The Islamic Research Academy of Al-Azhar has issued a statement urging parents around the world to continue vaccinating their children and avoid listening to rumours and false calls that ban polio vaccination. The statement reads, “As this disease endangers the lives of our children, causes paralysis of limbs and renders children physically disabled, and as we are ordered to avert harm, the Islamic Research Academy appeals to all parents not to listen to rulings that ban vaccination against this noxious disease.”
The statement was issued following a meeting recently held in Cairo between His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr Ahmed al-Tayyib, and Dr Hussein A. Gezairy, Envoy of WHO Director-General for Affairs of Primary Health Care and Poliomyelitis Eradication.
Polio has been eradicated worldwide except in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Continued and uninterrupted vaccination campaigns are the only way to make polio eradication happen globally. The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar highlighted the importance of avoidance of evil in Islam and noted that this rule applied to combating polio, especially since scientific evidence had firmly established that the polio vaccine was the best means of preventing the disease. The polio vaccine is not only cost-effective but also saves children from infection and the complications of the disease.
The Islamic Research Academy also issued as part of their statement the following: “Allah, Exalted be Him, says Losers indeed are those who kill their children foolishly without knowledge (Chapter 6, verse 140).”