Are online fatwas credible? A critical analysis of fifty fatwas on organ donation and transplantation

Journal article


Yucel, Salih and Albayrak, Ismail. (2021). Are online fatwas credible? A critical analysis of fifty fatwas on organ donation and transplantation. Religions. 12(10), p. Article 902. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12100902
AuthorsYucel, Salih and Albayrak, Ismail
Abstract

The cyber world affects many aspects of personal and communal life in our modern world. One significant form of this influence is the growing digitisation of religious understanding. This article will focus on one facet of this virtual religious discussion, namely the religious rulings of organ donation and transplantation in Islam. This study will emphasise that discussion of the credibility of online fatwas is a neglected area that deserves significant scholarly attention. It will examine the diversity and complexity of 50 online fatwas on organ donation and transplantation selected from various fatwa organisations, government bodies, and councils across 16 countries, which differ linguistically, ethnically, socio-culturally, and by religious orientation. This article has three main arguments. First, it argues that state appointed and controlled religious authorities who work under close scrutiny of the state lack credibility in their fatwas. This has especially been the case in the post-colonial period where authoritarian states have deprived many Muslim scholars of their scholarly freedom to produce independent fatwas. Secondly, the paper asserts that an absence of field experts in the fatwa-making process in such areas as medicine, psychology, law, and public policy has weakened the credibility of online fatwas. Finally, the online fatwas evidenced in this study shows little, if any, consideration of opposing views on organ donation and transplantation, further damaging the reliability of the rulings produced. Finally, the online fatwas evidenced in this study shows little, if any, consideration of opposing views on organ donation and transplantation, further damaging the reliability of the rulings produced.

Keywordsorgan donation; fatwa; Islam; freedom; ijtihad
Year2021
JournalReligions
Journal citation12 (10), p. Article 902
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI AG)
ISSN2077-1444
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12100902
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85117766716
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-15
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online19 Oct 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted14 Oct 2021
Deposited23 Dec 2021
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