The National Shoora Council having come to know of confusions in the community regarding religious permissibility and medical validation about Immunization through vaccination, this guidance is for public awareness to endorse Islamic permissibility and Medical validation to use Immunization through vaccination as preventive medicine.
The concept of preventive medicine in Islam stems from the time of the prophet Muhammed SAW. The Qur’an and the Sunnah has well established the framework necessary for individual and community health through healthy and hygienic behaviour preventing sickness and ill health as noted in this guidance.
Modern immunization through vaccination practiced during the last 200 years provides high levels of immunity from contracting preventable diseases. The scholars of the Ummah, legal, medical and religious have endorsed this practice of immunization through vaccination as medically beneficial and religiously permissible to practice as outlined in this guidance.
The NSC special committee appointed for this purpose convened a meeting with the participation of the following experts deliberated on this to issue this guidance:
1. Vidya Jyothi, Prof. M.H.Rezvi Sheriff, FRCP(Lon), FRCP (Edin),FRACP, FCCP, FSLCGP,FNASS. Consultant Physician.
2. Dr. M.R.Anver, MBBS (CMB), MD (CMB), FRCP (Lon),FCCP Consultant Physician.
3. Dr. S.F.L. Akbar, MBBS, MS,MMSOG, SCOD,FRSOG, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
4. Dr. Hashir Ariff, MBBS(Lon), DCH(UK), CCST(UK), FRCPCH(UK), Consultant Paediatrician
5. Dr. Mohammed Rishard, MBBS, MD(O&G), MRCOG(UK), Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Senior lecturer, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
6. Dr. MHM Ameen Izzath, MBBS, DLM, MD. in Forensic Medicine Senior Registrar in forensic medicine GH Kandy.
7. Dr. M.H.M.Naseem MD (Villa Clara-Cuba), MSc (Disaster Management) University of Peradeniya- Sri Lanka Medical officer of Health-Udapalatha, Gampola
8. Dr. M.G.Saiful Islam, MBBS (Cey), M.Sc. (Nutrition). Gen. Practitioner
9. Dr. W.M.Asmir, MBBS (SL) Reading PG, Dip. in Microbiology
10. Dr. M.A.Abdul Rakeesthu, MBBS, CCA Gen. Practitioner
11. Dr. Ahmed Shiyam, MBBS
12. J.Tariq Mahmud – President, NSC
13. Sheikh S.H.M.Faleel (Naleemi) -Vice President, NSC
14. Riza Yehya - Vice President, NSC
15. Eng. Mafeel Farook – AGS, NSC
16. Sheikh Ziyard Ibrahim (Ghafoori) – Treasurer, NSC
17. Moulavi Thasleem(Bari)- ExCo Member, NSC
18. Rasheed M.Imthiyaz - ExCo Member, NSC
19. M.T.Thahasim - ExCo Member, NSC
Based on the established facts and its findings through deliberation, the National Shoora Council advices the community to continue the practice of immunization through vaccination to ensure that no individual would cause harm to the community nor the community shall harm the individual through their neglect to immunize against preventable disease through vaccination. The Qur’an is emphatic about the well-being of children and warns of parental ignorance. ‘Those who have lost or killed their children in foolishness without knowledge and prohibited what Allah had provided for them, inventing untruth about Allah. They have gone astray and were not (rightly) guided.’ (Al-An’am 140) Maintaining good health and preventing ill health is the responsibility of each Muslim. The following guidelines establishes religious permissibility and medical validity in support of immunization through vaccination as follows:
Immunisation through vaccination is permitted in Islam
“…and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind” (Al -Maidah,32).
“Allah has not sent down a disease except that He has also sent down its cure.” (Sahih Al- Bukhari -5678)
The Prophet (Peace and blessings be on him – PBUH) said:
“One should run away from the leper as one runs away from a lion.'' (Sahih Al-Bukhari 5707).
"If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place."(Sahih Al-Bukhari – 624).
The cattle (sheep, cows, camels, etc.) suffering from a disease should not be mixed up with healthy cattle, (or said: "Do not put a patient with a healthy person)."(as a precaution). Book of Medicine - كتاب الطب, 5771, English reference: Vol. 7, Book 71, Hadith 665
Islamic and Medical Scholarly Opinions
The general scholarly consensus of more than 100 Muslim legal scholars is that the vaccine is permissible. The legal scholars also agree that vaccination upholds the five tenets of Maqȃsid al-Sharī`ah, the objectives of Islamic Law:
1. Preservation of Religion (ḥifẓ al-dīn).
2. Preservation of life ((ḥifẓ al-nafs).
3. Preservation of progeny ((ḥifẓ al-nasl).
4. Preservation of intellect ((ḥifẓ al-`aql).
5. Preservation of wealth (hifz al-mȃl).
It is remarked by a number of Islamic authorities that Vaccination to curb the spread of contagious disease is highly encouraged (Dar al Ifta’ al-Misriyyah, Majma’ al-Fiqh al-Islami, National Fatwa Committee Malaysia, Syeikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Bin Baz, Al-Syeikh Dr. Ali Jumaah). Mohammed Ali al-Bar also stated in his work, Ahkam al-Tadawi wa al-Halat al-Mai’us minha wa Qadiyyat Maut al-Rahmah that authorities have the right to mandate vaccination on people even without their consent for the greater good.
(http://docplayer.net/ 63318456- Vaccination-personal-choice-vs-public-interest.html).
Further Scholarly opinions
(1) Shaykh ‘Abd al- ‘Azeez ibn Baaz (Rah) - Mufthi of Saudi Arabia - was asked: What is the ruling on giving treatment before sickness occurs, such as vaccinations? He replied: “There is nothing wrong with giving treatment if there is the fear that the disease may occur because of the presence of an epidemic or other factor which may cause disease. There is nothing wrong with giving medicine to ward off the feared disease, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, according to the Saheeh hadeeth,
“Whoever eats seven dates of Madeenah in the morning will not be harmed by witchcraft or poison.”
This is a kind of warding off a problem before it happens. So, if there is the fear of sickness and a person is vaccinated against an infection that is present in the land or elsewhere, there is nothing wrong with that, because it is a kind of protection. (Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz,6/21, 20276: Ruling on childhood immunizations and vaccinations, Published Date:2003-03-11) https://islamqa.info/en/20276).
(2) Mufti Sohail ibn Arif, Assistant – Darul Iftaa in Chicago, USA, said that it is permissible to take vaccines and immunize oneself (by the Will of Allah) against the possibility of future sickness or diseases. (https://islamqa.org/hanafi/askimam/102487).
(3) Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi states the following:
“I, together with some trustworthy scholars in the Islamic Fiqh Council held in Muscat lately, have stated and asserted the importance of the following:
“Polio vaccine has been used for a long time all over the world, including more than fifty Muslim countries, and has proved to be highly effective in eradicating the disease. No outstanding scholar, whether from Al-Azhar University, Al-Qarawyeen University, or in the Sacred Shrines, has been reported to have objected to the use of such vaccine.” (Read full text at : http://www.islamopediaonline.org/ fatwa/what-islamic-point-view-regarding-vaccinating-children-against-specific-diseases).
(4) Mufti Rafi Usmani –Mufti Azam, Pakistan, Dar ul Uloom Islamia, Karachi.
“It is my appeal to the Muslim brothers, mothers,sisters and daughters to take special interest in vaccinating their children from polio. Polio is a life time crippling disease and being a communicable disease it becomes problematic for others also. Therefore it is very necessary to get immunity from it.” (https://youtu.be/1vAZBKbeg8U)
Issue of Haraam substance in Vaccines
It is claimed that vaccines that are produced contain religiously forbidden (haram) substances. Scholars of the Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences, agreed that the transformation of pork products into gelatin alters them sufficiently to make it permissible for observant Muslims to receive vaccines containing pork gelatin.
However, in the event where there is no cure except the one that contains forbidden substance, Islam grants permission on the basis of emergency (Dharurat). This is based on Islamic Jurisprudence method: (Dharurat -Emergency- situations permit that which is forbidden). (http://www.iais.org.my/e/attach/2016/28 JUL2016).
The issue of the use of substances of porcine origin in food and medicine is an archaic one. European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR) which is chaired by Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi and consisting of numerous renowned scholars in the Muslim world argued as follows:
a) What God forbids is the partaking of pork, and trypsin has nothing to do with pork.
b) Supposing that trypsin is unclean, it is thoroughly filtered, that it leaves no traces whatsoever in the final vaccine
c) The haram (forbidden) is made permissible in cases of necessity.
Regarding side effects of vaccines
With regard to some side effects of vaccines they may be overlooked when compared with the great harm that is warded off, namely the diseases that may kill or cause great harm to a person’s health. Also, it can be permitted due to necessities of it. If anyone does urge that we have to refrain from using vaccines which contain not permissible substance then they have to produce alternatives.
Immunization by Vaccines – Some medical facts
Immunization is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infection, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Vaccines are highly regulated, complex biological products designed to induce a protective immune response both effectively and safely.
Vaccination against smallpox was introduced in Sri Lanka under the Vaccination Ordinance as early as 1886. Subsequently BCG was introduced in 1949 and DTP in 1961. This was closely followed by OPV in 1962. Sri Lanka had already introduced these vaccines before the WHO launched the (Expanded Programme on Immunization) EPI, and measles vaccination was included into the National Immunization Programme (NIP) in 1984. Polio (Poliomyelitis) used to be a feared disease worldwide with no antiviral therapy. The widespread use of the vaccine has controlled polio globally. In Sri Lanka, the last case of poliomyelitis was reported in 1993.
Today, there are many vaccines available to prevent nearly 30 communicable diseases. Indeed, vaccinations have become one of the important preventive health care interventions of all time. Every year millions of adults and children receive vaccinations that protect them from a host of infectious diseases;
Basically, vaccine contains components that are more or less similar to the infecting organism. The most important consequence of successful vaccination is that long lived memory lymphocytes are produced. These respond more quickly and in a more coordinated way to subsequent infections so that the infectious microbe is destroyed more quickly.
VACCINES - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. Do vaccines destroy the natural immune system? No.
2. Isn’t natural immunity better than vaccine induced immunity?
While vaccine-induced immunity may diminish with time, ‘natural’ immunity, acquired by getting certain diseases, is usually lifelong. Vaccines are many times safer than the diseases they prevent.
3. Is it acceptable for a child to have so many vaccines at once? Yes.
Studies show that kid's bodies (even infants) can handle many shots at once. Having several vaccines at once is safe, even for a newborn. Combination vaccines protect the child against more than one disease with a single shot.
4. Are Vaccines Safe? Yes.
Vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety. The Sri Lankan immunization programme currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history.
5. Do vaccines have side effects? Yes.
The benefits far outweigh the side effects. The side effects are controlled mostly with simple medication. In allergic subjects, given with precaution and in immuno compromised persons, certain vaccines are avoided and certain vaccines are recommended.
6. Is it true that vaccinated children may still be affected by a disease? Yes.
It is possible, since no vaccine is 100% effective. A small proportion of those who are vaccinated will remain susceptible to the disease. However, in cases in which illness does occur in vaccinated individuals, the illness is usually much less severe than in those who have not been vaccinated.
7. Haven’t diseases like polio, tetanus, whooping cough, measles and diphtheria already disappeared from most parts of Sri Lanka? So, do we need to keep immunizing children against these diseases? Yes.
The bacteria and viruses that cause them are still present. The potential problem is kept in check by routine vaccination programmes. In countries where vaccination rates have declined, the vaccine preventable diseases have reappeared. Most modern parents have never seen the devastating effects that these diseases can have on a family or community. In the past these diseases have been debilitating before some of them are eradicated through vaccination.
8. Do vaccines induce cancer? No.
In fact the HPV vaccine protects against Cancer of Cervix which is the second common cancer in women.
9. Do vaccines make people sterile or sub fertile? NO.
10. What do vaccines contains?
The component that activates the immune system to produce immunity.
- Live attenuated vaccines and inactivated vaccines.
Other components of vaccines- excipients
Adjuvant- substance added to the vaccine to enhance the immune response. The commonly used adjutants are aluminum salts.
To support the growth and purification of specific immunogens and the inactivation of toxins. These include antibiotic added to prevent contamination during viral cell culture; substances needed for the growth of viruses, egg or yeast protein, glycerol, serum, amino acids and enzymes; and formaldehyde used to inactivate viruses and protein toxins. Most of these reagents are removed in the subsequent manufacturing steps, but minute ‘trace’ amounts may remain in the final product. The amounts present are only of consequence for individuals allergic to them.