From the Publisher’s Desk
Muhammad Munir Chaudry
Vaccines have been one of the most talked about topics of the year, and for good reason; hope that cure for coronavirus is on the way. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play havoc with the health of the community and create economic shocks; availability of vaccines promises a path back to normal. They can bring us to a life without masks and overuse of hand sanitizer, as they allow the return of the events we miss, such as large social gatherings and indoor/outdoor celebrations.
For some, the decision to get a vaccine goes beyond mere questions about its availability and effectiveness. Some parents may choose not to vaccinate their children for religious reasons, while others may have concerns about the safety of vaccines. IFANCA, as an Islamic and technical organization, looks at all aspects of vaccines; development, production, and use. Although there is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, and no company has asked for halal certification, we have brought the matter to some companies working on vaccine development. As a halal certifying body, we have certified a number of vaccines because they save lives and promote wellbeing. Vaccine development is a complicated, time intensive process that has to be thoroughly researched in order to determine the effectiveness as well as compliance with halal requirements. Since vaccine development may involve the use of unacceptable components, there are differences of opinion among Islamic scholars as to the acceptability of vaccines. However, the majority opinion is they are acceptable, especially when no alternative medicine exists. IFANCA provides assurance that the product being administered is free from unacceptable components.
One of the main tenets of Islam is the easing of hardship and preservation of life and health. We strive to prevent harm from coming to ourselves and to the community at large. We take care of our bodies and treat them with respect, as they are gifts from God (SWT) that allow us to worship Him fully. We choose the path where the benefits to ourselves and others outweigh the consequences, seeking the prevention of undue hardship when possible. A majority of the people will take the vaccine when an effective one is available and recommended by health care providers. Time and again, the facts demonstrate that vaccines can prevent the spread of disease, ease suffering, and save lives.
Muhammad Munir Chaudry, president