A Press Statement | JUSA on Covid-19 Vaccines
The Islamic faith recognises science and medicine as fields of study that have contributed to the advancement of general welfare and the improvement of the human condition. As a matter of belief, together with placing our trust in Divine Intervention, we adopt the means of prevention or practical steps that would avert any harm. Islamic teachings exhort us not to be passive but actively seek the means through which the Almighty can provide ease in the form of protection and cure.
The pandemic has affected all aspects of our lives. Lives and livelihoods are at risk. On the continent, vaccines have been part of a successful public health response in the eradication of such diseases as polio and small pox. In order to restore normalcy in our lives, including the manner in which we traditionally worship, our Council supports vaccines that are safe, effective and wholesome.
There is a sense that the whole process of vaccine development and trials has been rushed. This has given an impression that profit has been placed ahead of efficacy and safety. This notion will prove a challenge to overcome, not only for sections of Muslims but also among other communities.
It is the role of government and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that appropriate and correct messages are disseminated in order to dispel myths as well as educate the public about the safety of any vaccine formulation and the public health benefits of an immunization programme.
Our role is to ascertain and recommend vaccines to the Muslim public, in line with principles of permissibility according to Islamic laws governing halaal. To this end, the Council is engaging medical experts in order to evaluate such compliance among the various vaccines that are being rolled out.
Even patients reserve the right to refuse treatment in hospitals. It should therefore be an individual’s choice to either take a vaccine or not, without any coercion or discriminatory measures.
Ebrahim I Bham
12 February 2021