Massachusetts Imam Welcomes COVID-19 Vaccine to Protect Life

As companies race to produce COVID-19 vaccines and countries scramble to secure doses, some Muslims have raised concerns on whether it’s Shariah-compliant or not, due to fears it contains some elements that are against Islamic law.

But according to Asif Hirani, imam and resident scholar at the Worcester Islamic Center, Massachusetts, the American Muslim community is “very receptive” to taking COVID- 19 vaccines, Telegram & Gazette reported.

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“I’m very proud. All of us are very receptive that we have to take the vaccine,” he said.

“This (vaccine) is a ray of hope. In the American Muslim community people are really very, very receptive. We were waiting for something like this.”

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The imam was speaking during Friday jumu`ah prayer on the new vaccines and whether Muslims should take them or no.

Islamic Perspective

He said he could only address the issue from an “Islamic perspective” and not from that of a medical doctor. Furthermore, “it’s a personal decision whether you want to get a vaccine or not,” and it should be discussed with one’s personal doctor, he said.   

From an Islamic perspective, “when comparing benefits and harm, what is valued is the greater good of the human being,” Hirani said.   

And with that, “One of the objectives of Islamic law is actually to protect and preserve human life,” he said.  

This opinion falls in line with the other juristic edicts issued by Muslims on the COVID-19 vaccine.

In the UK, British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) has put out a statement encouraging at-risk individuals to take the vaccine.

The BIMA position statement followed consultation with Muslim health care professionals, Islamic scholars, and representative bodies from across the UK.

On another level, scholars from some of the most influential Islamic seminaries in the UK have issued fatwa saying that the new Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is halal.

In Malaysia, a fatwa has also stressed that COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people at risk to prevent the spread of the pandemic and preserve the human life.