UAE Fatwa Council says taking Covid-19 vaccine does not break Ramadan fast

Holy month restrictions spelt out, but will be assessed with 10 days to go

The UAE Fatwa Council said on Thursday that taking the Covid-19 vaccine "does not invalidate fasting".

The council, chaired by Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah, said inoculation was permitted in Islam.

The remarks were made during an online meeting where Covid-19 regulations concerning Ramadan were discussed, including how safety measures would relate to iftar meals and tents, as well as taraweeh prayers.

A statement will be issued by the council during the next briefing on Covid-19, state news agency Wam reported.

The UAE government holds Covid-19 briefings each Tuesday.

The Emirates has administered close to 8.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine since a nationwide immunisation drive began in December.

During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink between fajr and maghrib prayers, at dawn and sunset.

Ramadan is likely to begin on April 12, but the date depends on the sighting of the Moon because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle.

The start of the month is announced when a country’s Moon-sighting committee spots the new crescent.

Ramadan is the ninth month and will last either 29 or 30 days, until the next new moon is seen.

Last month, the UAE announced nationwide restrictions for the holy month.

UAE Ramadan 2021 Covid-19 rules and regulations

• Avoid all majlis and public gatherings

• Family gatherings should not be held

• Iftar and suhoor can be shared only by relatives living in the same house

• Avoid exchanging food with other families

• Refrain from big gatherings related to Ramadan activities

• No collective iftar tents, and no meals in front of mosques or anywhere else

• Restaurants cannot distribute meals inside or outside their premises

• Meals can be distributed in labour accommodation only. Those who are interested in giving iftar meals to workers should contact the manager of the accommodation and a restaurant to arrange the distribution of meal packets

• Taraweeh prayers will be conducted under the precautionary measures already announced

• Mosques should be disinfected before and after prayers

• Do not distribute physical copies of the Quran. People should read digital versions of the holy book

• In the last 10 days of Ramadan, the situation will be reassessed and restrictions may be eased

• Intensive inspection campaigns will be conducted during Ramadan and action will be taken against offenders

• Elderly people and those with chronic diseases that place them at greater risk should continue to avoid public places

• Masks must be worn all times outside the home