Subject : Ruling on Refusing Medical Treatment and COVID-19 Vaccination
Fatwa Number : 3664
Date : 08-12-2021
Classified : Medicine & seeking treatment
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

What is the ruling on the individuals who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 although they have no health problems preventing that?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Shariah has permitted as well as encouraged seeking medical treatment. Muslim Jurists have even included learning Medical Science and specializing in various medical disciplines amongst the collective duties. Usama b. Sharik told that when God’s messenger was asked whether they should make use of medical treatment he replied, “Yes servants of God, make use of medical treatment, for God has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease; viz., old age.” {Transmitted by Abu Dawud}.

A Muslim should always be keen on adopting means to reach an end and trust Allah the Almighty, so it is imperative to seek whatever eradicates, prevents or decreases the spread of a disease. This can be achieved through getting vaccinations, which eradicate diseases or decrease them, based on medical opinion of honorable, trustworthy doctors and specialized authorities as they have the needed expertise and competence in this regard, and this is decided by Sharia. Narrated AbdulAziz ibn Umar ibn AbdulAziz: Some people of the deputation, which came to my father, reported the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and peace be upon him) as saying: "Any physician who practices medicine when he was not known as a practitioner before that and he harms (the patients) he will be held responsible. AbdulAziz said: Here physician does not refer to a man by qualification. It means opening a vein, incision and cauterization." {Transmitted by Abu Dawud}.

It is recommended that a patient seeks medical treatment since Allah made this a reason for recovery. Al-Shirbini (May Allah have mercy on him) said, "It is recommended for a patient to seek treatment based on the narration (Yes servants of God, make use of medical treatment, for God has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease; viz., old age). Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim reported that Ibn Mas`oud said, (God has not sent down a disease without sending down remedy for it, known or unknown.).

In addition, it is imperative to observe protective measures to stop the spread of the pandemic since the Messenger of Allah said, "There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm."{Related by Ibn Majah}. Another reason is that these measures are meant to save lives, which is one of the higher objectives of Sharia. Allah the Almighty says {What means}: "  whoever slays a soul for other than a soul, or for corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. " {Al-Ma`idah, 32}. Some of these measures are: social distancing, wearing protective masks and not sharing personal objects with others. This aims to prevent the spread of the pandemic, save lives and keep people`s health intact. This is attested to in the following narration: ‘Amr b. ash-Sharid told on his father’s authority that there was a man with tubercular leprosy in the deputation of Thaqif and the Prophet sent to him a message: "We have taken your oath of allegiance, so go home." {Muslim transmitted it}. And Allah the Almighty knows best.




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