In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)

Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

As 30 days of fasting for Ramadan begins, the Canadian Muslim COVID-19 Task Force is encouraging the Muslim community to not prolong getting their vaccine.

“Ramadan is for a lot of people like a beacon of hope, where they can reset, rejuvenate and every day counts,” explained Rufaida Mohammed, co-chair for the task force.

“For some, when they get that vaccine, the fear is if (they) get a high fever, if (they) have symptoms for two to three days, maybe (they’ll) react in not a positive way and be out for a week, like (they’re) going to miss out on that fasting.”

Mohammed said while the Muslim community might not want to give up the vaccine, they’re also worried about missing out on their fasting.

“It’s a rock and a hard place. The vaccine is really about saving lives, keeping people out of the hospital or getting to that really critical stage.”

However, she assured, COVID-19 vaccinations do not interfere with fasting for Ramadan. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are also both halal.

READ ALSO: South Asian COVID Task Force working to dispel vaccine myths, Feb. 6, 2021

“Having the injection does not break your fast in any way because nothing is being ingested. It’s an injection in the arm,” Mohammed noted.

“That, I think, is quite clear, it perhaps just the symptoms that might be felt after having the vaccine that might cause people to not be able to fast because they might have a fever… or they’re in pain and their body is aching for a day or so.”

Mohammed said that even when Ramadan is over if people haven’t completed their month of fasting, they still have time.

“Even if Ramadan finished and you completed, let’s say, 25 of those fasts – because you weren’t well for those five because it’s 30 days of fasting – when Ramadan finishes, you can continue fasting and make that up and it’s still considered quite valid.

”That’s what we’re trying to encourage people, there’s still that opportunity.”

Ramadan, which begins on Tuesday (April 13), continues for 30 days until May 12.

Mohammed said at this time of year, it averages about 15 hours of fasting.

“The fasting itself is absolutely no food, no water, no gum, just nothing. Nothing is allowed to go into your mouth. With that in mind, you are also fasting with that physical aspect, but you’re fasting … with all of your senses.”

She said it’s “really about going inward.”

“During COVID, the social isolation that we’ve all experienced in relation to this whole idea of shutting down, locking down, every community has experienced that.”

“Fasting is very much parallel to that. When you remove the food when you are in a different mode of thinking, you are forced to examine other aspects of your life,” Mohammed said.

“So, you question what is the greater purpose here and it is about having good relations with people around you and doing as much as you can for others as you would want them to do for yourself.”

READ ALSO: White Rock Muslim Association prepares for smaller-scale Ramadan, April 5, 2021

The Canadian Muslim COVID-19 Task Force, which is based out of Ontario, was started as a partnership between the Canadian Council of Imams and the Muslim Medical Association of Canada.

Mohammed said the two organizations began reaching out to “small pockets of people” during the first wave last year and then started weekly meetings to establish guidelines and “how to keep people safe but mindful” during the pandemic.

The task force then moved on to “traversing barriers,” including issues with language.

“Sometimes (the restrictions are) being developed at a higher level than layman’s terms, or even in ways that our refugee communities or low-income communities or vulnerable populations who may not speak the language can’t understand.

“We saw that as being a barrier for knowledge translation, for sure.”

READ ALSO: Advocates call for more multilingual messaging for education, awareness about COVID-19, Dec. 30, 2021



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

CoronavirusMuslimRamadan

Just Posted

Student-nurse Kendra Waterstreet administers the Pfizer vaccine to Litia Fleming at the Waneta Plaza vaccination clinic in the old Zellers buiding. Photo: Jim Bailey
Trail vaccination clinic readies for adults age 40+

B.C.’s state of emergency is extended through the end of day on May 25

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

For something a little different this week, Trail Blazers is featuring an historical image from the Kootenay Boundary. This rough and tumble photo shows the Forshaw Ranch near Phoenix, B.C, circa 1914. Photo Credit: Boundary Heritage Facebook Page (via Grand Forks Gazette)
Trail Blazers: Home, home on the range

Trail Blazers is a weekly historical feature

” … the carbon cycle is of absolute necessity to all life on earth.” writes Thorpe Watson. Photo: Nagy Arnold on Unsplash
Letter: Another important message for our teachers

Letter to the Editor from Thorpe Watson, Warfield

The elevator has been broken in Waneta Manor, a three-story building with a basement level for parking, since Feb. 18. Photo: Trail Times
Broken elevator should have been fixed a long time ago

Letter from Kathryn Oliphant, Trail

From the left: Laura Greaves, Kyle Whyte and Steve Bigelow rescued a poisoned eagle Sunday, May 9. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
West Kootenay residents, Conservation Service Officer save poisoned eagle

CSO Kyle Bueckert released the eagle into the wild Thursday, May 13

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardener finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Most Read