Islamic Culture

Q&A: Vaccinations and the Shari’ah Rule on them


Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakaatuhu

To the honourable scholar Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashta, the Ameer of Hizb ut Tahrir may Allah safeguard and look after him. I direct the following to you:

I am Chechen; I have lived in Belgium for 14 years where the majority of the Chechen Community resides. Recently there has been a lot of talk and queries regarding children’s vaccination in Islam, i.e. vaccination against measles, polio, hepatitis, mumps, tuberculosis, and other forms of vaccinations. There is a big anti-vaccination movement here; their reasons they say are due to the side effects after taking the vaccine, which are growing steadily. In their view, this is a harm that we are not allowed to subject our healthy children to; and taking medicine to be cured is not obligatory, so taking it for prevention from the disease is no doubt of a lesser degree. They say that vaccination is the transfer of microbes into the child’s body which is prohibited in addition to the fact that the vaccines are taken from animals like monkeys as an example.

Your Sister in the Aqeedah, Medinat Yuziva.

(The end of their view).

The question is: What is the reality of vaccination and what is the Shar’ ruling on it? And will vaccination with all its different types be available in the Khilafah State?

Half of the Muslim community here do not vaccinate their children and their number is rising.

It has become the obvious and strong Hukm Shari’ (Islamic ruling) which has become unavoidable, can you please give answer with as much clarity and details as you can. Jazak Allah Khair from us and the Muslims.

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakaatuhu

By Sadiq Ali


Wa Alaikumu as-Salaam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu

Vaccination is a medicine, to seek medicine is recommended not obligatory; the evidences for this are:

1. Narrated by Bukhari from Abu Huraira that he said that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم 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 سبحانه وتعالى; it is an instruction and not an obligation.

2. Ahmad narrated from Anas that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم 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 صلى الله عليه وسلم and his companions, 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 صلى الله عليه وسلم 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 صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

«يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ»، قَالُوا: وَمَنْ 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 is a form of medicine.

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

«إِنْ شِئْتِ صَبَرْتِ وَلَكِ الجَنَّةُ، وَإِنْ شِئْتِ دَعَوْتُ اللَّهَ أَنْ يُعَافِيَكِ» فَقَالَتْ: أَصْبِرُ، فَقَالَتْ: إِنِّي أَتَكَشَّفُ، فَادْعُ اللَّهَ لِي أَنْ 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 صلى الله عليه وسلم made supplication for her.”

These two hadeeths indicate the permissibility of not seeking medication.

This explains all of the issue:

“فتداووا”، “تداووا”, to “seek medicine” is not an obligation, therefore it is either permissible or recommended. The extent of encouragement by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم 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 صلى الله عليه وسلم that was extracted by Ahmad in his Musnad from Ibn Abbas that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

«لَا ضَرَرَ وَلَا ضِرَارَ»

“There should be neither harming, nor reciprocating harm.” Other than that, these cases are rare.

As for the Khilafah 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 سبحانه وتعالى is Ash-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 صلى الله عليه وسلم:

«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 صلى الله عليه وسلم 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 صلى الله عليه وسلم 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.

Your brother,

Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al- Rashtah

15 Muharram 1435 AH

18/11/2013 CE

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