On Saturday, it was reported that Syed Kirmani, who was wicket-keeper in the team that won the Cricket World Cup in 1983 for India, had pledged to donate his eyes at an event in Chennai. Kirmani was attending an eye donation awareness campaign at the Rajan Eye Care hospital, where he took the pledge.
“I am donating my eyes, you too donate your eyes,” Kirmani is reported to have said in Tamil, but hours later he said that he would be unable to hold on to his pledge due to his religious beliefs.
Kirmani said that he was an ‘emotional and sentimental’ person and was touched by the hospital’s initiative and pledged to donate his eyes at the spur of the moment, but he will not be able to actually donate his eyes as it could go against Islam.
“In Islam, we are not supposed to take out or donate the organs of a dead body,” the 68-year-old former cricketer has now said, explaining why he is unable to honour his pledge.
Kirmani is incidentally also a patron of blind cricket in the country. The Blind Cricket World Cup is scheduled to take place in Dubai later this month, and his association with the national team reportedly prompted him to join the cause of eye donation.
Hospital authorities have said that it was noble gesture on Kirmani’s part to attend the event, and they are okay if he now no longer wants to donate the eyes due to his religious beliefs.
Although Islam has various schools of thoughts, it appears that organ donation being against Islam is a widespread belief held by many. In August 2016, it was reported that as per the records of state cadavar organ transplantation authority in Telangana, there was not a single Muslim donor among more than a thousand records of organ or tissue donations between 2013-2016.