- The mandatory vaccination for civil servants to be inoculated against Covid-19 is sanctioned under the Syariah (Islamic law) and should not be considered as restricting individual freedom.
- Islamic laws state that the government has full rights to issue certain orders to help manage an emergency like Covid-19.
Compulsory Vaccination For Civil Servants Sanctioned Under The Syariah Islamic Law
With many anti-vaxxers refusing to take the vaccine due to religious reasons, here's some news! The mandatory vaccination for civil servants to be inoculated against Covid-19 is actually sanctioned under the Syariah (Islamic law) and should not be considered as restricting individual freedom.
This was mentioned by a Syariah expert, Dr Syed Shahridzan Syed Mohamed, who is a Federal Territory Mufti Office (PMWP) Principal Assistant Mufti (Research). Adding on, he said, based on siyasah syar-iyyah (the authority to act according to the benefit), the government can take disciplinary action against the group of people disobeying the order related to the public interest.
Islamic laws state that the government has full rights to issue certain orders to help manage an emergency like Covid-19! The disciplinary action made under siyasah syar-iyyah is categorised as a mild punishment according to Dr Syed Shahridzan. He mentioned that vaccinations are for the public good and that cooperation is necessary for success.
He said, “We utilise the fiqh (principle) that “al-masalahatu al-‘ammatu muqaddamatun ‘ala al-maslahati al-khaassati” (the public interest takes precedence over private interest), in this case. The government can require civil servants to get the COVID-19 vaccine based on maslahat (benefit). With the advantage provided by siyasah syar’iyyah, the government could make the COVID-19 vaccine compulsory for all citizens."
This was stated based on the fiqh that “tasarruful Imami ‘ala al-ra‘iyyati manutun bil maslahati” (the ruler’s decision for the people is to be executed in their interest).
Moreover, according to him, a majority of Muslims in Malaysia belong to the Sunnah Wal Jamaah school of thought that makes it obligatory to follow a ruler’s orders in matters related to the public interest and not against syariah. The Public Service Department (JPA) made it mandatory, on 30th September, for federal civil servants to get a COVID-19 vaccine which must be completed by Nov 1, 2021.
Based on the JPA statement, nearly 98% of civil servants have been vaccinated, while 1.6% (or 16,902 people) have yet to register.
On a related note, all civil servants are bound by the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993.