Mosques are using Friday prayers to raise coronavirus awareness and dispel myths around vaccinations.

The campaign, run by the Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB), will also include Imams filming themselves being vaccinated to reassure communities the jabs are permissible and vital to defeat the virus.

Leeds-based Imam Qari Asim, who is chair of MINAB, said: “MINAB strongly recommends people to take the vaccines.

“The Covid vaccines administered in the UK are halal, permissible from Islamic perspective, and there should be no hesitation in taking them from a moral perspective.

“MINAB is advocating this position through its proactive endeavour for the BAME communities to be vaccinated, as BAME communities are at very high risk of being infected by this lethal virus.”

Imam Asim has written a special sermon which tackles some of the “fake news” about the vaccine which is circulating on social media.

“My message to Muslim communities is to make an informed choice and take up the offer when their turn for being vaccinated comes,” he said.

“Don’t miss the opportunity by believing in ‘fake news’ about the vaccines.

“It is our ethical duty to protect ourselves and others from potential harm.

“By taking the vaccine, we are protecting ourselves and others from being infected by this deadly virus that is sweeping through our country and potentially saving lives.”

The sermon says, “The key question is whether the covid-19 vaccines contain haram substances such as gelatine or foetal cells and therefore 

"Muslims should not take them. It is factually incorrect to say that the vaccines contain foetal cells and therefore should not be used.  We are informed that the vaccines were not produced using foetal cell-lines, in the final production of the vaccine. 

“A cell is hundreds of times bigger than a virus, so it is impossible for a cell to be in a virus! Further, no animal products have been used to produce the vaccines that are being used in Britain. 

“There is difference of opinion amongst the classical legal schools. However, there is a valid position that if a ‘haram’ substance undergoes a ‘significant change’ in its chemical nature or physical properties, then it becomes permissible. 

“One of the examples is that of grapes: in their original form, they are obviously perfectly permissible. However, if the same grapes are turned into wine, the wine is haram. If that wine is then turned into vinegar, the vinegar is permissible because the intoxicating effect of the wine that renders it prohibited is no longer found in the vinegar. 

“Further, if a medication contains impermissible substances, but it is the best treatment for the condition, and there is no other medication that is as effective, then it is allowed to take such medication despite the presence of the impermissible substances. If a vaccine without gelatine became available, it would be more religiously precautious to request the latter.”

Anyone wanting to view the suggested sermon can do so here