@Halal March/April 2020 - Page 10

10 @Halal | MARCH-APRIL. 2020 Cover Story Brought to you by Mandatory to seek treatment A matter of concern during this pandemic is the ability to perform obligatory rituals O N MARCH 11, 2020 the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a pandemic, sweeping across the globe, disrupting the social and economic life of humankind, regardless of their age, gender, religion, race or social hierarchy. In the absence of a vaccine and direct cures to combat this virus, social distanc- ing measures were encouraged to slow the transmissions and to ease the burden on healthcare institutions. With regards to understanding the pandemic and the treatments available, Dr NorsidahKu Zaifah, Associate Professor of Pharmacology from the International Islamic University Malaysia, shed some light on the proper reaction in the perspective of Islamic teaching and healthcare. “The Islamic view towards medical treat- ment generally falls into fi ve categories,” Dr Norsidah shared. They are: • Permissible if there is no certainty that it is of benefi t, such as the treatment of cancer, primarily if it has spread. • Recommended, if the use of medicine is most likely to be benefi cial, whether to reduce the symptoms or heal the disease. • Obligatory to use the medicine if the treat- ment is curative. • It is makruh to use doubtful medical treatments when the permissible ones are available. • The last is haram to use medical treatment when there is no need to do so. In the medical context, the principle of halal generally means the same — things or practices that are permitted, allowed or lawful as opposed to haram. “As for seeking treatment for Covid-19, it may fall within the second and third category, as for some categories of patients, the disease can be fatal without appropriate manage- ment and treatment,” Dr Norsidah explained. Your body has a right over you PROF. DR. AHMAD HAFIZ ZULKIFLY Deputy Rector OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY RECTOR (RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH AND INNOVATION) IIUM Kuantan Campus Muslim view: A trial, to face with patience and refl ection Halal Medication? Islamic teaching as outlined in the Maqasid syariah, does prioritise Dr NorsidahKu Zaifah, Associate Professor of Pharmacology from the International Islamic University Malaysia. Obligatory rituals: Rukhsah for healthcare workers and patients Muslims must seek treatment when afflicted with illness, and so in the case with Covid-19. The management of Covid-19 involves the screening, collection of sample and treatment of patients based on the sever- ity of the disease. Please explain what halal means in medical terms? Halal in medical terms means that the medicine or treat- ment (expanding beyond the classical defi nition of halal in fi qh): • “Does not contain substances from animals that are not halal or not slaughtered according to Islamic law. • Does not contain substances which are considered najis by Islamic law. • Safe to be used, non-toxic, would not cause damage or intoxication and not harmful to health. • Not prepared, processed or manufactured using equip- ment contaminated with najis according to Islamic law. • Does not contain human body parts or products which are not allowed by Islamic law.” What is the Muslim view of the Covid-19 pandemic and treatment? Covid-19 The coronavirus disease 19 (Covid-19) is a highly transmit- table and pathogenic viral infection. It is caused by a novel/ newly-discovered severe acute respiratory syndrome coro- navirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and detected fi rst in Wuhan, China, Your role? Stay home and keep clean According to DrNorsidah, there is no proven eff ective medication for Covid-19 at the moment. However, the drug Avigan or Favipiravir, has been proposed as a potential treatment for Covid-19 infl icted patients. The antiviral infl uenza drug, approved for clinical use in Japan in 2014, has shown good clinical effi cacy against Covid-19. “It is a pyrazine analogue that is shown to exert potent antiviral activity against a broad spectrum of viruses in multiple in vivodis- ease models. The chemical used is not from an animal; thus, there is no restriction in term of its usage for Muslims,” said Dr Norsidah. There is no restriction concerning the medical equipment used for the manage- ment of patients, as it is the same equipment used for patients of other illness as well. As vaccines are being researched for Covid-19, Dr Norsidah asserts that while halal certifi cation is essential, it is not urgent in this current situation. “The general guideline is as the Maqasid Syariah outlines, whereby any lawful health practices that help preserve life are allowed, thus would include successfully developed vaccines,” she added. Non-halal medications are allowed if there is a need for it and no permissible alterna- tive that can treat the illness is available. Nonetheless, it is legally obligated (fardki- fayah) for Muslims to do research that can in late December 2019. The intermediate source of origin and transfer to humans is not precisely known. However, it was established that there is a fast rate of human to human transmission. The virus later spread across China from and eventually to other countries and continents in a short time, infecting the human species rapidly. To date, there is no clinically approved antiviral drug or vaccine available to be used against Covid-19. The Muslim worldview In mid-March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of Covid-19 a pandemic. Before that, the situation has forced certain countries to take pre-emptive measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus. Malaysia in particular, having 61% of its population Muslims, began to suspend mass gatherings following the detection of the virus spreading among individuals attend- ing an international convention late March this year. Subsequently, mosques and other houses of worship were instructed to close. Congregational prayers including Friday prayer were suspended until further notice. turn to p12