An Islamic Perspective on the Usage of Bodies of the Deceased in the Teaching and Learning of Anatomy

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Shaikh Mohd Saifuddeen


Anatomy is regarded as one of the fundamental knowledge areas in medicine. Traditionally, the approach of teaching and learning of anatomy is primarily conducted through dissection of bodies of the deceased. This allows for a hands-on approach for medical students to learn anatomy. Dissection is also a method for surgeons to improve and upgrade their surgical skills and at the same time, serves as a means to test new surgical tools and techniques. However, Islam prohibits any act that can be regarded as disrespectful to the deceased. In spite of this, there is a pressing need for medical students to master anatomical knowledge in order for them to become medical doctors. This article looks at the teaching and learning of anatomy from the perspective of Islam. The article begins by looking at the history of learning anatomy. It then discusses Islam’s prohibition on mutilation of the body of the deceased, conditions under maṣlaḥah that allows dissection to be done in medical education, and several fatāwā on this issue. This article also touches on the methods employed in Malaysia for the teaching and learning of human anatomy.

Article Details

How to Cite
Shaikh Mohd Saifuddeen. (2023). An Islamic Perspective on the Usage of Bodies of the Deceased in the Teaching and Learning of Anatomy. TAFHIM: IKIM Journal of Islam and the Contemporary World, 16(1).


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