Trenton McKinley suffered severe brain trauma when he fell from a car trailer which flipped over and hit his head. Doctors told his parents he would not recover and that his organs were a match for five children who needed transplants. A day before his life support was to end, Trenton showed signs of awareness. The teenager suffered seven skull fractures in the accident in Mobile, Alabama, in March. According to his mother, Jennifer Reindl, Trenton has since undergone several craniotomy surgeries, suffering kidney failure and cardiac arrest.

At one point, Ms Reindl said, Trenton died on the table for 15 minutes, after which doctors told her he would “never be normal again”. Ms Reindl told CBS News that she agreed to sign the organ donation papers when she learned her son’s organs could save five other children. “We said yes, that also ensured that they would continue to keep Trenton alive to clean his organs for the donation,” Ms Reindl said, recalling how her son regained consciousness in March.

“The next day he was scheduled to have his final brain wave test to call his time of death, but his vitals spiked so they cancelled the test.” Trenton is now going through a slow recovery process. “I hit the concrete, and the trailer landed on top of my head. After that, I don’t remember anything,” he said. He still has nerve pain and seizures, and will need surgery to reconnect half of his skull. He has been walking and talking, even reading and doing maths, Ms Reindl said, calling it “a miracle”. Trenton himself said that he thought he was in heaven while he was unconscious. “I was in an open field walking straight,” the 13-year-old said. “There’s no other explanation but God.”

Our comment:

“Allah takes the soul at the time of their death and [the souls] of those that do not die during their sleep. He retains those souls for which He has ordained death, whereas He releases the rest for an appointed term.” (39:42)

“Brain dead” is defined as Irreversible brain damage and loss of brain function, as evidenced by cessation of breathing and other vital reflexes, unresponsiveness to stimuli, absence of muscle activity, and a flat electroencephalogram for a specific length of time.

Most people believe that one who becomes brain dead has no chance at survival, although a few cases like the one above prove otherwise. The only thing that is keeping the patient alive is a respiratory machine that keeps the heart pumping. Most of patient’s vital organs have ceased to function, causing them to be pronounced as legally dead. However, there is an agreement between Islamic jurisprudence scholars and medicine scholars of the fact that death is “the parting of the soul from the body.” Thus Islamically, to “pull the plug” equates to murder. Further details regarding this can be read below:

Fatwas by: Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai (Damat Barakatuhum) who is a khalifah of Shaykh Maseehullah Khan (rahmatullahi alayh), one of the foremost khalifahs of the great Mujaddid Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullah alayhi) (d.1943) – Reliablefatwas.com

Question One:

When is a person pronounced dead in Islam? Organs like the heart and kidneys are useful if removed while they are receiving adequate blood perfusion. It is for this reason that when a person is pronounced “brain dead” with only a machine keeping him alive, the organs are removed. Thereafter the machine is switched off. What is the Islamic viewpoint of this concept and its application?



Firstly, it is not permissible to remove any organs from the human body, whether the person is alive or dead. Secondly, the concept of brain dead is rejected by Islam. It is a concept created to deceive and soothe the minds of people to enable doctors to slaughter a living person for grabbing his organs. As long as the slightest blood perfusion takes place, the person is alive, i.e. the Rooh is still in his body. The machine will `sustain’ life only as long as the time of Maut has not arrived. The Qur’aan categorically declares:

“No person will die but with the permission of Allah at the appointed time.”

It is not the machine which ensures the perfusion of the blood and it is not the machine which keeps the person alive. If a machine can keep a person alive, it will mean that the answer for Maut has been found. Man can then escape death and be kept perpetually alive. Malakul Maut can then be `defeated’. The perfusion of blood and remaining alive are the effects of the presence of the Rooh (Soul) which is the life-giving substance. After the departure of the Rooh, nothing can ever keep the blood flowing and keep a person alive.

Question Two:

A patient’s breathing was being sustained by a ‘lifesaving’ respirator. He was unable to breathe without the machine. But with the machine on, he breathed. The Muslim doctor pronounced him ‘brain dead’, and advised removal of the machine. On the advice of the Muslim doctor, the relatives agreed. It was a Thursday afternoon. Within a few hours the sun would be setting and it would be Friday. The relatives thought that it would be an opportune occasion for their man to die because it is reported in the Hadith that one who dies on a Friday is saved from the trial of the Grave’s questioning and punishment. They, therefore, permitted the switching off of the machine only after 7 p.m., that is, after sunset when it would be Friday night according to Islam. Please comment on this whole saga.


The ‘Friday’ and the ‘Grave’ interpretation to justify the murder of the indisposed man, is a cruel and callous self-deception perpetrated by the relatives and the doctors. While the callous relatives soothed their conscience with the ‘religious’ smokescreen, the doctor, bereft of any moral conscience, had no need for any interpretation. Conscience is generally an unknown attribute to the medical butchers. The treasure of conscience does not form part of their capital. Bereft of conscience, the doctors are insulated with the ‘brain dead’ concept which westernism has fabricated and legalized for grabbing the organs—heart, kidneys, eyes, etc.—of living human beings.

THE ROOH: The definition of Maut (Death) in Islam is the permanent transference of the Rooh –the Soul– from the physical human body to the Spiritual Realm known as Aalam-e-Barzakh which people generally call the Qabr (grave). As long as this permanent transference has not occurred, man is alive.

With the transference of the Rooh occurs the cessation of all activity of all the organs of the physical body of man. There is no way, no method and no machine that can sustain life after the transference of the Rooh. If the respirator or any other medical contraption can sustain life—keep the human being alive—then no one hooked onto one of these machines should ever die. The human body will perpetually carry on its breathing and other functions, and the heart will everlastingly continue supplying the body with blood.

As long as the Rooh remains in the human body, there is life and the respirator/machine executes a meaningful function. The machine is reduced to redundancy in consequence of the permanent exit of the Rooh. Thus, the medical concept known as ‘brain dead’ is a massive and a murderous fraud enacted for the savagery of mutilating the living human being to grab his vital bodily organs. This concept has absolutely no other function other than medical barbarism perpetrated to satisfy the cannibalism for devouring organs by other patients who believe in the justification of eating human flesh at the juncture of starvation. Barbarism and cannibalism are the twin evils for the justification of the brain dead fraud.

TRUE DEATH: When true death (Maut) has transpired, all human organs are rendered lifeless and useless. There is no longer any hayaat (life) in them. Such dead and decaying meat serves no beneficial purpose to the medical butchers, hence the imperative need for the ‘brain dead’ theory. Any death-inflicting act on the human body subsequent to the ‘brain dead’ pronouncement, is in exactly the same category as a deathinflicting act prior to this fraudulent pronouncement. While western law still recognizes as murder the infliction of unjustified death before the ‘ brain dead’ pronouncement, it no longer recognizes this infliction as murder if executed after the patient has been certified ‘brain dead’. An act of intentional killing has been excluded from murder on the basis of the fallacious and fraudulent ‘brain dead’ theory in exactly the same way as the murder of a human baby is excluded from murder if the murder is perpetrated within its mother’s womb. So far, there remains some sanity to concede that killing the infant after it has emerged from its pre-terrestrial abode is murder.

KUFR: Since kufr is utterly devoid of the slightest vestige of goodness and morality, kuffaar quite comfortably, without the slightest pang of conscience fabricate products such as ‘brain dead’-murder and abortionmurder. But Islam has no truck with these acts of savagery. The ‘brain dead’ theory is not recognized by the Shariah.

ALIVE: As long as there exists the slightest activity in the human body, the person is alive according to the Shariah. The Rooh still inhabits its physical body. The breathing is attributed to the Rooh, and it is the Rooh which sustains the functions of the failing organs until the arrival of the appointed moment of Maut. Stating this fact with great clarity and emphasis, the Qur’aan Majeed says: “A person will not die except with the permission (command) of Allah at the appointed time.”

THE MACHINE: The function of the machine is in the same category as the function of medicine, a remedy, a bandage and the like. While abstention from medicine and medical treatment is permissible, deliberate denial of a life-sustaining measure which normally leads to death is haraam. If an asthmatic is gasping for air, and a doctor or any other knowledgeable person intentionally and deliberately denies him the treatment to relieve and save him from suffocating, he (the doctor) is morally guilty of murder in Islam even if he has not actively caused the death with his hands. If the doctor/relative knows that removal of the machine from the asthmatic will cause suffocation leading to death, he will be guilty of murder because he had actively committed an act which he is fully aware will bring about the death of the patient.

REMOVAL: The machine may be removed only if it serves absolutely no beneficial purpose. If the machine is connected to the patient to sustain the functioning of a particular organ, but fails to do so, it may be removed due to its redundancy. But, if it assists the organ in its functioning, no matter how slight, disconnection will be haraam unless the patient who is a man of Taqwa, who does not understand these modern contraptions, and who has no intention of suicide insists that the contraption be removed. Abstention from medical treatment is the right of a Muslim, especially if he is a person of high Tawakkul. But he too may not resort to any method which normally leads to death.

THE DOCTOR: The Muslim doctor who had advised the disconnection of the respirator inspite of the fact that it was assisting the breathing function of the patient, is guilty of a grievous crime and sin. While technically not murder, morally it is vile, absolutely evil and haraam. His advice culminated in the death or killing of the patient.

THE RELATIVES: The relatives, if they were sincere and had no ulterior motives, are shockingly stupid for venturing the permissibility of killing their patient on the basis of their fallacious interpretation. Undoubtedly, Friday is an auspicious occasion. Maut on a Friday is a blessed event and of great benefit for a Mu’min. Undoubtedly the trials of the Grave are waived for the Mu’min who dies on a Friday. But, this never justifies killing a person on a Friday to ensure that he participates in the blessings and benefits of this great and auspicious day.

Their logic is extremely crooked, absurd and repugnant. They delayed the disconnection in anticipation of the entry of Friday to ensure Maut takes place on this holy day. By this act of intentional delay in anticipation of the arrival of Friday, they have damned themselves. In so doing they had admitted that the patient was alive on Thursday, and if the machine is disconnected on Friday, he will die, thereby being entitled to the spiritual benefits of Friday. In the recesses of their hearts and high above in their minds, they had the awareness that Maut had not arrived, hence they contemplated to inflict death after sunset when Friday would commence.

If they had honestly believed that their man had already died on Thursday when the doctor announced the stupid fraud of ‘brain dead’, the request to ‘sustain’ him with the machine at least until 7 p.m. was absurd and utterly meaningless. But, in reality it was not meaningless because they knew that the man was still alive, and that he would die only after disconnection of the machine on Friday. The scenario was absolutely terrible and morally appalling. The Muslim doctor and the relatives must now live with their conscience for the rest of their lives for having colluded in bringing about the death of the patient. If there is some flicker of life in their conscience, it will benefit them by inducing them to repent — make Taubah. But they will be capable of this only if their brains are not spiritually dead. While the patient was alive at the point when he was certified ‘brain dead’, the relatives and the Muslim doctor were spiritually brain dead. May Allah Ta’ala save us all from such dastardly and perfidious misdeeds.