Covid-19 vaccine is ‘wajib’, says Islamic affairs minister

R. Loheswar
·2-min read
Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri delivers a speech at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque in Putrajaya December 3, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri delivers a speech at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque in Putrajaya December 3, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — The Covid-19 vaccine is not only safe for Muslims, but wajib, Minister Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said today amid much anticipation — and trepidation — in Malaysia after the government signed several deals to procure millions of doses for the population.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic affairs said the National Fatwa Council had met recently and ruled that the Covid-19 vaccine complies with Islamic law.

“During the 10th conference of the National Fatwa Council that met on December 3, we decided that the use of the Covid-19 vaccine is harus and wajib as designated by the government,” he said in a statement.

The term harus in Islam means permissible, while wajib means obligatory.

Zulkifli said the matter has been presented to the Conference of Rulers.

“With regards to that, I urge all Malaysians, especially Muslims, to adhere to these rules and give your full trust to the government in handling this pandemic through the use of vaccines,” he added.

The former Federal Territories mufti pointed out six instances when the council ruled on vaccines for Muslims covering a range of diseases like rubella, Hepatitis B, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, tuberculosis, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, meningococcal meningitis vaccine, the human papilloma virus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer in women, and meningitis menveo.

Many Malaysians have raised concerns about the use of the Covid-19 vaccine while Muslims here have asked if it is Shariah-compliant, among them PAS vice-president Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.

This is not the first time Zulkifli has had to assure Muslims about the Covid-19 vaccine.

On November 23, while winding his speech on the Supply Bill 2021 in the Dewan Rakyat, Zulkifli said the Covid-19 vaccine would be permissible in line with the principle of Maqasid Syariah as it concerned the protection of life.

The government has announced that it has secured Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca and is in the midst of negotiating with other manufacturers to vaccinate over 80 per cent of Malaysia’s population at an estimated cost of RM2.05 billion.

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