Amid coronavirus pandemic, Islam and Muslim Identity have retained its distinctivity as it was blamed as carriers of the virus in India. Few media agencies even termed muslims as jihadi and held them responsible for being the pandemic’s source. The Covid-19 brought the world to a standstill, disrupting the normal flow of relations across continents. In fact, the development of a vaccine had become a priority and the only rescue from the pandemic. The virus is going to stay on earth and disturb our living for longer than anticipated, so the vaccine is the only remedy.
However, the vaccine development news brought another complication involving Muslims over halal and haram’ debate (permissible and impermissible) regarding the vaccine. The orthodox sections have furthered that the use of pig fat product in vaccine preparation rules it out for the use of Muslims. Indian Muslim bodies have also raised similar concerns about the permissibility due to gelatin present in the vaccine. However, biotech companies like Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca have stated that their COVID-19 vaccines do not use pork products. The Islamic scholars backed by scientific expertise have suggested that the vaccination is a life-saving immunisation and is not considered haram under Islamic law. Moreover, regarding the covid vaccine, few scholars have maintained that if Muslims did not undergo an immunisation campaign, it might come under ‘greater haram.’ As shown in the previous case of measles and rubella vaccine and polio, the same kind of apprehensions emerged amongst Muslim councils maintaining that these are not permissible because diseases are sent down by God almighty, and he is the best healer.
Muslims must not fall to cultural taboos and immunise themselves as quickly as possible. The Muslim councils from west Asia countries mainly from the UAE Fatwa Council stated that the vaccine has been permitted for use, even if it contains non-halal ingredients like pork-gelatin. The Council further maintained that the corona virus vaccination is classified under preventive medicines for individuals, as recommended by the Islamic faith, particularly in the times of pandemic diseases when the healthy happen to be prone to infections due to high risk contracting the disease, therefore, posing a risk to the entire society. The Islamic Organisation of Medical Sciences (IOMS) in Kuwait maintained that some material originally prohibited, become permissible after chemical transformation. The religious council of Singapore also encouraged and permitted Muslims to use vaccination as a basic necessity to protect lives.
Without falling into social taboos and conspiracy theories, Muslims must cooperate in the immunisation campaign of the Government so that the normalcy is restored. Muslims, particularly from the developing and underprivileged society should comply with the vaccination procedures being implemented by the Government.