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FB Q&A: The Ruling on Taking Vaccines Containing Haram Ingredients

As Salamu Alaykum Our Ameer and Sheikh

May Allah (swt) protect you and this noble party and grant the victory through your hands and bless this Ummah with the second Khilafah Rashida on the method of Prophethood. Ameen.

My question is, in the United Kingdom the government gives our children a flu vaccination for the winter period each year so children do not get the flu. This is a precautionary matter and parents are allowed to opt out and not to give the flu vaccine to their children. From what I have been informed, the vaccine contains gelatin from pork, which they say has been purified and the vaccine is in the form of a nasal spray.

Is it permitted for children or adults to take precautionary vaccines and medicines which contain haram ingredients like pork, alcohol etc.?

May Allah (swt) keep you in the best of health and reward you abundantly for your answer,

Wa alaykumus Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Your brother in Islam
Abdul Basir

Wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatu Allahi wa Barakatuh,

At the beginning of my answer, may Allah bless you for your good supplication for us, and we exchange your supplication for better than it.

You are asking about the Shari’ ruling on vaccination whose vaccine contains forbidden substances, and you also ask about treatment with medicines that contain forbidden substances. We have already answered about the ruling on vaccination, and we also answered about the ruling on treatment with prohibited (Muharram) and unclean (Najis) substances, and from the sum of these answers is the answer to your current question. And I will quote for you some of what we have answered:

First: Answer to Question on 18/11/2013 CE about vaccination and its ruling, and it says: (Vaccination is a medicine, and to seek medicine is recommended not obligatory; the evidences for this are:

1Narrated by Bukhari from Abu Huraira that he said that the Prophet (saw) said: «مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ دَاءً إِلَّا أَنْزَلَ لَهُ شِفَاءً»“Allah has not sent down a disease except that He has also sent down its cure.

Muslim narrated from Jabir Ibn Abdullah from the Prophet that he said:«لِكُلِّ دَاءٍ دَوَاءٌ، فَإِذَا أُصِيبَ دَوَاءُ الدَّاءِ بَرَأَ بِإِذْنِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ»“Every illness has a cure, and when the proper cure is applied to the disease, it ends it, by the permission of Allah Azza wa Jal.”

Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad from Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood:«مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ دَاءً، إِلَّا قَدْ أَنْزَلَ لَهُ شِفَاءً، عَلِمَهُ مَنْ عَلِمَهُ، وَجَهِلَهُ مَنْ جَهِلَهُ» “AIIah has not sent down a disease except that He also sent down its cure; whoever knows it (the cure), knows it, and whoever is unaware of it (the cure), he is unaware of it”

These hadeeths contain instructions; for every disease there is medicine that cures it; this is an encouragement to seek medicine that can cure the disease by the permission of Allah (swt); it is an instruction and not an obligation.

2Ahmad narrated from Anas that the Prophet (saw) said: «إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَيْثُ خَلَقَ الدَّاءَ، خَلَقَ الدَّوَاءَ، فَتَدَاوَوْا» “There is no disease that Allah has created except that He also has created its remedy, so seek medicine.

Abu Dawoud narrated from Usama Ibn Shareek that he said: I approached the Prophet (saw) and his companions, and they appeared as if they had birds sitting on their heads. I extended my greetings and sat down, then many Bedouins came from here and there and asked: ‘O Messenger of AIIah, should we seek medicine?’ He said: «تَدَاوَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَمْ يَضَعْ دَاءً إِلَّا وَضَعَ لَهُ دَوَاءً، غَيْرَ دَاءٍ وَاحِدٍ الْهَرَمُ أي إلا الموت»Yes, O slaves of AIIah, seek medicine, for AIIah has not created a disease except that he has also created its cure, except for one illness.’ They said, ‘And what is that?’ He said, ‘Al-Haram’ [death]” i.e. except for death.

In the first hadeeth, he (saw) commanded to seek medication, and in this hadeeth his answer to the Bedouins was to seek medicine for Allah did not send a disease except that He sends the cure. The speech in both hadeeths came in the command format which means a general order and not an obligation unless the subject is regarding a definite issue. The definite command requires a Qareena (an indication) to its presence. In both hadeeth, there are no Qareena present that indicates the obligation. In addition, there has been narrations of hadeeths that indicates the permissibility of not seeking medicine, which negates the indication of the obligation from both hadeeths.

Muslim narrated from Imran Ibn Haseen that the Prophet (saw) said:«يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ، قَالُواوَمَنْ هُمْ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ؟ قَالَ: هُمُ الَّذِينَ لَا يَكْتَوُونَ وَلَا يَسْتَرْقُونَ، وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ»Seventy thousand from my Ummah shall enter Jannah without any reckoning.” They said who are they O Allah’s Messenger? He said: “They are the ones who do not get themselves branded (cauterized) nor they treat themselves with Ruqqya, and they trust in Allah.” Ruqqya and cauterization are forms of medicine.

Bukhari narrated from Ibn Abbas that he said: “This black woman came to the Prophet (saw) and said: “I have (epileptic) seizures, and I get exposed, so supplicate to Allah for me.” He (saw) said:

«إِنْ شِئْتِ صَبَرْتِ وَلَكِ الجَنَّةُ، وَإِنْ شِئْتِ دَعَوْتُ اللَّهَ أَنْ يُعَافِيَكِ فَقَالَتْ أَصْبِرُ، فَقَالَتْ: إِنِّي أَتَكَشَّفُ، فَادْعُ اللَّهَ لِيأَنْ لاَ أَتَكَشَّفَ، فَدَعَا لَهَا…»

“If you wish, be patient and you will attain Jannah; or if you wish, I will ask Allah to cure you.”

She replied, “I will be patient! But my body gets exposed (because of the fall), so supplicate to Allah for me that I do not become exposed.” and he (saw) made supplication for her.”These two hadeeths indicate the permissibility of not seeking medication.

All these indicate that the mentioned command:“فتداووا”، “تداووا” to “seek medicine” is not an obligation; therefore, it is either permissible or recommended. The extent of encouragement by the Prophet (saw) to seek medication makes the command of seeking medicine that is mentioned in the hadeeth recommended.

Therefore, the ruling on vaccination is that it is recommended, because vaccination is a medicine; to seek the cure is recommended, except in the case when it is proven that a specific type of vaccine is harmful, e.g. its ingredients are expired or is harmful for some reason, then vaccination in this situation it is prohibited according to the principle of harm that was mentioned in the hadeeth of the Prophet (saw) that was extracted by Ahmad in his Musnad from Ibn Abbas that the Prophet (saw) said:«لَا ضَرَرَ وَلَا ضِرَارَ»“There should be neither harming, nor reciprocating harm.” However, these cases are rare.

As for the Khilafah (Caliphate) State, there will be vaccinations against diseases available as is required, for instance, the contagious diseases and so on. The medicine would be free from any impurities. Allah (swt) is Al-Shafi (grants the cure):

[وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ]

And when I am ill, it is He Who gives me the cure” [Ash-Shu’ara: 80]

What is known from the Shariah is that health care is an obligation on the Khaleefah in his role of looking after the affairs of the people, and according to the saying of the Prophet (saw):«الإِمَامُ رَاعٍ وَهُوَ وَمَسْؤُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ»“The Imam is a Shepherd and he is responsible for those under his care.” (extracted by Bukhari from Abdullah Ibn Umar), it is a general text regarding the responsibility of the state to show that health and medical care are the obligation of the state in its role to look after the affairs of the people.

There is also specific evidence regarding health and medical care: Muslim extracted from Jaber that he said: «بَعَثَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِلَى أُبَيِّ بْنِ كَعْبٍ طَبِيبًا فَقَطَعَ مِنْهُ عِرْقًا ثُمَّ كَوَاهُ عَلَيْهِ»“The Prophet (saw) sent a physician to Ubai Ibn Ka’b. He cut one vein from him then he cauterized over it.”

Al-Hakim extracted in Al Mustadrak from Zaid Ibn Aslam from his father he said:“مَرِضْتُ فِي زَمَانِ عُمَرَ بِنَ الْخَطَّابِ مَرَضاً شَدِيداً فَدَعَا لِي عُمَرُ طَبِيباً فَحَمَانِي حَتَّى كُنْتُ أَمُصُّ النَّوَاةَ مِنْ شِدَّةِ الْحِمْيَةِ”“I suffered a severe illness during the time of Umar Ibn Alkhatab. He sent me a physician who gave me a strict diet. I used to suck on the date stone.”

The Prophet (saw) in his capacity as a leader sent a doctor to Ubai and Umar (ra), the second rightly guided Khaleefah, also sent a doctor to Aslam to provide him with medication. They are both evidences that health and medical care are from the basic needs of welfare that the state is obliged to provide for free to those under its care.) End.

Second: Answer to Question on 26/01// 2011 CE about the use of the prohibited (Muharram) and unclean (Najis) things, and treatment with them, and it says:

2- Extracting benefit from unclean and prohibited things is forbidden, and among evidences for it are:

Bukhari has narrated on the authority of Jaber ibn ‘Abdullah (ra) that he heard the Prophet (saw) said while in Makkah:

 «إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ حَرَّمَ بَيْعَ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْتَةِ وَالْخِنْزِيرِ وَالْأَصْنَامِ فَقِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَرَأَيْتَ شُحُومَ الْمَيْتَةِ فَإِنَّهَا يُطْلَى بِهَا السُّفُنُ وَيُدْهَنُ بِهَا الْجُلُودُ وَيَسْتَصْبِحُ بِهَا النَّاسُ فَقَالَ لَا هُوَ حَرَامٌ ثُمَّ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عِنْدَ ذَلِكَ قَاتَلَ اللَّهُ الْيَهُودَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَّا حَرَّمَ شُحُومَهَا جَمَلُوهُ ثُمَّ بَاعُوهُ فَأَكَلُوا ثَمَنَهُ»

I heard Allah’s Apostle, in the year of the Conquest of Makkah, saying, “Allah and His Apostle made illegal the trade of alcohol, dead animals, pigs and idols.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What about the fat of dead animals, for it was used for greasing the boats and the hides; and people use it for lights?” He said, “No, it is illegal.” Allah’s Apostle further said, “May Allah curse the Jews, for Allah made the fat (of animals) illegal for them, yet they melted the fat and sold it and ate its price.”

In Tahdheeb al Aathaar of Tabari, there is a narration by Jaber (ra) who says that the Prophet (saw) said:«لا تَنْتَفِعوا مِنَ الميْتَةِ بِشَيْءٍ»“Do not utilise or take advantage of the dead at all.”

The skin of the dead is an exception to the above as has been narrated in Abu Dawood on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas and Wahb from Maymoonah; she says that ‘A sheep was given to our servant as charity and it died. The Prophet (saw) passed by it and said: «أَلَا دَبَغْتُمْ إِهَابَهَا وَاسْتَنْفَعْتُمْ بِهِ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّهَا مَيْتَةٌ قَالَ إِنَّمَا حُرِّمَ أَكْلُهَا»“Have you tanned its skin or used it? They said, O Allah’s Prophet (saw), it is dead. He (saw) said: “Indeed its eating is forbidden.”

Bukhari has a narration on the authority of Jaber ibn ‘Abdullah (ra) that he heard the Prophet (saw) say in the year of Fatah Makkah whilst he was in Makkah:«إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ حَرَّمَ بَيْعَ الْخَمْرِ»“Indeed Allah (swt) and His Messenger have forbidden the sale of intoxicants.”

Bukhari has another narration on the authority of Anas (ra). He says that ‘On that day I was at the house of Abu Talha (ra) and al-Fadikh wine was being served when the Prophet (saw) ordered his man to announce«أَلَا إِنَّ الْخَمْرَ قَدْ حُرِّمَتْ» “Beware, Wine has been forbidden.” So. Abu Talha asked me spill the wine so I came out and spilled the wine. The streets of Madeenah were flowing with wine.’

Abu Dawood has a narration on the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said:«إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَرَّمَ الْخَمْرَ وَثَمَنَهَا وَحَرَّمَ الْمَيْتَةَ وَثَمَنَهَا وَحَرَّمَ الْخِنْزِيرَ وَثَمَنَهُ» “Allah (swt) has forbidden wine and its price; forbidden carron and its price; and forbidden pork and its price.”

3-Medical treatment is an exception to such a prohibition and use of prohibited and unclean things is allowed for medical purpose:

The fact of medical treatment not being haraam is substantiated in a narration by Muslim on the authority of Anas (ra). He says that «رَخَّصَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ أَوْ رُخِّصَ لِلزُّبَيْرِ بْنِ الْعَوَّامِ وَعَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عَوْفٍ فِي لُبْسِ الْحَرِيرِ لِحِكَّةٍ كَانَتْ بِهِمَا»“the Prophet (saw) allowed that Allah’s Prophet (saw) had granted concession to Abd al-Rahman b. Anf and Zubair b. ‘Awwam for the wearing of a silk shirt during the journey and because of itch which they both had.” Wearing of silk is forbidden for men, but is allowed for medical reasons. Similarly, there are narrations in Sunan an Nasai, Abu Dawood, and Tirmidhi: Abdur Rahman bin Turfah reports from his grandfather ‘Arfajah bin As’ad who says that: ‘He had his nose cut off at the battle of al-Kilab got a silver nose, but it developed a stench, «فَأَمَرَهُ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ أَنْ يَتَّخِذَ أَنْفاً مِنْ ذَهَبٍ»“so the Prophet (saw) ordered him to get a gold nose.” Gold is forbidden for men, but its use is allowed for medical purposes.

As for use of unclean things not being haraam for medical purpose, it is narrated in Bukhari on the authority of Anas (ra) «أَنَّ نَاساً اجْتَوَوْا فِي الْمَدِينَةِ فَأَمَرَهُمْ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ أَنْ يَلْحَقُوا بِرَاعِيهِ يَعْنِي الْإِبِلَ فَيَشْرَبُوا مِنْ أَلْبَانِهَا وَأَبْوَالِهَا فَلَحِقُوا بِرَاعِيهِ فَشَرِبُوا مِنْ أَلْبَانِهَا وَأَبْوَالِهَا…»“Some people came to Madinah and (they became ill, so) the Prophet ordered them to go to the herd of (Milch) she-camels and told them to go out and drink the camels’ urine and milk (as a medicine). So they went and drank it…”. When the people became ill, the Prophet (saw) permitted them to use ‘urine’ which is unclean. Bukhari has narrated on the authority

of Abu Hurairah (ra) who says: «قام أعرابي فبال في المسجد، فتناوله الناس، فقال لهم النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: دعوه وهَريقوا على بوله سَجْلاً من ماء – أو ذَنُوباً من ماء – فإنما بُعثتم مُيسِّرين ولم تُبعثوا مُعسِّرين»A Bedouin stood up and started making water in the mosque. The people caught him but the Prophet ordered them to leave him and to pour a bucket or a tumbler of water over the place where he had passed the urine. The Prophet then said, “You have been sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult.”) End.

Third: In Answer to Question on 19/09/2013 CE it was stated:

(… The answer is that the usage of alcohol in medicine, as well as the drug containing alcohol, fall under the ruling of permission, though it is undesirable (Makruh), the evidence for it is:

Ibn Majah reported from Tariq Bin Suwaid Al-Khadrami who said, «قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ بِأَرْضِنَا أَعْنَاباً نَعْتَصِرُهَا فَنَشْرَبُ مِنْهَا قَالَ لَا فَرَاجَعْتُهُ قُلْتُ إِنَّا نَسْتَشْفِي بِهِ لِلْمَرِيضِ قَالَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ لَيْسَ بِشِفَاءٍ وَلَكِنَّهُ دَاءٌ»I said: “Oh Messenger of Allah, on our land we have grapes which we squeeze and then drink from it”. He said: “No.” Therefore I revised by saying: “We use it to cure the ill.” He said: “This is not a form of healing, rather it is a disease.”

This is a prohibition of the use of impure or prohibited substances “Khamr” as a cure. But the Messenger of Allah (saw) authorized curing with the impure substance of camel’s urine. Al-Bukhari reported from Anas (ra): «أَنَّ نَاسًا مِنْ عُرَيْنَةَ اجْتَوَوْا الْمَدِينَةَ فَرَخَّصَ لَهُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنْ يَأْتُوا إِبِلَ الصَّدَقَةِ فَيَشْرَبُوا مِنْ أَلْبَانِهَا وَأَبْوَالِهَا» “People from ‘Uraina came to Madina, and the Messenger of Allah (saw) authorized them to approach the camels of charity to drink from their milk and urine.”

They came to Madina, i.e. its weather did not suit them so they fell ill. Therefore, the Prophet (saw) authorized them to medicate with the camel’s urine, which is impure. Also he (saw) authorized medication with Haram, such as the wearing of silk.

At-Tirmidhi and Ahmad reported, at- Tirmidhi’s articulation by way of Anas (ra):

«أَنَّ عَبْدَ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنَ عَوْفٍ وَالزُّبَيْرَ بْنَ الْعَوَّامِ شَكَيَا الْقَمْلَ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ  فِي غَزَاةٍ لَهُمَا، فَرَخَّصَ لَهُمَا فِي قُمُصِ الْحَرِيرِ. قَالَ: وَرَأَيْتُهُ عَلَيْهِمَا»

“Abdul Rahman Bin ‘Auf and az-Zubair Bin ‘Awam complained to the Prophet about rash that had befallen them (saw), and he allowed them shirts made of silk. He said: “I saw them in it.”

These two Ahadith are Qareena to indicate that the prohibition in the Hadith of Ibn Majah is not absolute, rather that medication through impure and prohibited substances is undesirable (Makruh).

Therefore, the use of a medicine that contains alcohol is permitted, though undesirable (Makruh). It is better not to use alcohol in the pharmaceutical industry, but if used in the pharmaceutical industry, then it falls under the Hukm of Makruh. Therefore, if the patient takes a medication containing alcohol then it is Makruh. All of this applies only if the mixture containing alcohol is a medication according to the opinion of specialists and not something else.) End.

Accordingly, vaccination with vaccines that contain prohibited or impure substances is permissible though undesirable (Makruh), because vaccination is part of medication, and the use of prohibited and unclean things for medical treatment, as indicated above, is permissible though undesirable (Makruh) unless it is found that it is harmful, then it is not permissible.

I hope the matter has become clear and Allah is Most Wise and He Knows Best.

Your Brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah

08th Sha’ban 1442 AH – 21/03/2021 CE

The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page: