January 9, 2007

Muslim Girl's Organs Save Four People

There is a good story on the first page of the Home section of today's Straits Times. Last month, a young Malay Muslim girl lost her life after her boyfriend's motorcycle got into an accident. The boyfriend sustained serious injuries, but survived. The girl, Syahida Said ("Sy" in Malay is pronounced as "sh"), had severe brain and lung injuries, and was pronounced brain dead three days after the accident. However, the good news is that Syahida's mother allowed some of her daughter's organs to be donated.

The problem here is that the Muslim community is reluctant to donate organs after death. This despite the fact that MUIS, the ministry for Muslim affairs, has written two fatawa permitting the donation of organs in emergencies to save lives (the fatawa were written in 1986 and 2003). "Now, under the Human Organ Transplant Act, kidneys, livers, hearts and corneas suitable for transplant are taken from all Singaporeans and permanent residents - unless they have opted out - except Muslims, upon their death. Muslims have to opt in, with the consent of two Muslim men, who need not be relatives."

In 2006, six hearts, one lung, seven livers and 56 kidneys in all were transplanted from dead donors. Of those 70 organs, only four came from one Muslim - Syahida Said. There were no Muslim donors in 2005. That's pathetic. We, the Muslim community of Singapore, need to help contribute our organs after death so that we may help others in need. Should I meet an untimely end, I authorize my wife's family to allow my organs to be donated.

May Allah (swt) reward Syahida for her gifts of life. Ameen. Her heart now beats in the chest of a man in his 50s who suffered from heart failure. Her liver saved a woman in her 50s with cirrhosis. Her kidneys went to two men in their 40s. May all of these people treat Syahida's gifts with respect and prayers for her wellbeing in the hereafter. Syahida's mother said, "She was very helpful and had wanted to be a nurse. I'm happy she managed to save four people."



rozas said...

Hi JD! Apa khabar?:) Long time since I have been here. How are you and the dear missus? Fine I hope.

Yup, I read about this Syahida girl(may her soul lie in peace) today,whose mom donated her organs and I felt so touched too. I feel very proud of the mom actually coz not many muslims of her generation can appreciate what she just did with her child's body.

I am for organ donation too, although my husband is against it, for personal reasons, not so much religious. So this has held me back for a while now.

DramaMama said...

Salam! I teared when I read the news report yesterday. Such courage, I'd say, since there is still much taboo attached to organ donations in the Malay community.

Ann said...

Assalaamu alaikum,

Masha'allah! Organ donation is not something I hear discussed often; I don't know if people actually object to it, or they just aren't really aware about it.

On an unrelated topic, though, thanks for pointing out that "sy" is pronounced "sh". I've taken Quran classes with women from many different countries, and it's interesting to see that we have different sounds that present problems for us. For Americans, I think it's the "ain" and the "ha" that are the hardest, but I've noticed that some sisters from Malaysia and nearby countries, one of the difficulties for them is distinguishing between "sh" and "s". I didn't really know whay that was.