The Jakarta Post
Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, who is also the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman, has said Muslims in the country can follow the council’s fatwas that provide guidance in facing the pandemic.
The government has worked closely with the MUI in issuing policies in regard to tackling COVID-19, including about vaccines, Ma’ruf said in a statement on Friday.
The MUI’s guidance includes advice on Friday, Idul Fitri and Idul Adha prayers as well as alms, which can be used to finance COVID-19 handling, and daily prayers for medical workers in hazmat suits.
“It is not easy to perform daily prayers without unzipping the suits. The MUI has released guidance on how to perform certain moves [in the hazmat suits] during prayers in the right way,” said Ma’ruf.
Another MUI fatwa is on how to carry out Islamic mortuary and burial procedures while still following COVID-19 protocols.
“As for vaccines, I have requested the involvement [of the MUI], from planning to procuring, to make sure they are halal, audit the vaccine’s factory and visit vaccine facilities in China.
“[The MUI is also needed] as we vaccinate the public,” said the vice president.
Ma’ruf said he had made sure the vaccines would have the MUI’s halal certification before being given to the public.
“However, if the vaccines are not halal but there is no solution other than the said vaccines then, in an emergency situation, [Muslims] can receive the vaccines with the MUI’s approval,” he added.
He further said vaccination was in line with Islamic teaching, adding that in a normal situation, the five priorities for Muslims were protecting religious values, lives, wealth, offspring and minds.
“However, in an abnormal situation such as a pandemic, Islam teaches us to prioritize protecting lives. As protecting lives has no alternative, therefore we have to make it a priority [hence the vaccines],” said Ma’ruf.
The vice president said he encouraged the public to continue acting correctly and never give up complying with COVID-19 health protocols, while urging government officers to continue educating the public about the virus, especially in areas with a high transmission rate.
National COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo said the public needed to keep their faith in facing the pandemic, apart from practicing the “3M” protocols, which include washing hands, wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance.
“Please remain calm and be patient in facing the pandemic. Patience allows us to control ourselves,” Doni said during a virtual campaign on COVID-19 handling in Jakarta on Friday.
Doni reminded the public about the danger of the pandemic as the virus had spread to at least 350,000 people nationwide with at least 12,000 fatalities.
“Those are still huge figures, although the number of recovered cases has reached 275,000 so far,” he added.
As of Sunday, Indonesia had recorded a total of 357,762 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 281,592 recovered cases and 12,431 deaths. Jakarta contributed the most confirmed cases with 92,382, followed by East Java with 48,452 cases and West Java with 29,543 cases. (nkn)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.