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

The orange parcel was bought by the CRD for $1.1 million to add to Mount Work Regional Park. (CRD map)
Capital Regional District expands Mount Work land for $1.1 million

Privately-owned 13.8 hectares in the Highlands is ecologcically valuable

North Saanich has received a report from the Urban Development Institute calling on the municipality to expand and densify its housing options in the face of demographic and environmental changes as the municipality continues its Official Community Plan review. (Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich asked to create more affordable, diverse housing

Urban Development Institute says community faces demographic, environmental challenges

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Royal Bay pride crosswalk restored following graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Colwood high school

One woman has been arrested in connection with a drug trafficking investigation. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria woman arrested, car and drugs seized during trafficking investigation

Multiple units combine forces for investigation, arrest

Victoria police retrieved a number of stolen items May 15 after arresting a man and woman squatting in an empty building. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police look to return stolen items following arrest of squatters

Golf clubs, power tools, jackets, cell phones and a MacBook Pro were retrieved

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Nathan Zuk had left his mother’s residence in Whaletown on Cortes Island in mid-December 2020 in a 14’ skiff rowboat and headed to an unknown location near the Pryce Channel, Deer passage, or Toba Inlet. Photo courtesy RCMP
RCMP need help finding man who set off from Cortes Island in 14-foot rowboat

Nathan Zuk left in December, may have been last seen in Toba Inlet approximately three weeks ago

Emergency service workers at the collision scene along Highway 4 in Hilliers on Sunday, May 16. A motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital by BC Air Ambulance and later died. (Collin C photo)
UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies from injuries sustained in Mid-Island highway collision

BC Highway Patrol says impairment not a contributing factor in crash

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read