Muis urges Muslims to get vaccinated once it is available
It says Covid-19 vaccine is permissible for use by Muslims as a basic necessity to protect lives
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) has urged Muslims to be vaccinated once a Covid-19 vaccine is available, and medically authorised as safe and effective.
In an irsyad- or religious guidance - issued yesterday, Muis said a Covid-19 vaccine is permissible for use by Muslims as it is a basic necessity to protect lives in the context of a global pandemic.
"The objectives of introducing a Covid-19 vaccine and the processes involved in producing vaccines in general are largely aligned to established Islamic principles and values," it added, noting that Islam places great importance on the sanctity and safety of human life as well as the protection of livelihoods.
Muis pointed to a fatwa, or Islamic ruling, it issued in 2013 on the rotavirus vaccine.
The ruling considered vaccines to be a form of preventive treatment from diseases and encouraged in Islam.
"This is drawn from the Prophetic guidance that one should consume foods that offer some protection from illnesses," it added.
Muis' religious guidance comes on the back of concerns from Muslims in the neighbouring countries of Malaysia and Indonesia over the halal status of a Covid-19 vaccine.
The religious view of a Covid-19 vaccine must take a more holistic stance that "transcends the narrow view of halalness or permissibility of its ingredients", Muis said.
On the permissibility of ingredients used in vaccines, Muis cited a 2015 ruling on the drug heparin, a blood thinner that contains pig enzymes, as an example of a situation that permits the use of impure or prohibited substances for treatment as evident in some Prophetic traditions.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli welcomed Muis' religious guidance and strongly encouraged Muslims to be vaccinated once the vaccines are available in Singapore.
"I am thankful to our religious leaders who are highly knowledgeable, progressive, enlightened, and attuned to the concerns of our Malay/Muslim community in the context of the global pandemic," he said.