A renowned Islamic scholar, Dr. Ahmad Mahmud Gumi has said that parents have no religious basis to reject immunisation against polio.
Dr. Gumi stated this while interacting with a non-governmental organisation, Journalist Initiative Against Polio (JAP).
He described the actions of some parents concerning vaccination as ignorance, and urged religious leaders to concentrate on the message of either the Qur’an or the Bible as the basis of their faith and not interfere in matters that are purely professional.
Dr. Gumi stated that polio vaccines are costly and have been subsidised by the United Nations with the aim of eliminating the disease, saying that denying children such opportunity could be detrimental to their future.
In his speech, the scholar quoted the Quran saying that the Christians were the closest friends of prophet Mohammed(PBUH) adding that it would be improper for anyone to assume that other groups could use polio vaccination as an avenue to harm the Islamic community.
In a statement, Dr. Gumi said, “the position of Islam on the issue of polio immunisations is that whatever the people do not understand about the issue should be directed to the appropriate authorities for clarification, instead of acting in ignorance”, adding that you cannot take an issue of health to Islamic leaders or pastor in a church for solution.
“You cannot ignorantly debate about the issues of polio vaccination, since professionals have said that the vaccination can help prevent polio”, he said.
Dr. Gumi therefore, enjoined the Muslim community to embrace polio vaccination to help prevent and possibly eradicate the disease.
He argued that, “If doctors of the world have come together and approved the efficacy of the vaccines, then why should we question it?”
He said polio vaccination has been embraced in other Muslin communities like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Egypt.
He said that “polio vaccination is a United Nations Programme, and the UN is not America but countries of the world”.