Human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has said that the COVID-19 vaccines is halal (permissible) and therefore advised Muslims in the country and other citizens to take it without any fear in their own interest.

Nigeria received about four million doses of the Oxford-Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday, March 2 and the vaccination exercise has since begun with several doses already sent to various states of the federation.

MURIC, in a statement issued and signed on Saturday, by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, declared that the vaccines are halal (permissible) going by the Hadiths (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) and the consensus of  Islamic scholars on the vaccines.

“The whole country is aware of the arrival of about four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines since Tuesday, 2nd March 2021.

“It is our candid opinion that Nigerians cannot afford to sit on the fence in the face of daunting COVID-19 statistics around the world. 116,874,912 cases have been confirmed globally as of yesterday, Friday, 12th March 2021. There have also been 2,597,381 COVID-19 related deaths around the world.

The total of confirmed cases in Nigeria stands at 158,535 with 1,969 deaths and 138,055 recoveries also as at yesterday. Nigeria had 2,878 new confirmed cases this week and that is why we cannot say we are out of the woods.

“Nigeria needs the vaccine as much as countries that have suffered a high death rate from the pandemic.

“Nonetheless, a large number of citizens are still very sceptical about the efficacy of the vaccine. MURIC’s message of today is directed at this conspiracy theory camp, particularly the Muslim population.

“We reaffirm the position of scholars of Islam especially that of the prolific Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah in his Majmu‘ al-Fataawa (37 volumes).

“The consensus of Islamic scholars is that vaccination is halaal (permissible). They cited the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) where he said ‘Seek medical treatment’.

“COVID-19 vaccine is designed to give protection to those who take it by making their bodies produce substances known as antibodies whose function is to fight disease.

“We have seen our leaders (both at the federal and state levels) taking the injection. This is to build confidence in us.

“We urge Nigerian Muslims and the rest of the citizenry to embrace the vaccine. Let us obey our leaders as enshrined in the Glorious Qur’an (4:59),” Akintola stressed.

While warning against the rejection of the vaccines, he said “Nigerians should note that many of those who denied COVID-19 later fell victims.”

The Islamic scholar urged cynics to have a rethink, face reality and accept the vaccine, saying “we are concerned with the right of every Nigerian to live a healthy life free from any disease.”

“In particular, we believe that Nigerian lives matter as no Nigerian deserves to lose his life to an epidemic when a panacea has been made available,” he added.

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