Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa steps in debate over pig derivatives in COVID-19 vaccine

Khaled Emran, the Secretary General for Fatwa at Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa, the government’s principal Islamic legal institution for issuing fatwas (religious opinions), voiced the institution’s permission for Muslims to use COVID-19 vaccines, even if a vaccine’s formula contains pig derivatives.

Emran’s statement came in an interview on al-Mehwar satellite channel on Monday, while he was commenting on the reports that some coronavirus vaccines allegedly contain pig derivatives, and receiving them may violate Sharia (Islamic law).

“The world wants to get out of the problem. Dar al-Iftaa has said for a long time that derivatives taken from pig can undergo chemical treatments and obtain what is called in Islamic jurisprudence Istihala,” he said.

According to Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa, Istihala means the chemical transformation of the properties of a substance resulting in the removal of its impure nature.

Emran added that the majority of Hanafi and Maliki scholars, as well as Imam Ahmed in one of his opinions, have proclaimed that Istihala renders any impure substance pure.

He explained further: “The product’s identity and chemical composition are transformed into another state, and therefore there is no judgement based on the impurity that it once was. This matter has contributed to solving many problems in the past, especially in many medicines.”

Pig meat has been viewed by many religions as unclean, and the consumption of pork is forbidden in Islam.

Despite the worldwide rollout of multiple coronavirus vaccines, some leaders of predominately-Muslim countries are hesitant to immediately jump on board, citing worry that the vaccines might not be certified halal or permissible under Islamic Law.

Spokespeople for Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have said that pork products are not part of their COVID-19 vaccines.

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