Is it permissible to donate blood as a Muslim? I wish to donate blood but I don't know if this is acceptable in islam.
We survey online fatawa below.
All of the surveyed fatawa say blood donation is permissible in order to save a life, using the maxim necessity overrides prohibition. However, blood donations are not so black and white. Blood transfusions are ordinarily performed well before a patient gets to a life-or-death stage; blood needs to be donated in advance of its need; and the blood donor is not informed of who receives the blood. (See e.g. Mayo Clinic or NHS.uk for a description of how blood transfusions are used.) Thus, a blood donation may contribute to saving lives, but the blood donor won't know (e.g., maybe they would have lived without the blood transfusion). As a whole, however, without blood donations, there would be people who will undoubtedly die.
Some fatawa listed below say it's not only permissible in general, but that blood donation is a rewardable act, while others are more cautious and consider it permissible under certain conditions (varying from fatwa to fatwa).
Personally, I can't see how a blood donation would be seen as anything but a good deed (whether in actuality, or just by intention). And it seems I'm not the only one with this positive opinion: there's also a UK Muslim organization for blood donations: http://www.muslimsgiveblood.co.uk/ They cite a hadith: Whoever helps another human will be helped by Allah The Almighty which might be a paraphrased version of Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1930: ...whoever helps ease a difficulty in the world, Allah will grant him ease from a difficulty in the world and in the Hereafter.... They also write:
Islam is a religion of mercy and caters for all the problems faced by humanity. It acknowledges the needs of people, thus gives concessions and dispensations wherever needed. Hence, it can be said that blood transfusion is lawful as a necessity. "And if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind." (Al Quran: Surah Al-Ma'dah: 32)
citing the first fatwa listed below.
Islam Q&A fatawa consistently say it's permissible, and they're usually on the conservative side. Indeed one fatwa even considers it a rewardable act of charity.
It is permissible to receive blood from the Blood Bank even if the donor was a kaafir. Likewise, it is also permissible to donate blood to non-Muslims as long as they are not fighters of Islam. -- Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, Islam Q&A, 1997
...if a non-Muslim who is living under Muslim rule or a non-Muslim who is on peaceful terms with us, with no war between him and us, is in need of that, there is nothing wrong with giving blood to him as an act of charity, and you will be rewarded for that, because there is nothing wrong with giving aid to one who is in need of charity. -- Noor ‘ala al-Darb, Islam Q&A, 2009
...the Hay’at Kibaar al-‘Ulamaa’ (Council of Senior Scholars) stated the following: ... It is permissible to donate blood, so long as this does not cause him any harm, when there is a need for it to help other Muslims. ... -- Islam Q&A, 1999
It is permissible for a Muslim to donate blood to a non-Muslim, except when that non-Muslim is known to be in a position of fighting the Muslims ... In such a case it is not permissible to donate blood, because this will help them to fight Muslims. -- Islam Q&A, 1998
...medical treatment should be done by permissible things in Islam. It is known that using shed blood is forbidden as mentioned in [Qur'an 2:173] ... But if a person is compelled to use the blood of a person, and there is no other way to his treatment, then using it is permissible provided that medical authorities confirm that this is the only way for this treatment. Because [Qur'an 2:173] ... Therefore, one can donate his blood if there this does not cause him any harm. -- IslamWeb, 2000
which is extended in a later fatwa:
The fact that a non-Muslim will remain on his Kufr... does not change the rule concerning donating blood. Since all the Muslim scholars are agreed that feeding a Kafir, who is not in a state of war against Muslims is permissible, in some occasions it even becomes an obligation, such as when a Kafir's life is in danger because of starvation and a Muslim has some food that exceeds his extreme necessity, in this case he is obliged to feed the Kafir. Moreover, this is a kind of favor, and kindness, a Muslim is demanded to do it even for a Kafir, as Allah Says: [Qur'an 60:8] -- IslamWeb, 2001
And, in the context of scientific research:
The blood shed from a human being is impure and cannot be used in medication or research except for a necessity or a dire need. In cases where usage of blood is permissible, there will be no harm whether the benefited person is a Muslim or a non-Muslim so long as the purpose is lawful. ... Therefore, it is permissible for you to donate blood as long as you know for sure or predominantly think that the blood will not be used in impermissible matters. -- IslamWeb, 2009
Where there is a genuine need for blood in the area... then giving is allowed. In fact, in severe circumstances we should offer help by donating our blood. ... However, where supplies are already at a high level, giving blood would not be allowed. -- Tafseer Raheemi, 2012
It is permissible to donate and transfuse blood if: a) There is a desperate need to donate blood, b) There is no other alternative. And, c) This has been prescribed by an expert medical practitioner. -- Mufti Ebrahim Desai, Albalgah (also at: AskImam.org, 2003 [IslamQA.org] and AskImam.org, 2015)
and the same Mufti:
Considering the perpetual need of blood transfusion at any given moment, it is permissible to donate to a blood bank for both Muslims and non-Muslims. -- Mufti Ebrahim Desai, AskImam.org
Because blood transfusion is permissible, it will also be permissible to donate blood. -- Mufti Siraj Desai, AskMufti.co.za, 2010
There is ajar to help a non-Muslim that is needy. The reward of helping a Muslim needy person will definitely be greater. -- Mufti Ebrahim Salejee, MuftiOnline.co.za, 2014
(ajar = reward, as far as I tell)
Donating blood to another person is only allowed in the case of a necessity that requires it. Simply storing blood in the blood bank is not sufficient as a need for a Muslim to give blood to the blood bank. Hence, it is not permissible for a Muslim to donate his blood to the bank to be stored up. -- Mufti Waseem Khan, DarulUloomTT.org; sourced from IslamQA.org
In light of the foregoing, it would be permitted to donate and transfuse blood under the following conditions: a) The donor is mature and sane, b) The donor willingly donates his blood... c) There is no apparent risk... d) There is absolute necessity in donating blood... e) There is a need for it, that is, there is no risk to the life, but in the opinion of the experts, restoration of health may not be possible without it... f) There is no reasonable alternative... g) It is not for the sake of beatification or any other additional benefit... h) Transfusion of blood must not be carried out by way of buying and selling -- Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari, DarulIftaa.co.uk
...if there is a need then it will be permissible to transplant an organ if the organ is such that can regenerate itself, such as skin and blood. (Fatawa Hindiyyah p.355 v.5) -- Mohammed Tosir Miah, Darul Ifta Birmingham, 2011
According to Dr. Zakir, as far as blood donation is concerned, if blood donation to the recipient is a must, blood donation is then permitted provided [conditions snipped] ... As for the question whether a Muslim can donate blood to a non-Muslim, Dr. Zakir believes that it is permissible... He cites a verse in the Qur’an (Al-Ma’idah 5:32) in support of his opinion. -- IslamForChristians.com
...the scholars of Fiqh have allowed to donate the blood in severe compulsion when blood is not available and life of patient is in danger... -- Darul Ifta, sourced from IslamQA.org
We are not owner of our body parts to handle freely. So it is unlawful to donate blood or body parts. But, if someone donated blood to save the life of a near relative, it is allowable. -- Darul Ifta, sourced from IslamQA.org
One is allowed to donate blood in exigent and extreme states. This ruling has been compared with that of milk i.e. as it is lawful for a mother to breastfeed her child in the time of need, in the same way it is allowable to donate the blood at the time of extreme compulsion. -- Darul Ifta, sourced from IslamQA.org
Very interesting question.
You will not find anything in the holy texts that speaks about blood donation, for the same obvious reason you will not find anything about vaccines : on one hand it did not exist in the prophet's time, and on the other hand it is a purely material topic, not a spiritual one.
However, you will find many calls to assist your brothers and sisters. This should compell you to donate blood, as long as it does not harm yourself.
I hope someone, some day, is saved thanks to your donations.