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Flashback: The view of the moon from Golconda, San Fernando as Muslims began observng the month of Ramadan in 2020

The Anjuman Sunnat ul Jamaat Association (ASJA) has ruled that taking a COVID-19 vaccine while fasting for Ramadan does not break or invalidate the fast.

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and is regarded as one of the most significant. It’s the month of fasting where Muslims abstain especially from food and drink between dawn and dusk among other things.

However, according to a fatwa (a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority) given by ASJA Council of Ulamaa chairman Mufti Asrarul Haque Al-Azhari on March 15, 2021, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine via injection would not invalidate the fast “whether it is a Fard (mandatory), Sunnah (tradition of the Prophet) or Nafl (optional) fast.”

“Corona vaccine does not go to our body through a natural entry site, rather it is a needle which goes through the pores and cells of the body. It would be like oil when we use it on our bodies. This form of entry does not invalidate fast.”

But President of Revival of Umrah T&T (ROU T&T) Zaahir Ali said that if Muslims can avoid taking such injections during fasting hours then they should. He said that while some Muslims believe that the vaccine will not break the fast, other Muslims may have different views. It’s for this reason Ali said those in authority can consider a day weekly during the 28 days where Muslims are given the option to be vaccinated after fasting hours.

“It’s something they can have discussion with and have a better idea of how necessary it is they could consider it…it doesn’t have to be every day, we don’t want to call out staff to come outside of their working hours but probably on a provisional basis, “he explained.

And as they prepare to commemorate another Ramadan during a pandemic, Ali said this time they would be prepared. His group is hosting two weeks of online classes on COVID-19 guidelines and a Health and Safety Officer will be available to inspect mosques across the country free of charge to ensure regulations are being adhered to.

Ramadan is expected to begin around April 12.