As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rumble on and vaccinations are administered around the world, hopefully providing to be humanity’s route out, there is one question on the lips of many Muslims. Will taking a vaccine in Ramadan break the fast?
Quite simply, the answer is no. Accepting a Covid-19 vaccine, or any other vaccination, will not break the fast which is observed by millions of Muslims around the world. Not only does the Qur’an allow for medical exemptions, which is why those living with conditions such as diabetes are not expected to fast, but vaccination also does not count as nutrition.
Dr Farzana Hussain, a practitioner based in London, England, stated in The Independent: “Getting an injection does not break the fast as it’s not nutrition, and so there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t have it if you are eligible…the Qur’an says saving your life is the most important thing: to save one life is to save the whole of humanity.”
Why a Vaccine Will Not Break the Fast
During the month of Ramadan, a lunar month that lasts for 30 days (or 29, depending on the sighting of the moon), Muslims will abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset as per Islamic tradition. Followers of Islam observe the fast as an act of worship, as well as to build greater compassion for those who are most in need and go without food and water involuntarily.
Each night, once the sun sets, Muslims will typically gather with friends and family to break the fast. This evening meal is known as iftar, which traditionally begins with the eating of dates, as it is believed that this is how the Prophet Muhammad chose to break his fast, as per the history of Ramadan.
As per Islamic teachings, it is forbidden for food and/or water to be swallowed by those observing the fast. This also extends to anything with nutritional value. It is for this reason why a Covid-19 vaccination does not disqualify the day’s fast, as the vaccine is injected into a muscle for non-nutritional purposes.
How Covid is Affecting Ramadan and Eid
Much like in 2020, when the global pandemic first took a stranglehold on the world, the way in which Muslims mark Ramadan and Eid will change from the norm. Usually, friends and families will gather together for iftar, as well as the Eid celebrations that follow the holy month.
In saying that, by and large, social restrictions are generally looser in 2021 than they were a year ago with friends and families at least able to meet up in some capacity. The vaccine rollout is happening at great speed and, depending on where in the world you are based, is helping to bring some sort of normalcy to the world.
However, in many cases, friends and families will have to continue keeping in touch through video call technology such as Zoom, FaceTime and Skype. It appears that there is light at the end of what has been a long tunnel and the hope is that by the time Ramadan 2022 rolls around the pandemic will be confined to the history books. To make that happen, though, there has to be a high uptake of the vaccine which, thankfully, does appear to be the case at the time of writing.
We will simply sign this off by reminding everyone to go and get their vaccine as soon as they can, so as we can get back to the things, and people, we love sooner than later.
This post has been sponsored by i3media
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