It is of course great news, Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah Almighty), that a potential vaccine against the deadly coronavirus has been developed spearheaded by a German biotech firm. It has also so far been reported to be more than 90 percent effective. We await with hope and enthusiasm results from further testing and experimentation of this promising vaccine.
Before considering those behind this breakthrough, it is worth mentioning that in Islam, great emphasis is placed on medicinal research and finding cures. Our beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) stated:
There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment.
He (peace and blessings be upon him) also stated:
Make use of medical treatment, for Allah has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease, namely old age.
Muslims have always played a great role in advancing medicine and benefitting mankind. Great notables in Islamic history played pivotal roles in medical advancement such as Al Razi, Al Zahrawri, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rusd, the great Ottoman Surgeon Serefeddin Sabuncuoglu and many others.
Allah the Almighty grants his favour on whom He wills…(Qur’an 62:4)
Those who are behind this latest discovery are a married couple of Turkish heritage – Uğur Şahin’s (55) whose father worked at a Ford factory, whilst his wife Özlem Türeci (53), is the daughter of a Turkish Physician. Both are children of Muslim immigrants in a country (Germany) where the topic of immigration has been a contentious issue for many years as it has been in much of Europe. These celebrated children of immigrants and their irrevocable contribution to protecting globally against coronavirus touches at the very point that the German footballer of Turkish descent, Mesut Ozil, made when he said: “I am considered a German when we win, but an immigrant when we lose”.
What this should remind those who spread fear about immigrants is that immigrants enrich society, a point poignantly made by the Ottoman Sultan, Bayezid II who in the 15th Century welcomed Jewish immigrants fleeing the Spanish Inquisition when he said:
“You venture to call [King] Ferdinand [of Spain] a wise ruler, he who has impoverished his own country and enriched mine”.