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Itâ€™s finally Ramadan, and Muslims around the world will be spending the holy month fasting from dawn to dusk, among other religious activities, in observance to faith and God.
But as the world adjusts to the â€œnew normalâ€ brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, abstention takes on a whole different meaning when it comes to matters of life and death.
Malaysiaâ€™s Islamic clerics seem to be in agreement that undertaking tests for Covid-19 wonâ€™t result in your puasa being void.
To provide a bit of context for the uninitiated, the practice of fasting during Ramadan goes beyond simply restraining oneself from eating and drinking during the day.
Ramadan is also a time when Muslims are expected and encouraged to control their emotions and shy away from worldly, physical desires.
This simply means: do anything that goes against those restrictions, and your puasa for the day is essentially â€œbatalâ€ or null and void to put it in business terms.
In certain Islamic Madhabs (schools of Islamic jurisprudence), particularly Madhabs Shafii which Malaysian Muslims abide by, it states that an individualâ€™s puasa can be made void when a person intentionally puts something into the â€œcavitiesâ€ of the body, such as the mouth, nose, ears, and of course private parts.
Which brings us back to Covid-19 testing…
How are tests taken?
The Malaysian Health Ministry employs 2 main methods in obtaining a sample from a patient;
Nasopharyngeal Swab – involves sticking a long swab deep into the nasal cavity to obtain a sample of bodily secretions.
Oropharyngeal swab – a sample is collected from the mouth, particularly the posterior pharynx and tonsillar areas.
What do the Muftis say?
According to Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, taking either test won’t result in oneâ€™s puasa to be void due to the medical necessities of the procedure.
Meanwhile Pahang Mufti, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Osman says that testing for Covid-19 will not batal your puasa as the swab test doesn’t go â€œtoo deepâ€ in to reach the back of the throat.
While Kelantan Mufti Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad explains that Islam already provides exceptions when it comes to matters of health, thus it’s okay to take the swab test without your puasa being void.
However, the mufti elaborates that if a person â€œfeelsâ€ that their puasa had been nulled by taking a swab test, then they are allowed to break their fast for the day and make up for it in the future.
TRP would like to wish all Muslims a happy Ramadan and remind all Malaysians to get tested if you suspect yourself having symptoms or to have contact with the infection.
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