Vaccines are allowed during Ramadan
By Stephen Holland
Imam Sheikh Shakeel from the Galway Islamic Cultural Centre has moved to reassure Galway’s Islamic community that the Covid-19 vaccine will not break Ramadan.
“I have seen that the vaccine would not invalidate the fast. Hence, one can freely take the vaccine and the fast would still be valid,” he said.
It has been claimed by some that Ramadan requires those participating, to refrain from anything entering the body cavities. This interpretation is where worries about the Covid-19 vaccine come into play.
Imam Sheikh Shakeel said that “some scholars are of the opinion that injections would break the fast” but that this was in relation to “previous vaccinations for things not so detrimental to health”, that could be rearranged for a time outside of fasting hours.
This advice aligns with most Muslim medical professionals across with globe, with the British Islamic Medical Association insisting the vaccine is permitted during Ramadan.
Imam Yunus Dudhwala, Head of Chaplaincy Barts Health NHS Trust, said “the vast majority of scholars have deemed taking the vaccine whilst fasting as permissible and stated that it does not break the fast.”
“The experts have stated that the Covid-19 vaccine is effective and the best way of protecting yourself and your loved ones. I ask my Muslim brothers and sisters to consider taking the vaccine when called.”
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a time of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.
Fasting, or sawm in Arabic, is an integral part of Ramadan which began this year on April 13. It follows the Islamic calendar so the exact dates can differ from year to year.
It is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and according to Imam Shakeel, the practice of fasting during sunlight hours allows Muslims to become more compassionate to those in need.
“The purpose behind the month of Ramadan is to understand the blessings that God has given us, that there’s nothing that differentiates us from a poor person in Africa or in a third world country,” he said.
“It enables us to have a sense of empathy for the people who are not so fortunate and don’t have basic necessities that they need for daily life.”
“Obviously not eating and drinking, we still know that at the time of sunset we’re still going to have a meal at the end of the day, so it’s not the same, but it gives us a sense of how it would feel to remain hungry with no food, no water.”
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