AN ISLAMIC ruling, or a fatwah, on immunization was signed by 13 Muslim religious leaders of the Regional Darul Ifta (RDI) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on March 12 to clarify that it is consistent with the faith. During the ceremony, BARMM Ministry of Health (MoH) Assistant Secretary Zul Qarney M. Abas said the issuance of the fatwah was prompted by reports that “parents tend to refuse immunization because they were unsure if vaccination was consistent with their faith.” “The vaccines are halal (permissible),” Mr. Abas said. MoH Minister Safrullah M. Dipatuan stressed the importance of this measure and the participation of the ulama (religious leaders) for the Muslim communities in the region. “For us Muslims, this is important because for us, even if we know that there is a risk of death, we will not go through with it if we are uncertain if it is halal or haram,” Mr. Abas said in Filipino. “We are hopeful that after the rolling out of the fatwah declaration, this will result to the upsurge of the immunization of our children. I am hopeful that after this, parents in BARMM will voluntarily go to their local health centers to prevent further health problems,” Mr. Dipatuan added. — Tajallih S. Basman