the body to others as this will lead to the defamation of that body.

And Allāh Ta῾āla Knows Best
Wassalāmu ῾alaykum 

Ml. Rayhaan Docrat,
Student Dārul Iftā

Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Dārul Iftā, Madrasah In῾āmiyyah



والآدمي مكرم شرعا وإن كان كافرا فإيراد العقد عليه وإبداله به وإلحاقه بالجمادات إذلال له . 1

[2] عن عائشة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال كسر عظم الميت ككسره حيا (باب في الحفار يجد العظم هل يتنكب ذلك المكان)

[3] حامل ماتت فاضطرب في بطنها ولد فإن كان في أكبر الرأي أنه حي يشق بطنها لأنا ابتلينا ببليتين فنختار أهونهما وشق بطن الأم الميتة أهون من إهلاك الولد الحي .(كتاب الاستحسان)

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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