AMI graduate Mahdiyah Abdulhussain awarded studentship at CIWAS – Royal Holloway, University of London

Congratulations to AMI graduate Mahdiyah Abdulhussain who was awarded a one year studentship by The Centre for Islamic and West Asian Studies (CIWAS) at Royal Holloway, Universtiy of London. During this studentship she will be pursuing further research on ‘Organ Donation in Shiite Jurisprudence’ under an advisor, Professor Francis Robinson (Royal Holloway, University of London) starting in January 2017.

CIWAS aims to foster an exchange of ideas and knowledge among students and scholars from East and West, and across disciplines, on Islam, Islamic societies, and West Asia. As well as to contribute to the conversation being carried on, in London and around the world, on the future of West Asian societies by considering how Islam might contribute to the search for solutions to problems faced, both by contemporary West Asian societies, and by humanity more broadly.

An abstract of Ms Abdulhussain’s research reads;

Exploring the permissibility of organ donation in contemporary Shi’ite jurisprudence

The limited supply of suitable organs for transplantation in the UK is resulting in preventable deaths of patients on the waiting list, and, mounting costs on the NHS, which has to provide alternative treatments. Quantitative surveys on the attitudes of British Muslims have shown that although a majority are in favour of organ donation they do not consider it to be religiously sanctioned. The proposed research aims to examine the permissibility of organ donation in contemporary Shi’ite (twelver) jurisprudence by assessing how religious edicts are extrapolated from the sources of Sharia normativity. It will question the basis of popular discriminatory rulings stating that organs should primarily be sourced from non-Muslim cadavers since they do not enjoy the same inviolability as Muslim cadavers, and, that deceased organ donation is only justified when it is required to save the life of another Muslim. The notion that only certain lives are worth preserving has significant ethical and practical implications in the UK’s legislative context where conditional organ donation is prohibited on the basis that organs are donated altruistically and allocated on the basis of need.

For more information on the work of CIWAS click here