Are vaccinations permissible in Islam?

10 Feb

This question had recently come up on one of my egroups. Masha Allah I had had the same question myself as I know some sisters do not get their children vaccinated. I do not follow the vaccination schedules in the states, mostly because its hard to get out and get them (they do have them here, but I’ve had a hard time trying to get them because the places we have gone, the people have only spoken Arabic). Here in Yemen, every now and then, health workers come to the door giving immunizations, I think for polio. Diseases that are pretty much eradicated in the states are still prevalent in poorer countries like this.

At any rate, this is the fatwa that was posted and I thought I would share for others who had the same question.

The source of the fatwa was:

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was

What is the ruling on giving treatment before sickness occurs, such as

He replied:

There is nothing wrong with giving treatment if there is the fear that
the disease may occur because of the presence of an epidemic or other
factors which may cause disease. There is nothing wrong with giving medicine to
ward off the feared disease, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah e upon him) said, according to the saheeh hadeeth, “Whoever eats seven
dates of Madeenah in the morning will not be harmed by witchcraft or
poison.” This is a kind of warding off a problem before it happens. So
if here is the fear of sickness and a person is vaccinated against an
infection that is present in the land or elsewhere, there is nothing
wrong with that, because it is a kind of protection.

But it is not permissible to wear or hang up amulets etc against sickness, the jinn or the evil eye,
because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade
that, and explained that this is a kind of minor shirk [associating
others in worship with Allaah], so it must be avoided.

Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 6/21

With regard to the harm suffered by those who are given some
vaccinations, namely a short-lived fever or other side-effects, these drawbacks may be
overlooked when compared with the great harm that is warded off, namely
the diseases that may kill or cause great harm to a person’s health.

This is similar to the case of circumcising boys by cutting off a piece
of kin and the intense pain that is caused to the infant; this is
outweighed by the great benefits that are served by this action, serving the
religious interest of purity (tahaarah) and numerous worldly benefits.

The general shar’i principle with regard to this matter is that the
lesser of two evils may be done in order to ward off the greater evil, if it
is necessary to do one of them. Al-Ashbaah wa’l-Nazaa’ir by al-Subki,

But if it is medically proven that a specific vaccine causes harm to
the body or that its harmful effects outweigh its effects of warding off
disease, then it is not permissible to use it in that case, because the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “There should
be either harm nor reciprocating harm.”


Posted by on February 10, 2008 in Health/Fitness


6 responses to “Are vaccinations permissible in Islam?

  1. Ashiru Adamu

    May 23, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Salam, i’ve been searching for the Islamic perspectives regarding immunisation. and found one here. i’m a medical students a Bayero University kano, Nigeria, and want to write an article on the subject for my brothers and sisters to benefit. so, please, i wouldnt mind if you send me more references to enable me write comprehensively.
    Jazakumullahu bi khair.

  2. talibiddeenjr

    June 6, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    wa alaykum us salaam,

    I’m sorry, I don’t have any more information on the topic.

  3. Ummu Tsabit

    November 13, 2008 at 5:23 am

    juzitum khair, for the information about the vaccination.
    but i’ve been heard that vaccination is made from haram things. is it true?? have seen the sites about vaccination at

  4. Amatuallah Haliym

    November 13, 2008 at 9:11 am

    as salaamu ‘alayki wa rahmatualalhi wa barakatuhu

    shukran! for this valuable information.

  5. Brooke AKA Ummbadier

    November 14, 2008 at 12:42 am

    Asalamu Walaikum Sis,
    I also don’t vaccinate on schedule, which is in line with what the sheiks are saying. It is the schedule–administering more than one vaccine at a time or when the child may be ill –that is believed to cause complications. I also don’t vaccinate for everything. But would vaccinate for say polio if I was going somewhere that may have a very good chance of coming into contact with it.
    Sis, does your husband speak Arabic? I would be very frustrated to have to deal with doctors that I can’t even communicate with. I find them to be untrustworthy even when we speak the same language–so maybe it doesn’t even make much of a difference-ya know?
    Thanks for the 411.
    Love and Peace,

  6. Um Tarek

    November 3, 2009 at 7:19 am

    I don’t vaccinate at all and won’t Insha’allah. The key to this fatwa is the knowledge that you are choosing the lesser of two evils. Our world is so poisoned today that our bodies are having a very difficult time handling the burden. 1 out of every 6 children in the US is developmentally delayed. I have never vaxed my autistic son and I don’t believe vaxes cause autism but they certainly can aggravate or even trigger it. I have recently been working toward helping children overseas in various Muslim countries and it is just as prevalent as it is in western countries. The toxic overload presents with thyroid, diabetes, and adrenal fatigue in many Adults as well. The benefit of vaccination is also very questionable. This is a very personal decision that every parent has to make for themselves. I do have a couple of links if anyone wishes to look into the non-alopathic side.

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