Muslims in S'pore are encouraged to get Covid-19 vaccine: Muis

Covid-19 vaccines are permissible for Muslims to take.

Zhangxin Zheng | December 14, 2020, 07:20 PM

While vaccination against Covid-19 will not be made compulsory, both Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong, speaking to the public on live TV on Dec. 14, stressed the importance of getting vaccinated.

To show that the vaccines being brought to Singapore will be safe for use, PM Lee and some of the senior ministers will be getting themselves vaccinated early.

Muslims can take Covid-19 vaccine

On Dec. 13, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said that it continues to hold the position that the Covid-19 vaccine is permissible for Muslims' use as "preservation of life" is the key consideration.

Muis said:

"We would advise and encourage Muslims to be vaccinated once it is available and when the vaccine has been medically authorised as safe and effective, as this is a basic necessity to protect lives in the context of a global pandemic."

Key considerations

Muis explained that the religious view of Covid-19 has to take a more "holistic" stance that "transcends the narrow issue of halalness or permissibility of its ingredient".

Three aspects have been considered in view of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Firstly, Covid-19 vaccines are critical to ensure societies can function safely and cohesively, therefore they are an important means to uphold principles of the sanctity of human life.

Secondly, Covid-19 vaccines must be safe for use, in line with the principle of the avoidance of harm in Islamic jurisprudence

Any impurities or prohibited items used in upstream processes in the making of the vaccines could have undergone chemical processes that would remove them from the final products.

These processes could also change the form and nature of the substances. In such situations, final products such as drugs or vaccines are deemed permissible for Muslim use.

Vaccines can also be fully synthetic and not contain any animal components or cells.

Therefore, Covid-19 vaccines are permissible for Muslim use.

Previous fatwas have addressed concerns on the permissibility of such products for Muslim use from the perspective of the nature of its ingredient.

The Fatwa Committee will continue to review and assess the suitability of vaccines for Muslim use.

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Top photo via Muis/Facebook