Dr. Aisha Hamdan,
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology,
King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences,
National Guard Health Affairs,
“Immunizations the best thing to protect your child from a variety of diseases.” You hear this from your doctor, from the media, from the brochures in the clinic, from your friends. But, did you ever stop to think twice about what it all means? Did you ever look deeper into the issue and the other side of the story?
Well let’s read on…..
Your child is just born and one of the first things you do is call the clinic to schedule an appointment for your first “well-baby” visit. During the visit, after about 1 or 2 months, you can expect your baby to be weighed, measured, and put through excruciating pain from several shots in the leg. Your baby has just received his first immunization (or vaccination) shots and you allow it to happen without even questioning. It is just assumed that your pediatrician has your best interests in mind and that immunizations are the best thing to protect your child from a variety of diseases. You hear this from your doctor, from the media, from the brochures in the clinic, from your friends. You figure that the pain your baby has just gone through is worth the protection that he receives.
But, did you ever stop to think twice about what it all means? Did you ever look deeper into the issue and read the other side of the story? (The one that is not provided by your doctor). Did you know, for example, that immunizations may cause serious side effects in children, even as serious as death? Did you know that immunizations actually weaken the immune system and make it work less effectively and efficiently? Were you aware that immunizations contain harmful chemicals that are not indigenous to the body? Did you know that your child might still contract a disease even if he or she has been immunized against?
If you have a new baby, a young child or are considering having children in the future, these are concerns that you want to investigate and learn more about. Many parents have, and they have decided NOT to immunise their children. Let us look into this matter more closely and also consider it form an Islamic perspective. The health and well being of your child may be at stake.
Myths and Realities.
Myth 1. “Vaccines are effective at protecting people from diseases.”
Reality: Many studies in the medical literature have documented vaccine failure. Measles, mumps, small pox, polio and Hib outbreaks have all occurred in vaccinated populations. In 1989, for example measles outbreaks occurred in schools with vaccination levels greater than 98% (Centres for Disease Control). The World Health Organization has actually found that a person who is vaccinated for measles has a 15 times greater likelihood of contracting the disease than a person who is not. The effectiveness of the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine has been reported to be around 50%. In an incident in Kansas in 1986, 90% of pertussis cases were found to have been vaccinated. In another study of rubella, 36% of adolescent females who had been vaccinated against the disease lacked evidence of immunity by blood tests. Following the introduction of the diphtheria vaccine in various countries, incidents of the disease actually increased phenomenally. In France, there was a 30% increase; in Hungary, a 55% increase; and in Geneva, Switzerland, there was a tripling of the disease. All of this occurring after the introduction of mass compulsory vaccinations in those countries. In Australia, where vaccinations are not mandatory and only about ½ of the population receives them, the rates of illness are the same for both the vaccinated and non-vaccinated groups.
What all of these facts point to (and there are many more related to this) is that vaccinations are not as effective as people are made to believe. A person who has been vaccinated has no guarantee that he will not contract the disease and chances are that if he does, it will be at a later age when the consequences are much more serious. The truth of the matter is that when immunity to disease is acquired naturally (such as through breastfeeding or through contact at a young age), the possibility of re-infection is only 3.2%. If the “immunity” comes from the artificial means of vaccinations, the chance of re-infection is 80%. In any epidemic, only a small percentage of the population actually contracts the disease, many of them being naturally immune. If a person who has been vaccinated does not contract the disease, this proves nothing. Chances are that even without the vaccination, he or she would not have gotten the disease any way.
Myth 2. “Vaccines are the main reason for declines in disease rates.”
Reality: Most declines in diseases occurred before the introduction of mass immunizations. Infectious disease deaths in the United States and England declined an average of 80% prior to vaccinations. The British Association for the Advancement of Science found that childhood diseases decreased by 90% between 1850 and 1940, long before mandatory vaccination programs. European countries that refused immunizations for small pox and polio saw these epidemics end along with countries that had mandated them. Other infectious diseases continued to decline even in the absence of vaccines for them. This included declines in tuberculosis, chicken pox, scarlet fever, typhus, typhoid and plague.
So what, you may ask, were the reasons for the decrease in diseases at this point in time. Research has found that improved sanitation and hygienic practices; along with improvements in diet and other health factors were the main contributing factors in eradication many diseases. A recent report by the World Health Organization supported this fact. The report found that “disease and mortality rates in third world countries have no direct correlation with immunization procedures or medical treatment, but are closely related to the standard of diet and hygiene.” What this means is that it is not as important to be immunized as it is to eat healthily and maintain personal hygiene and environmental cleanliness.
Myth 3. “Vaccines are completely safe for children.”
Reality: Vaccines are much more dangerous than we are even aware of. This is information that you will probably not receive from your doctor and if you child does have a reaction, it is unlikely that your doctor will report it. In 1986, the United States Congress created The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which acknowledges the reality of vaccine-caused injuries and death. This law requires doctors to provide parents with information about the benefits and risks of childhood vaccines prior to vaccination and also requires doctors to report vaccine reactions to federal health officials. The Food and Drug Administration, which monitors this (along with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), acknowledged that 90% of doctors do not report vaccine reactions as required by law.
More than 12,000 adverse reactions to vaccines are reported each year. If the rate of under-reporting is considered, this number should be closer to 120,000. Vaccine-related deaths occurring each year may be over 1000. The compensation portion of the Vaccine Injury Act awards up to $250,000 if a child dies from a vaccination or millions in dollars to cover lifelong medical bills, pain and suffering in the case of a brain-damaged child. By 1997, more than $802 million had been awarded for hundreds of injuries and deaths (5000 cases, 700 of which were deaths). Thousands of cases are still pending and the estimated future liability for the government exceeds $1.7 billion. A portion of the money that parents pay for vaccinations goes to this congressional fund, which basically means that you are paying insurance each time your child is vaccinated.
In many cases, vaccinations are more serious than the diseases they are meant to protect a person from. The pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine is probably the most dangerous. The chances of suffering a serious adverse reaction to DPT vaccines are 1 in 1750, while the chances of dying from pertussis each year are 1 in several million. A study at UCLA found that 1 in 13 children had persistent high pitched crying after the DPT shot. One in 700 had convulsions or shock, which may cause learning disabilities or brain damage. Vaccinations, in general, have been linked to disorders of the blood, brain, skin, and nervous system. This includes encephalitis (central nervous system disorder, brain damage), paralysis, nerve inflammation, diseases of the lymph glands, skin disorders, allergies, arthritis, cancer.
National and International studies have shown a link between vaccinations and SIDS (sudden Infant Death Syndrome). One study found that the peak incidence of SIDS occurred at the ages of 2 and 4 months, the time when the first routine vaccinations are given. Another study concluded that ½ of SIDS cases (2500 of 5000) are related to vaccinations. In the mid-70’s, when Japan raised their vaccinations age from 2 months to 2 years, the incidence of SIDS dropped dramatically. The disturbing fact in the United State is that coroners refuse to check the vaccination state of SIDS victims, which makes it difficult to prove many cases.
Other important truths to consider include the fact that vaccinations actually weaken the immune system rather than strengthen it. They only focus on one aspect of the immune system, which interferes with the body’s ability to initiate a “generalized response”. Only that one particular aspect of the system will function. What this means is that the vaccinations produce immune suppression which contributes to an increased susceptibility to other diseases and infections. This may explain why the rate of childhood illness has actually increased rather than decreased in this society. Vaccinations also contain additional chemicals such as formaldehyde, mercury (thimerosal), and aluminum phosphate, which are extremely toxic substances that can lead to hazardous effects. Microscopic doses may lead to cancer, neurological damage, and even death. Several of these may accumulate in the body such that the lethality increases as the number of vaccine increase.
And the story continues. This is only the tip of the iceberg and there is a larger amount of information available for those who wish to learn more (see websites listed below). It is important that parents become educated and knowledgeable about immunizations so that they can make an informed choice rather than be manipulated by the medical establishment.
It is important that parents become educated and knowledgeable about immunizations so that they can make an informed choice rather than be manipulated by the medical establishment.
An Islamic Perspective.
From an Islamic perspective there are several issues that need to be considered in relation to this topic. This discussion goes much deeper than the mere physical effects of immunizations. We need to peruse the Creation of Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, and its perfection, the Provisions and Sustenance provided to us by Allah, and Will of Allah as it pertains to our existence. Let us proceed.
Creation of Allah.
Allah says, “We have indeed created man in the best of moulds.” (95:4). The Arabic word in this verse is taqweem, which can be translated as mold, form, nature, constitution. Although this especially refers to the spiritual nature of man, it can also mean the mental and physical structure. There is no faulty in Allah’s creation. Allah gave man the purest and best nature, and perfection and balance are evident in man’s physical, mental, and spiritual composition. Allah, subhanahu wa ta’la, says,
“O mankind! What has made you careless concerning your Lord, the Most Generous? Who created you, fashioned you, and gave you due proportion; in whatever form He willed, He put you together.” (Qur’an 82:6-8).
Focusing on the physical aspect, one need only study the systems of the body to comprehend the significance of these verses and the wonder of Allah’s creation. The human body is composed of a number of specialized systems: the digestive system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the muscular system, the blood circulation system, the skeleton, the skin, the senses, the immune system and so forth. Each one of these system is miraculous in nature and more amazing than any scientific advancement that man can achieve. (Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur’an). Why then is man so heedless? Why does he overlook the wonders of his own constitution? Why does he neglect the One who gave him these special gifts? “O mankind! What has made you careless concerning our Lord, the Most Generous?” Why does he think that he can improve the perfect creation of Allah and make it work more effectively?
Concerning immunizations, this is exactly what humans are attempting to do. The assumption behind them is that the body is not “perfect” enough to withstand infectious diseases; that somehow Allah did not complete his job or carry it out well enough (astaghfir Allah); that the immune system is faulty and needs correction; that a young baby, as little as 1 or 2 months old, is somehow flawed, incomplete, and in need of human intervention to survive. All of these assumptions are erroneous and reflect a skepticism that should not be present in the belief system of a Muslim. This may seem like an intense subject for what would appear to be a straight forward issue, but a deeper level of analysis is required here. One cannot doubt the verses of the Qur’an highlighted above nor expect that he can accomplish more than Allah. As Muslims we should not fall into this kind of trap. We must believe in the perfection of Allah’s creation and understand that immunizations are in no way able to improve upon it. Chances are that they will only disturb the system and introduce an imperfection, (which is already being determined by research).
Provisions of Allah
Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, not only created us in the finest form, but He also gave us the tools to maintain this form and to assist in its self-actualization. We are warned that our body and our health are gifts from Allah and that we will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment of them. The Prophet (pbuh) informed us, “Every servant of Allah will remain standing before Allah on the Day of Judgment until he has answered five questions about five things; his life – how he spent it; his knowledge – how much he acted upon it; his wealth – how he acquired it and how he spent it; and his body (and health) – how he used it.” (Muslims). The Prophet (Pbuh) also said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good.” (Bukhari)
It is incumbent upon a Muslim to take care of his body to the best of his ability and to follow what Allah has ordained in this regard. The provisions of Allah are many. A mother is instructed to nurse her child from the moment of birth. Allah says,
“Mothers shall nurse their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing (period).” (Qur’an 2:233).
Breast milk has been found to be the most beneficial substance for a baby and contains much more than nutrients. It also provides antibodies, strengthens the immune system, and protects the child from many diseases. This is a wondrous gift that gives an already healthy baby an even healthier start in life.
Muslims are instructed to eat from the good and lawful food of the earth.
“They ask you what is lawful to them (as food): say: Lawful unto you are (all) things good and pure.” (Qur’an 5:4)
“O you people! Eat of what is on earth lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the evil one for he is to you an avowed enemy.” (Qur’an 2:168).
We now know the benefits of eating healthy and pure food and avoiding all that is harmful to our bodies. The use of honey, black seed, dates, olive oil, etc. are encouraged to prevent illness and as cures when the need arises. The type of food that we eat can affect all of our bodily systems, oftentimes in very insidious ways.
Other provisions that Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, has given us include the command to avoid alcohol and all types of drugs, which can lead to serious consequences (health-related and others). Adultery and fornication are forbidden, which can cause various types of sexually transmitted diseases. Pork and pork products, which may lead to various illnesses, are also not allowed. And so on…..
What this means in relation to immunizations is that they are really unnecessary. For one who follows the commands of Allah, the chances of having long-term health will be increased. Even if a disease is contracted, the person with a strong immune system will likely be able to combat it. This in turn, will strengthen the immune system more and give life-long immunity to that particular disease. As mentioned earlier, immunizations actually have weaken the immune system and led to all types of problems in children. Their use has even upset the epidemiology of illnesses, causing them to appear more often in adulthood when the effects are usually much more serious. It is evident from all of this that manipulation and altering Allah’s creation only leads to detrimental outcomes.
Will of Allah.
We often forget that what happens in our lives comes from the Will and Power of Allah. Nothing occurs except what has been decreed by Allah. Although we do have some limited control over events, the ultimate control is with Us are its depositories, and We do not send it down except according to a known (specified) measure.” (15:21).
“Say you (o Muhammad): ‘Indeed the affairs belong wholly to Allah.’ (Qur’an 3:154)
If a child is to experience an illness, this is from the decree of Allah; and if he is to be cured from it, this is also from the decree of Allah. To rely upon humans to somehow prevent or cure the child without also trusting in Allah, is a sign of weakness in faith. Whatever good or bad happens to us we should say “Alhumdulillah” because it is from Allah and He has decreed it for some reason (either as a test or as punishment). Allah says,
“No calamity befalls, but with the leave (decision and Qadar) of Allah, and whosoever believes in Allah, He guides his heart, and Allah is the all Knower of everything.” (Qur’an 64:11).
We should rely upon Allah and ask Him to assist us in our times of need. The use of ruqya (supplication to Allah) is much more powerful than any medicine that is available because Allah is the only One Who can send the cure.
Although Islam is not contrary to medical and technological “Development”, it is important to understand that these are not always in our best interests. Many of these “advancements” have actually led to serious, detrimental outcomes. Television, for example, has been lauded as one of the major inventions of this century, but at the same time it has lead to the numbing of children’s minds, a decline in communication within families, and misguidance for many. Immunizations are touted as a miraculous form of illness prevention, when in fact they are nothing more than a moneymaking scheme for doctors and pharmaceutical companies. They have, in actuality, caused more hams than benefits and have disrupted the natural order of Allah’s Creation.
Before you take your child for; his or her next round of immunizations consider this important information and research the topic further. It is in the best interests of your child to do so. Look to Allah’s guidance (the Qur’an and Sunnah) for assistance in all matters, including physical health. If we follow Allah’s plan in creation and submit to His commands, there should be no need for artificial interventions. Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, ha provided us with bounties beyond our imagination and they are readily and naturally available to us. We only need to make use of them.
The Shocking Facts:
- By the time a child enters first grade, he or she will have received as many as 10 different vaccines for a total of 19 shots. 98% of children living in the United State receive the recommended shots.
- The numbers of vaccines has doubled in the last decade.
- New vaccines are coming out on a more regular basis.
- The United Nations has committed $150 million to develop a “Super Vaccine” to provide immunity against 30 childhood diseases in a single shot.
- In 1950, before mass immunizations began, the United States had the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world. By 1995, it dropped to 23rd place and is world renowned for its appalling infant mortality rate.