(Jan. 22, 2021) In December 2020, the official Islamic religious institutions in both Egypt and United Arab Emirates issued fatwas (Islamic rulings) permitting the use of the COVID-19 vaccine.
On December 22, 2020, the secretary general of the Egyptian Dar al-Iftaa, the religious authority responsible for issuing religious decrees, announced that the COVID-19 vaccine is halal (permissible under Islamic law). Dar al-Iftaa also declared that taking the vaccines is a religious duty for all people living in the country.
Khaled Emran, the secretary general for fatwas at Dar al-Iftaa, stated that Dar al-Iftaa had granted Muslims permission to use COVID-19 vaccines, even if the vaccine formula contains pig derivatives. The consumption of products made from pigs is forbidden under Islamic law. Emran’s statement came in the wake of news reports that the vaccine might contain pig derivatives. He added that the chemical transformation in making the vaccine eliminates its impure nature and that the majority of Muslim jurists of the Hanafi, Maliki, and Hanbali schools of Islamic jurisprudence were in agreement on this.
In addition, Hamed Abu Taleb, an Islamic scholar and former dean of the School of Law at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, argues that vaccination is vital for the public good of Muslims.
According to the Egyptian newspaper the Independent, the spokespersons of the companies manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccines have declared that pig derivatives are not components of their COVID-19 vaccines.
United Arab Emirates
On December 22, 2020, the Fatwa Council of the United Arab Emirates issued a fatwa granting permission for the use of coronavirus vaccines in compliance with Sharia (Islamic law) objectives to protect the human body and with other relevant Islamic rulings.
According to news reports, the council has determined that even though the vaccine might contain non-halal ingredients, it is acceptable to use it when there are no alternatives. The council has based its fatwa on the argument that COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that could cause death or permanent damage to humans and that the vaccine is the only way to protect against this virus.
The council added that the vaccine is categorized as preventive medicine that helps the entire society to avoid the high risk of infection.