Fatwa: Covid-19 Vaccine
Question: What do the scholars and experts of Shariah say about the new Covid-19 vaccine? Should Muslims take the injection? It’s new and we are not sure about its safety, what does Islam teach about taking risks like this?
Abdur Rahman Jaleel, Nottingham
Answer: The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc globally and caused the death of more than 60,000 British citizens. A huge loss of life in just nine months. The Covid-19 is a serious infection that causes severe illness and even death in some patients. There is no doubt about its severity and danger to human life. Considering this epidemiology and what we have witnessed in the past ten months, any treatment that will save human lives is to be hailed as a valuable achievement.
We believe that Allah is the Creator, Loving, Kind and Caring Lord. He is the Shafi, the Healer, a believer always says, “and when I am ill, He will heal me” (Shuara: 80). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) taught us “Allah has created a medicine for every illness.”
The Majestic Quran emphasises the protection of life, “…do not cast yourselves into the jaws of ruin by your own hands and do your best. Allah loves those who do good” (Baqarah: 195). The Messenger (peace be upon him) explained this “protect yourself and others from harm, if anyone causes harm to another person, he will face punishment” (reported by Abu Saeed Al Khudri in Dar-al Qutni). That’s why the protection of life is considered as the number one objective of shariah. For the protection of life, the Shariah has allowed the use of the forbidden (Haram). Human life is sacred, “anyone who saves a single life, it is as though he has saved the whole of humanity” (Maida: 32). Islam gives life great value and sanctity, life is to be loved and cherished.
Refusing treatment and purposely exposing oneself to a life-threatening disease is like facilitating one’s death. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “whoever commits suicide will be punished with the same object in the hellfire” (Bukhari). Refusing to get vaccinated is endangering oneself and others too. This is disobedience of the Divine commandments. Instead, we must obey Allah’s commands so we may live, worship Him and benefit others around us.
Finally, the treatment is here! A vaccine has been approved by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority), we must all get vaccinated to save ourselves and others from this dangerous disease. The MHRA is an independent board responsible for ensuring medicines are acceptable and safe. It is regarded as the most credible and trustworthy authority of its kind in the world.
Vaccination is a well-established and protective procedure against infectious diseases, most of us will have had TB or MMR vaccines when we were children, the elderly get flu vaccines every year in the winter to protect them against flu, you have to take the Meningitis vaccine to go on Hajj. Vaccination has played a key role in the eradication of some deadly diseases like Polio and Smallpox.
We have confidence in the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine because it was tested on 44,000 people with very few minor side effects. The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) is a respectable, professional and representative body of Muslim doctors and health professionals (it has a membership of 4000), they have also shown confidence in the vaccine and are recommending it (click HERE to see).
We endorse the well-presented and scientifically argued document of (BIMA). It shows the precautions that have been taken in formulating it and testing its efficacy and that it is safe to a high degree.
Considering the theological and scientific evidence the British Fatwa Council urges British Muslims to get vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
May Allah protect us all from the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ameen Ya Rabbal Alameen.