The East London Mosque is proud to announce our partnership with the National Health Service to raise awareness for the blood transfusion and organ donation service. 

Over the last few years, the NHS Blood and Transplant service has been working and facilitating conversations within the Muslim community, bringing together Islamic scholars, imams, umbrella organisations and Muslim chaplains to discuss organ donation and blood transfusions.

Our collaboration aims to increase donation rates by raising awareness and breaking down barriers to blood donation and blood transfusion within our communities.

Current Challenges

According to NHS figures, British South Asians make up less than 2.5% of all blood donors across the UK. 

While people from all communities and backgrounds do give blood, fewer than 5% of our blood donors who gave blood in the last year were from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

This is despite black, Asian and minority ethnic communities representing around 14% of the population. We want to readdress this balance because people from Black and Asian communities are more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes and certain forms of hepatitis than white people making them more likely to need a transplant.

At present, 3 in 10 (31%) of people waiting for a transplant across the UK are from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background. Over a third of people (35%) waiting for a kidney are from these backgrounds. According to these figures, there are just not enough donors from the BAME community. In other words, if you are a member of the BAME population, you are more likely to suffer for a longer period of time or to die while waiting for an organ transplant.

Some patients, particularly those who require ongoing transfusions, need blood that closely matches their blood type.

This involves matching blood more extensively than the main blood types. 

Some rare subtypes are more common in specific communities, which is why we particularly need more blood donors from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities

Donating blood, daunting as it may seem, is a simple and highly commendable act. Despite its recommendation by Muslim scholars, there seems to be a lack of understanding of its Islamic approval. 

This campaign has set out to break down such misconceptions and in turn replace them with increased knowledge, awareness, and enthusiasm towards this gracious, altruistic and hospitable act.


What we need to do

We need new blood and organ donors from all backgrounds to ensure that there is the right blood and organs available for patients who need them.

  • Nearly 400 new donors a day to meet demand
  • Around 135,000 new donors a year to replace those who can no longer donate
  • 40,000 more black donors to meet the growing demand for better-matched blood
  • 30,000 new donors with priority blood types such as O negative every year
  • More young people to start giving blood so we can make sure we have enough blood in the future


A single blood donation has the potential to save up to three adult lives or seven infant lives. The blood donated goes towards treating a wide range of patients, including people who suffer from conditions such as anaemia or thalassemia, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, burns victims and victims who suffer severe blood loss due to accidents, and many other times of need.

The NHS needs about 7,000 voluntary donations of blood each day. There is a huge demand for donors of rarer blood groups and many Muslims come from ethnic minority backgrounds from which these rarer blood groups are more likely to be found.

Islamic Perspective

In Islam, there are a number of fatawas (religious edicts) with regard to organ and blood donation. The Qu’ran states that "...if anyone saves a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind".

Islamic law considers it necessary to overrule prohibition, which means that it is permissible for Muslims to participate in blood and organ donation in cases of necessity; and/or if the donation will save another person’s life.

Over 100 fatawa (religious edicts) have been produced around the world about organ donation and three of these have been published in the UK.

These rulings provide important guidance and context within Islamic law and help Muslims to make informed and personal decisions about organ donation. 

Whether or not to donate is your choice. But it can be seen differently even in the same religious groups. If you have any doubt, you should approach your religious adviser.

Please contact us to share your real-life experience at our email: [email protected]

Make sure you talk to your family and friends about your decision so they know your decision on organ donation.