Mufti permits Muslims to take vaccine as priority is to save lives
Singapore's Mufti, the highest Islamic authority here, has made an executive decision to permit Covid-19 vaccines for Muslims here, regardless of their ingredients, because of the urgency of the situation.
While religious guidance is typically made by the Fatwa Committee, the guidance over the Covid-19 vaccine released on Sunday was made directly from the Office of the Mufti.
"When the vaccines are available in Singapore for safe use, I would strongly urge the Muslim community to take up the vaccine, as part of our contribution (to society), and not to worry about whether you are allowed to do so, because the religious guidance is very clear on this matter," Mufti Nazirudin Mohd Nasir said yesterday.
Speaking to the media at the Singapore Islamic Hub in Braddell Road, Dr Nazirudin said the immediate priority is to protect lives and keep everyone safe, so that religious and social activities can resume in a safe and responsible way.
"And we know the difference that the vaccine will make to help us achieve these objectives," he said.
He noted that there are concerns in some parts of the Muslim world over the ingredients of the vaccines, as Muslims have strict dietary requirements and cannot consume food or ingredients derived from pigs.
"So when Muslims look at this, they might be concerned as to whether we can take such medicines or drugs. It is a general concern. And the fatwa was issued to provide assurance to Muslims that they can consume," said Dr Nazirudin.
He added that there are also Covid-19 vaccines that are completely synthetic and do not contain any animal substances.
Dr Nazirudin stressed the importance of establishing the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.
"We trust that our regulatory bodies and ethical bodies responsible to ensure the safety of vaccines have done their due diligence and job, and subjected the vaccines to very rigorous and stringent standards of safety," he said.
On Sunday, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore had issued an irsyad, or religious guidance, urging Muslims to be vaccinated once a vaccine is available and medically authorised as safe and effective.