What does the Shariah say about the Covid-19 vaccine? A question that my colleagues and I have been asked repeatedly. I’m sure you’re also wondering, should I have the jab?
The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc globally and caused 1.5 million deaths including 63,000 British citizens. A huge loss of life. Covid-19 is a serious infection, a scourge. There is no doubt about its severity and danger to life. Considering this epidemiology and what we witnessed in the past ten months, any treatment must be hailed as a valuable achievement.
The Majestic Quran emphasises the protection of life, “…do not cast yourselves into the jaws of ruin knowingly, always do your best to save yourself. Allah loves those who do so” (Al-Baqarah: 195), The Messenger (peace be upon him) explained this by saying: “protect yourself and others from harm’s way, 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, it has even allowed the use of the forbidden (Haram). Human life is so sacred, Allah says “anyone who saves a single life, it is as though he has saved the entire humanity” (Al-Maida: 32). Islam gives life great value and even sanctity, to be lived, loved and cherished.
The Covid-19 Vaccine
A vaccine has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA). This is an independent agency responsible for ensuring medicines are acceptable and safe. It is regarded as the most credible and trustworthy agency of its kind in the world.
Vaccination is a well-established protective procedure against infectious diseases, most of us will have had TB, MMR vaccines when we were children, many elderlies get flu vaccines every year in the winter to protect them against flu, you have to take the Meningitis vaccine to go to Hajj. Vaccination has played a key role in the eradication of some deadly diseases like polio and smallpox. We believe that Allah is the Creator, the Kind and Caring Lord. He is the Shafi, the Healer, a believer always prays, “when I am ill, He will heal me” (Al-Shuara: 80). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Allah has created a medicine for every illness.”
The Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was tested on 44,000 people with very few side effects. The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) is a respectable, professional and representative body of Muslim doctors and health professionals (has a membership of 4,000), they are also recommending it. BIMA has endorsed the vaccine as safe and encouraged Muslims to get inoculated. They presented a paper, which shows the precautions that have been taken in formulating and testing its safety. After speaking to several scholars here and abroad the British Fatwa Council is urging Muslims to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
Refusing treatment and exposing oneself to a life-threatening disease is tantamount to suicide. 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. Therefore, we urge 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.
Article by Dr Musharraf Hussain from Karimia Institute