What Breaks the Fast

When Can I Take a Medicine Containing Gelatin?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

I have a daughter with a congenital heart disease. I need to vaccinate her against the flu every year.

My local GP is giving intranasal flu vaccine which is derived from gelatin. It is much better then the injection. The injection is less effective but I believe it is not Haram from my understanding.

Should I be giving the injection instead of nasal spray?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

There is no harm in opting for the nasal vaccine in the case you describe.

While the default is that medicine with impermissible ingredients should not be taken unless there is no available alternative, the combination of both (a) the greater effectiveness of the nasal vaccine and (b) your daughter’s heart condition would justify taking the nasal vaccination even if it contains an impermissible ingredient.

This position is also lent support by the fact that there are some scholars who do not deem gelatin from non-halal sources to be impermissible. While this is not the view we forward, it does provide some leeway in medical contexts for the consumption of products that contain gelatin in circumstances like the one you describe.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Photo: Root66