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 first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

File photo
Police respond to reports of suspicious visitors in Vavenby

Clearwater RCMP responded to 54 calls for service this past week.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

District of Clearwater meetings are open to the public. The meeting agendas and past meetings minutes can be viewed on the DOC's website. Every meeting has time allocated at the end for comments from the public.
District of Clearwater hires new chief adminstrative officer

The new CAO will arrive at the end of June.

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
BREAKING: Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Government data shows Canada sent $13.7 million in military goods and technology to Israel in 2019

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. to use remaining AstraZeneca vaccine for 2nd doses

Health officials say the change is due to the limited availability of the vaccine

A youth plays basketball in an otherwise quiet court in Toronto on Saturday April 17, 2021. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on proven public health policy interventions including paid sick leave, and education rather than punitive enforcement measures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during 2nd wave: CCLA report

‘A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis,’ reads the report

Capt. Arpit Mahajan of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds - Snowbirds 2 - shows off his ‘Jenn Book’ dedicated to Capt. Jennifer Casey. Zoom screenshot
Homecoming for B.C.-raised Snowbirds pilot training in the province

Capt. Arpit Mahajan flies Snowbird 2 in his first year as a solo pilot with the team

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

What3words was first created in the U.K. in 2013 and is credited to saving the lives of outdoor enthusiasts around the world. (Contributed)
‘This is a life saving tool’: App helps paramedics find capsized canoeists near Revelstoke

What3words pinpoints the person’s phone location to a three-meter range

Most Read