The Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid, also known as the Grand Mosque, in Cotabato City. MindaNews file photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

Darul Ifta opposes “no vaccine, no entry to mosques” proposal in BARMM

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 21 April) – The Darul Ifta or Islamic advisory council in the Bangsamoro Region expressed opposition to the proposal that only vaccinated individuals may be allowed inside mosques in line with the efforts of the Ministry of Health-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to increase the vaccination rate in the area.
The ministry said BARMM registered the lowest vaccination rate in the country or only 28 percent so far of its 3.4 million population.
In its assessment, the National Inter-Agency Task Force said a surge in COVID-19 could erupt in the region due to low vaccination rates.
Dr. Ameril Usman, director general of MOH-BARMM said the Grand Mufti disagreed with the proposal requiring vaccination cards upon entering mosques.

But he added that the Darul Ifta had agreed to put up vaccination hubs in mosques.

The Islamic advisory body also issued a fatwah that Islam does not prohibit the administration of COVID-19 vaccines and even joined in the campaign urging people to get inoculated.

Usman admitted that vaccine hesitancy owing to wrong beliefs and information is the main reason for the low vaccination rate in the region.
He added it has become harder to convince people to get vaccinated in the month of Ramadhan for fear of experiencing side effects while they are fasting.

He said they will launch a massive vaccination drive in the first week of May, which will also target children who will be attending face-to-face classes.

“We will go on as planned and put up vaccination hubs in our mosques,” Usman said.
“We will have a special vaccination day all over BARMM. We have identified 71 municipalities and barangays where there is really low coverage,” he said.

“We will stick to that as planned. Actually we are also planning to have moratorium in our services to focus on vaccination for the whole month,” he added.