The post date does not reflect the actual date. Posted on 1/29/22
مَّا جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِرَجُلٖ مِّن قَلۡبَيۡنِ فِي جَوۡفِهِ
(Al Quran 33:4) Allah does not place two hearts in any person’s chest
On January 7, Dr. Muhiuddin’s team at the University of Maryland School of Medicine successfully transplanted the heart of a genetically modified pig into a man suffering from a severe heart ailment. “It was my dream, which came true. It’s something I didn’t imagine doing in my lifetime,” Mohiuddin, who is the director of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Programme at the university, tells TRT World. The 57-year-old patient David Bennett, who received the pig’s heart, is recovering. He might need to stay at the hospital for at least two months before he’ll be able to return to his normal life, says Mohiuddin. With this incident there is a concern among many in the Muslim world who are approaching Islamic scholars to find out if this is permissible, since Khanzeer (Arabic for pig) is considered najas (impure) in Islam. Al-Azhar International Center for Fatwa And the Egyptian Dar Al-Iftaa announced that “although the basic principle in the use of pig or its parts is sanctity, it is permissible to benefit from it and to treat part of its parts, or a member of its organs, provided that the necessity calls for that, and that there is no substitute for it from the pure ones.” Muftis of Jamiatur Rashid Islamic Institute of Karachi in Pakistan have also declared it permissible on the condition that there is no substitute of pig’s organs such as those of cows, goats, camels which fall under the halal (legal) category. Mufti Tariq Masood of Jamiatur Rashid provides evidence in his lecture in favor of this ruling from 4 ayaats of the Quran in total that allow the use of pig in extreme necessity. In the first ayat (Al Quran 6:145) mentions eating of pig and other forbidden animals in the case of extreme hunger when nothing else being available. As for the remaining 3 ayaats (Al Quran 5:03, 2:173, 16:115) they hint towards the use of pig and other forbidden animals in case of extreme necessity which does not include only eating. He says these 3 ayaats point towards use of pig for other purposes as well, and those other purposes can include medical purposes including using a pig’s heart for transplantation. While this evidence may support human use of pig organs such as kidney, liver or bones but can we suggest the same for a pig’s heart, considering that the Quran has chosen the heart to be a focal point of receiving divine guidance (hidayah), knowledge (marifat), inspiration (ilham), insight (firasah) as opposed to other organs of our body?
Modern science considers the heart nothing more than a muscle that pumps blood throughout the body and that learning involves primarily the nervous system, and secondarily, the immune system (that recognizes diseases it has defeated). But that is being updated especially with the consideration being given by doctors to the emotional wellbeing of their patients and further researches. Dr. Amira Ayyad a family medicine doctor from California explains in her book on holistic medicine that no one can deny the emotional, spiritual aspects attributed to the heart. Stress, depression, worry, anger and many other negative feelings burden the heart and weaken its performance. She recommends practicing love, joy, kindness, compassion, patient, perseverance and courage as best type of sports for the heart because ethical and moral behaviors and righteous acts are great healers.
A very interesting research done on patients that underwent heart transplant surgery revealed that after their surgery they exhibited personality changes of their donors! The research suggests the possibility that memory of a person’s life is stored at the cellular level and may be transferred with the organ. A 17yr old African male donor’s heart was transplanted to an elderly white male. During interviews the recipient’s wife revealed how the he now loves classical music, something he never liked before. The donor’s family revealed that the black teenager did not like rap music, something that the white couple thought. In fact, he loved classical music and died in a shooting holding a violin while heading to his music class. The study also mentions case of recipient named Claire Sylvia, who published a book describing the apparent personality changes she experienced after receiving a donor heart. She reported noticing that various attitudes, habits and tastes. For instance though she was health conscious, upon leaving the hospital she had uncontrollable urge to eat KFC, a food she never ate. Sylvia found herself drawn towards cool colors as opposed to bright red and orange she used to prefer. She began behaving with an aggressiveness that was uncharacteristic of her but turned out to be similar to personality of her donor. This reveals for us a lot about the heart that what the Quran says that our lifestyles can leave their positive or negative imprints on our hearts.
What's even more convincing about this research is that every heart belongs to its owner and that a persons heart, even after transplantation reflects the personality of its actual owner rather than the recipient, a fact to which the Quran also brings our attention in the following ayah: (Al Quran 33:4) Allah does not place two hearts in any person’s chest. Nor does He regard your wives as ˹unlawful for you like˺ your real mothers, ˹even˺ if you say they are. Nor does He regard your adopted children as your real children. These are only your baseless assertions. But Allah declares the truth, and He ˹alone˺ guides to the ˹Right˺ Way – The Quran teaches that just as husbands practicing zihar i.e. calling their wives “you are like my mother” in pre-Islamic Arabia, does not really make them their mothers, and by declaring your adopted children as your own children doesn’t make them your real children, similarly a persons heart cannot be claimed by another person because naturally it never belongs to them even if it is placed inside their chest. Hence, if a human heart transplant caused the recipient to reflect the donor’s personality then an animal’s heart can most likely cause a recipient to reflect the nature of that animal.
What is the purpose of Heart according to Islam?
The Quran teaches that the object of revelation has always been to guide humankind so they can fulfill their purpose of existence. To fulfil that purpose, out of all organs, Allah ﷻ chose their hearts as the agency for communication of that guidance: (Al Quran 3:08) Ya Rabb do not let our Hearts be misguided after having guided them…” – With guidance the heart also becomes the recipient of divine knowledge of Allah ﷻ called marifat which is gained through communion with Him through worship, obedience to His commandments and observing His consciousness (taqwa), that He is watching. If we observe these things we benefit spiritually and physically, and basically that is our purpose of existence. But this purpose gets defeated when our hearts are deprived of guidance. The one factor that obstructs the heart from gaining guidance is our Nafs (lower self, base urges). The Nafs has negative tendencies and inclinations that attract us towards earthly pleasures and distractions. It continuously strives to attach us to the earth and its beauties so we deviate from our purpose and forget all obedience to our Creator. It is because of this why the Sufiyya (Sufi Saints) always emphasize on Greater Jihad (struggle) as the goal of life which is to strive against our own Nafs. This is due to a famous hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ who referred to “The servant’s struggle against his lust (hawah)” as a Greater Jihad as opposed to fighting with arms which he called lesser Jihad (struggle). It is the effects of our Hawa (lust or lower desires) generated from our Nafs which cause distractions to our Hearts and make them heedless as Allah ﷻ says: (Al Quran 18:28) and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire (Hawa) and whose affair is ever [in] neglect." Elsewhere Allah likens a blind follower of his hawah to a dog: (Al Quran 7:176) "… but he clung to the earth and followed his low desire (Hawa) Thus, his parable is that of a dog.” In another instance those who focus only on their lower desires and do not use their reason are likened to cattle (Al Quran 25:43) and such hearts are considered spiritually dead (Al Quran 7:179) even though they may be clinically alive.
By these examples Allah ﷻ is teaching that a person whose primary objective is only to follow his hawa (lower desires) and immediate benefits, lowers himself to the level of animals. Like animals he does not use his reason losing the ability to make moral choices that help distinguish between right or wrong, truth or false, good or bad, resulting in his failure to spiritually and morally progress and losing his humanity. This punishment was experienced by some Jews who were transformed into apes and pigs because they followed their desires instead of Allah’s commandments: (Al Quran 5:60) It is those who earned Allah’s condemnation and displeasure—some being reduced to apes and pigs and worshippers of false gods. These are far worse in rank and farther astray from the Right Way.” Some scholars understood this in a metaphorical sense and said that only their hearts were transformed, that is, they were not really transformed into pigs.
The pig heart transplantation is definitely a breakthrough in the world of scientific medicine and something that has never happened in human history. But it is important for Muslims to understand the consequences of this surgery because it involves our hearts the only medium of guidance for our lives without which we will be reduced to animals and lose our purpose of life. With pig hearts we may be able to extend our lifespans but we are most likely going to defeat the purpose of our existence.
 Pig-heart transplant pioneer on how breakthrough surgery became possible, TRT World, Saad Hasan, 13 JAN 2022
 "A human with a pig's heart" .. Why is the transfer of organs from animals the hope of contemporary medicine? Teller Report, 1/15/2022, 5:22:48 AM
 Kiya Khanzeer ka Dil Lagana Jaiz hai? pig heart transplant into human Pakistan Mufti Tariq Masood, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbeyMbN6qu0&t=1s
 Ayad, Amira, and Jamila Hakam. Healing Body & Soul: Your Guide to Holistic Wellbeing following Islamic Teachings. International Islamic Publishing House (Saudi Arabia) pgs. 24
 Changes in Heart Transplant Recipients That Parallel the Personalities of Their Donors, Paul Pearsall, Ph.D. University of Hawaii, Gary E. R. Schwartz, Ph.D., Linda G. S. Russek, Ph.D., University of Arizona – UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799207/m2/1/high_res_d/vol20-no3-191.pdf