We, firstly, thank Allah. Then, we thank the president of the country, the government, the Health Ministry, specifically, and all the physicians and others all working therein for the effort they have exerted since the start of the Corona crisis and for their eagerness to implement the procedures that aim to reduce the spread of the pandemic. As a response from us to the Prophet’s command—upon him Allah’s blessing and peace—to offer advice to the Muslim leaders and the populace, we wish to raise awareness to a sacred legal matter pertaining to the ruling of obligating people to vaccinate, that is premised upon of the
1- There is no doubt that the refusal of medical treatment, placing one’s reliance upon Allah and acceptance of what He decrees, is among matters endorsed by the revealed law. This is supported by what Al-Bukhari reports from ‘Ata b. Abi Rabah from Ibn ‘Abbas that a woman came to the Prophet—upon him Allah’s blessing and peace—and said, “I suffer from seizures to the point that my body becomes exposed. So, pray to Allah for me.” He said, “If you would like, you can endure it and be rewarded with Paradise. And if you would like, I can ask Allah to cure you.” She responded, “I will endure it.” She, then, said, “I become exposed. So, pray to Allah for me not to become exposed.” So, he prayed for her. Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani said in Fath al-Bari while commenting on this hadith. The hadith indicates the merit of the one who suffers seizures, that the reward for enduring the tribulations of the world is Paradise, and that embracing the more difficult is superior to taking dispensations for those who know what they can withstand and are not too weak to cling to adversity. It also contains evidence of the permissibility to refuse medical treatment, that treatment of all ailments with supplication and taking refuge to Allah is more beneficial than treatment with prophylaxis (aqaqir), and that the effect of that and the body’s reaction to it is greater than the effect of medicine on the body. It, however, benefits for only two reasons: (1) with respect to the sick person, it is [from] sincerity of intention; (2) The other, with respect to the one seeking medical intervention, is the strength of his spiritual focus and the strength of his faith (taqwa) and trust (tawakkul).
The Maliki Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr said in Al-Tamhid, "And there were among the best of this nation, its predecessors, and scholars, people who endured ailments until Allah removed them despite having access to physicians. They, however, were not condemned for refusing treatment. And if treatment had been one of the required norms (al-sunan al-wajibah), then those who refused to utter incantations and
take medication would have been deemed blameworthy. And this is something of which
we know no one who says.
Imam Ahmad said, “I like for the one who believes in the efficacy of trust and pursues this path to abandon medical treatment such as drinking medicine and other things.”
For this reason, Qadi ‘Iyad conveyed unanimous consensus on the non-obligation to medicate. And if the refusal to medicate is scripturally validated for the sick, then this is evidence that it is not permitted to force him to do so. So, it is not proper to force the sick to medicate. Rather, it is not [even] proper to force him to eat and drink.
Ibn al-Qayyim said in Zad al-Ma’ad,
Section: Concerning his guidance—upon him Allah’s blessing and peace—on treating the sick by not giving them food and drink they dislike and that they are not to be forced to take them: Al-Tirmidhi related in his Jami’ as did Ibn Majah from ‘Uqbah b. ‘Amir al-Juhani who said, “The Messenger of Allah —upon him Allah’s blessing and peace—said: “Do not force your sick to eat and drink, because Allah, Mighty and Majestic, gives them food and drink.
And Al-Nawwawi said in Al-Majmu’, “And it is recommended that the sick not be forced to medicate and to consume other things like food.” And if it is not permissible to force the sick who is suffering from extreme illness to medicate, then how is it permissible to force the healthy who has not been afflicted with any sign of illness? And how can trust and surrender to the divine decree be something desirable for the sick who suffers from an actual illness and that not be desirable for a healthy person who is fearful of an expected illness?
2- If some scholars say that one who is nearly certain of one’s demise and is certain of the utility of medicine is obligated to medicate in order to save his life, then this does not apply to our situation for three reasons: (1) Because that applies to the person actually afflicted with illness, while the scenario we are in is the vaccination of a healthy person to whom it is feared that illness will happen; (2) Because death happening in our case is not a near certainty. Nay! It is an insignificant probability. So, the rate of infection is limited. And after infection the recovery rate is up to 98% as everyone agrees, with or without treatment; (3) Because the effectiveness of the medication is unknown. Experts have expressed that the vaccines prevent neither illness nor infection from pathogens.
3- Allah, Glorified and Exalted, has given to sane adults the freedom of choice and burdened them with the responsibility of themselves. Allah, the Exalted, says, “Whoever follows guidance, follows guidance for his soul. And whoever strays, only strays against it.” Therefore, the Shariah forbids forced conversion to the religion. Allah, the Exalted, says, “There is no compulsion in religion.” And if forced conversion to the religion is forbidden, how could it be lawful to force one to adhere to health measures? And what
freedom of action remains for a person once his compulsion to take health measures is completed? If it is permitted for a government to force a person to vaccinate on the basis of public interest, then this means that it is permitted for it to force a man to marry three or four wives on the basis of public interest! It is also permitted for it to force a woman to marry a man she does not desire, to travel outside [the country] to study on the basis of public interest or to perform military service on the basis of public interest. It would also be permitted for it to force the farmer to become a carpenter, a carpenter to become a tailor, and a physician who has memorized the Qur’an to teach in a religious school (mahzarah). And all of that is on the basis of public interest. Such things are not affirmed by either sacred or secular law, while the examples [following this flawed logic] are many.
4- Al-Bukhari related from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet—upon him Allah’s blessing and peace—said, “Allah has not sent down an illness without sending for it a cure.” And this hadith indicates that healthy immune systems are capable of confronting all viruses. So, vaccination should be specifically for those with weak immunity, while the healthy are to be entrusted to the immunity that Allah has
deposited within them. As for when a single person and his illness spreads to the healthy people, then this is a return to the ancient custom of the Arabs who whenever mange (‘urr)—sores on the lips of camels—would spread among their camels, a healthy camel would be taken and branded in the presence of the other camels where they could see it and they would all recover. Al-Nabighah said, “So, you burden me with another’s sin while you abandon him—like the one afflicted with mange, another is
branded while he is left grazing.” (2)
5- It is not proper to support any vaccine until its safety has been completely verified. However, the safety of these vaccines is uncertain. The manufacturing companies are indemnified. The authorization for them was only for emergency use. And the side effects of these vaccines that the manufacturing companies have announced are many and serious, and most of them have appeared.(3)
Also, the effects of these vaccines on pregnant women and those with chronic illness is unknown. And they are vaccines the least of which can be said of them is that they incite dispute. In France and other European countries protests have persisted since October of 2020 until they reached their fortieth week with the attendance of tens of thousands among whom are the leaders of political parties, members of parliament, military officers, professors of medicine, and organizations of civil community. And the daily seminars they have on television channels, news stations, and social media as well as the evidence they present create doubt about the safety of the vaccines and make clear that the World Health Organization has been exposed to blackmail by pharmaceutical companies. This is in addition to statements made by Bill Gates going back to 2011 wherein he said that the reduction of the population will be completed via forced vaccination.(4)
And in Australia life insurance companies have halted coverage at the start of the vaccination rollout while continuing to provide coverage when the corona pandemic begun.(5) So, how can people be compelled to take these vaccines?(6)
6- The potential of certain harms resulting from these vaccines exists, and some have already occurred. The government must bear its responsibility to protect the health of citizens. And it must acknowledge its responsibility for any harm from these vaccines and announce its preparation to compensate every citizen who has been harmed by them. Countries always compensate those harmed in such situations. When AIDS
appeared, the French government did not purchase the necessary diagnostic tools for identifying the AIDS virus from the United States. Rather, it wanted to produce it from its [own] laboratories, but the matter took six months before these medications were produced. And during this period hundreds of Francophiles were infected with this illness. So, the minister of health interceded for them, and the government
compensated all of those who were infected. And in Singapore, a 16-year-old received compensation in the form of $225,000 American dollars after experiencing a heart attack from the Pfizer vaccine. And the [guiding] legal principle is [that], “Every harm done to another obligates its doer to pay compensation.” All the manufacturing companies of these vaccines have been indemnified from the responsibility of the
harms and side effects of the vaccines. And they have requested that governments of the world bear the treatment and financial responsibilities resulting from the side effects of the vaccines. Similarly, The European Union has contracted with a number of medical companies in order to produce and sell medical treatments that are not vaccines which will appear in October 2021.7 And this increases skepticism surrounding the rush of the World Health Organization and governments in the vaccination
campaigns and coercing people to take them as opposed to other vaccines in addition to [skepticism about the concern for] public interests in order to provide it to over 70% of the world’s population prior to the production of the remedies expected to appear at the end of October 2021.
There are two fundamental duties of the government today:
1- To make the vaccines optional without mandating them on the people for travel nor
tying certain services to vaccination.
2- To compensate everyone who has been harmed by the vaccines.
We ask Allah, the Exalted, to protect all the Muslims and to direct the governors and decision
makers to what fulfills the interests of the country and people. Allah is the one who gives
success. And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
Wednesday, 15 Muharram 1443 AH / August 24, 2021
Post-Script: The undersigned of this proclamation are not united by a single ideology or
occupation. The only thing that unites them is specialization in the revealed law and
agreement upon the content of the proclamation. We also apologize to our virtuous teachers
who we were not able to contact:
- Shaykh Muhammad al-Sufi b. Mukhtass, Imam of the Hayya Central Mosque
- Shaykh Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Qadir b. al-Dad, Shaykh of Mahdarah al-Malikiyyah in
Arafat and author of Al-Mawrid Al-Shahi fi al-Fiqh al-Maliki
- Shaykh Muhammad al-Amin wald Aqah, Imam of a central mosque in Barimir
- Shaykh Khalid Wald Aslamu, Imam Masjid al-Hidayah in Riyadh
- Shaykh Muhammad Mahmud Wald Muhammadi
- Shaykh Babah Wald al-Lahamud
- Shaykh Ahmad Mahmud Wald Haddu, Imam of Masjid Baskujim
- Shaykh Adumu Wald al-Jili, Imam of Jami’ al-Da’wah wa al-Tabligh in Dar al-Na’im
- Shaykh ‘Isa Wald Muhammad Wald Hamati
- Shaykh Abu Bakr b. Ahmad b. Yarim, Imam of Masjid Maryam in Dar al-Barakah, Rusu
- Shaykh Ya’qub b. Sa’id, Imam of Masjid Damal Dak
- Shaykh Ahmadu b. Muhammad Sultan, Imam of Jami’ Hamzah
- Shaykh ‘Ali Jalu, Imam of Jami’ al-Ihsan
- Shaykh Muhammad Mahmud b. Sayyid ‘Ali, Imam of Jami’ al-Bayt al-Ma’mur
- Shaykh Muhammad al-Mashri Wald Muhammad al-Hajj, Imam of Masjid al-Sabkhah
- Shaykh Dr. Muhammad ‘Ali al-Shinqiti
- Shaykh Ahmad Ba’bu al-Naji, College professor and Imam of Jami’ Abu Bakr al-Siddique
in Tafarrugh Zinah
- Shaykh ‘Abd Allah Wald Arbayyah
- Shaykh Muhammad Yasliim Wald ‘Abd Allah, Imam of Jami’ al-Mihsab
I would like to express my gratitude to Sidi Qasim Farid for sharing this document with me.
(1) The translation and notes for this fatwa are the work of Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, Associate Professor of Islamic Law of Zaytuna College, and Founding Director of the Lamppost Education Initiative.
(2) The point of the analogy seems to be that healthy low risk people who are the majority of the human population are treated like the healthy camels who are made to watch the infected camel be branded. The suggestion is that such an approach is more superstitious rather than scientific as a cure for covid-19 and similar pathogens. The sick should be treated and quarantined, while the healthy should not have to suffer simply because it is suspected that they may fall ill as well.
(3) A popular database for reports of post vaccination adverse events is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
(4) Multiple conspiracy theories have circulated about Bill Gates. Among them is that he is part of an elite conspiracy to reduce the population through his support and confirmed financial investments in vaccines. Despite that fact, one must be careful to put too much faith in such allegations unless one has strong evidence. That notwithstanding, Gates’ comments during a 2010 TED Talk and elsewhere have given rise to suspicions of such diabolical plots. During his TED Talk he said, “First, we’ve got population…The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about nine billion. Now, if we do a really good job
on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by, perhaps, 10 or 15 percent. But there, we see an increase of about 1.3.” Despite the fact that Gates’ intention might be rooted in compassion and the desire to increase quality of life for a larger number of people, these words clearly indicate a desire to see the earth’s human population decreased. Population growth is a bad thing in the view of Gates. This and his regular appearance in mainstream media as an authority on vaccines despite having no medical background are what fuels the conspiracy theories.
(5) This particular claim may require further research and confirmation. It does seem to be true that a person may potentially lose his/her insurance since life insurance policies generally disqualify heirs from receiving funds when the applicant’s own actions played a part in his/her death. And, since vaccination is still voluntary for most people, this might contribute to one being disqualified. However, multiple Western media organizations including FOX Business and Forbes have reported that the matter isn’t as simple as made to appear by many alleging on social media that vaccination will automatically lead to life
insurance disqualification if one dies from the vaccine. An April 19, 2021 Make$Sense article entitled “COVID-19 Vaccine and Your Life Insurance Policy” also explains the nuances. The facts about the Australian claim are, however, difficult to confirm presently.
(6) Even if certain of these suspicions may not be well-founded, there are many factors contributing to the general distrust that Africans, blacks, and other minorities have of the “good intentions” of the developed countries of the West in the realm of vaccination. The 40-year study of the Tuskegee Experiment (1932-1972) wherein the United States Public Health Service (PHS) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) intentionally infected 400 African Americans with syphilis is just one
example. The Tuskegee Institute where the experiment occurred was closed in 1972, which is not a considerably long time ago. So, there’s little reason to accept the idea that the American government has repented from its dark practices, especially considering the most recent conflagrations surrounding systemic and institutional racism allegations. Canada’s Indian Affairs and Indian Health Services conducted nutrition and gingivitis experiments on the aboriginal population from 1984-1952, denying the control group supplements leading to increased malnourishment (Ian Mosby, “Administering colonial science:
Nutrition research and human biomedical experimentation in Aboriginal communities and residential schools, 1942-1952” (2013) 46:1 Hist Sociale/Social Hist at 158). An example of the continued concern about experimentation on poor populations in this 2003 International Journal of Health Services paper entitled, “Globalization of Clinical Research by the Pharmaceutical Industry.” It is difficult to imagine scholars in premodern Muslim society or during the years prior to 9/11/2001 seriously
entertaining the suggestion to have totally indemnified non-Muslims enter Muslim lands in order to inject Muslim populations with vaccines whose long-term effects are unknown. Times have changed it seems.
(7) Daniel Boffey (6 May 2021). “The EU Wants to Mass Produce Three ‘Course Changing’ Covid Drugs From October.” (The Guardian): https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/06/drug-change-course-pandemic-trialled-for-use-europeancommission
Safiyyah Sabreen studied Mechanical Engineering and is currently pursuing her Master's in Philosophy. She is the Content Director for KNOW. Being interested in the field of Islam and Science and Islamic Eschatology, she produced a documentary on the Golden Age of Islam and directs the Second Golden Age series.