Taking a COVID-19 vaccine will not break a Muslim’s fast during Ramadan, Imam Abdirahman Sheikh Omar, the head and the Imam of Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center in Minneapolis told Mshale during an interview.
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.
As Minnesota readies to vaccinate the general public, those ramped up efforts are going to coincide with the holy month of Ramadan which starts in Mid-April.
“Corona vaccine, like any other vaccine taken intramuscularly, does not break the fast during the blessed month of Ramadan,” said Imam Abdirahman Sheikh Omar.
The Imam’s words come in the wake of objections by Abdullahi Hassan, an influential activist in the Somali Muslim community in Minnesota, who has come out against vaccinations during Ramadan.
“I will not take the COVID-19 vaccine during Ramadan,” Hassan told Mshale. “Because I think that the vaccine will invalidate my fast.”
Told about similar sentiments from others in the community, Imam Omar said there are remedies to making up the fast if one gets a side effect, saying “But still if the person who received the vaccine experiences side effects such as high temperature and takes medicine and breaks the fast, then he/she must make up that day in compliance with the Qur’an text for ‘whoever of you is ill or on a journey, then let them fast an equal number of days after Ramadan.'”
Mshale spoke with six other metro area Imams and they all agreed with Imam Omar. Those joining him in calling on the Muslim community to take the vaccine when it is their turn was Imam Mohamed Shuayb, the founder of Bayan Research Center in St. Anthony.
“I encourage everyone to get vaccinated, including during Ramadan,” said Imam Shuayb. “The virus has made many of our minority communities even more vulnerable.”
Imam Shuayb went on to say that according to the Qur’an “Whoever saves a life, it will be as if they saved all of humanity.”’
Last week Governor Walz said the state is ahead of schedule in vaccinating seniors and will be opening up vaccinations to other vulnerable groups before rolling out to the general public.