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Coronavirus and Islam

By | Sideeqi Naseer |
IK Special OP-ED Columnist

In December 2019, reports started to emerge that a coronavirus that specialists had never before
seen in humans had begun to spread among the population of Wuhan, a large city in the Chinese
province of Hubei.
Since then, the virus has spread to other countries, both in and outside Asia, leading the World
Health Organization (WHO) to declare this as a pandemic. To date, the novel coronavirus —
currently dubbed “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2,” or SARS-CoV-2 for short —
has been responsible for more than 2,222,974 infections globally, causing over 152,318 deaths.
The U.S. is the most affected country.
Here I won’t go into much detail about coronavirus but, i will discuss here how virus spread over
worldwide ,how the virus gave the world its grip, what was the main reason behind the spread of
coronovirus and I will mention some of the islamic teachings which will become helpful in
combating the covid -19. As we all know that the pandemics keeps coming , Similar Coronavirus
came but the fact of its spread to other countries was the transmission by humans .When the
virus outbreaks, people prepared to get out of there, many of them were infected by virus and
these people became the carriers of coronavirus.here I would mention one of the great saying of
prophet mohammad (s.a.w) about the out break of epidemic , in which he said “If you hear of
an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if the plague breaks out in a place while you
are in it, do not leave that place.” (Sahih al-Bukhari).
Here we should think that before 1400 years back prophet Mohammad(s.a.w) said these lines if
they were follow the great sayings of prophet, virus could not had been spread worldwide we
can say that movement of the humans from wuhan to their native countries was a big blunder
because of which the whole world was engulfed in virus. Today we can see that the whole world
is suffering from this virus ,There is no vaccine made for this disease right now, you can protect
ourselves from this disease by practice the great teaching of islam, the practices that we must
taken during these types of pandemics are really appreciative , What should we do in situations
like this, lets see in the light of Islam and understand how Islam and prophet mohammad (s.a.w)
guide us.
Here First I Want to Discus About the Great Teachings of our beloved prophet hazrat
mohammed (s.a.w) about the outbreak of pandemic is concept of qurantine and social distancing.
1.QURANTINE AND SOCIAL DISTANCING:
Prophet mohammed (s.a.w) recognised and preached the importance of travel bans and quarantine
in places contaminated with disease in order to mitigate the spread of illness. He said, “If you hear
of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if the plague breaks out in a place while you
are in it, do not leave that place.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
The wisdom in these teachings asserts that when confronting any outbreak, it is absolutely imperative
that we assume the worst until we know otherwise (and act accordingly). Thus, strict travel bans
imposed much earlier in Covid-19’s timeline very well have curtailed the spread of the virus.
Prophet mohammad (s.a.w) practiced social distancing as well. It is reported that a leprous man
once wished to pledge his allegiance to him, an act that would require him to touch or hold Prophet
mohammad’s s.a.w) hand. Keeping his distance, the Holy Prophetsa kindly sent word to him that
his pledge had already been accepted and that he should return home. (Sunan Ibn Majah)
Regarding isolation, the Holy Prophetsa taught that those who are sick should not in any way
compromise the community at large. He said, “Do not place a sick patient with a healthy person.”
This teaching was extended to animals as well; “The cattle suffering from a disease should not be
mixed with healthy cattle.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
In our current circumstances, social distancing and self-isolation have been frustratingly difficult for
governments to impose. Ultimately, they have been compelled to lay heavy fines – in some cases up
to $750,000 for failing to self-isolate – and even imprisonment for not obeying emergency laws. In
stark contrast to this, Muslims in the time of the prophet muhammad (s.a.w) and thereafter practiced
social distancing and isolation as if it was a religious injunction.
Hazrat Umarra once encouraged a leprous woman who was circling the Holy Ka‘bah in Mecca to go
back to her home as it would be better for her (and others). After Hazrat Umar’sra demise, a man
told her that the one who forbade her had passed away so she could go and circle the Ka‘bah as she
pleased. She replied, “I am not going to obey him when he is alive and disobey him when he has
passed away.” Indeed, this is a beautiful example that reflects the spiritual power and impact of the
our be beloved prophet mohammad {s.a.w) and his rightly guided Khulafa.
The another teaching of prophet muhammad (s.a.w) I want to discuss here is the concept of physical
cleanliness .
2.CLEANLINESS:
As we know that If there is one thing people have learned over the past several weeks, it is proper hand
washing techniques and thorough hygienic practices – a hallmark of Islam. Muhammad (PBUH) said
to his companions that “cleanliness is half of faith”. Islam puts great emphasis on both spiritual and
physical cleanliness and purification, which is exactly why having high personal hygiene standards is
important for your health but also considered part of your religious practice as a Muslim.
The most basic principles of personal hygiene in Islam, before each of the five daily prayers ,
amuslim performs an ablution that comprises of ritual clleaning from head to toe with clean water
which is known as wuduu , which is necessary before each of the daily five prayers. Wuduu includes
washing the hands, rinsing the mouth and nose, washing the face, washing the arms up to the bellows,
wiping the head and beard, washing the ears, and also the feet up to and including your ankle.
Prophet Muhammad encouraged wuduu and told his followers that “those who completed a perfect
wuduu will be identifiable by the light shining from the areas washed in wuduu”.
Washing your hands was a common practice of Muhammad (PBUH), and is an integral part
of wuduu. Today, we know doctors adviced us to wash hands daily that regular hand washing is
most effective ways of stopping bacteria and germs spreadings .
Furthermore, when he would sneeze, prophet mohammad (s.a.w) would cover his face and muffle
the sneeze, effectively containing the spread of airborne bacteria and viruses. (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi)
In essence, Muslims are taught that physical cleanliness and spiritual purity have a close affinity with
one another. Thus, the Holy Quran teaches, “Indeed, Allah loves those who turn to Him [repenting]
and he loves those who keep themselves clean and pure.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.223)
Alongside taking care of your body, ensuring your clothes are clean is also good Islamic practice;
“Cleanse your garments and keep away from all pollution” (Quran 74:4). After all, if your body is
clean and your clothes are not then it’s not fully achieving a standard of cleanliness.
Personal hygiene keeps both your body and mind free from disease. Cleanliness truly is an important
part of Islam’s values. And the third most important point I want to discuss is
3.Seeking medical treatment:
Islam, as taught by the prophet mohammad (s.a.w) is a practical and progressive faith-based system.
Prophet mohammed (s.a.w) encouraged people to seek medical assistance alongside relying on the
power of prayer.
Once, he was asked by a group of Bedouins if it would be considered sinful if they did not seek
medical treatment. He replied, “Seek (medical) treatment, O Slaves of Allah, for Allah does not
create any disease but He also creates with it the cure, except for old age.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
Prophet mohammad (s.a.w) also clarified that seeking medical assistance coupled with divine
intervention was the key to successful treatment; “Every disease has a cure. If a cure is applied to the
disease, it is relieved by the permission of Allah the Almighty”. (Sahih Muslim)
And at last I want to mention about one of the great teachings of islam that is free medical assistance
4.Free medical assistance :
We know medical care and financial assistance during a pandemic are crucial in successfully
controlling the spread of illness. But If the citizens of a nation know that they will be provided and
cared for, they will be more likely to follow sanctions that could otherwise put them in financial
distress.
The bait-ul-mal (government treasury) was conceptualised in the time of prophet muhammad
(s.a.w) and formally established during the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra. The taxes collected in this
treasury were used to provide for the poor, disabled, elderly, orphans, widows and others in need.
The government was also made responsible to stockpile food supplies in case of disaster or famine.
It is reported that Hazrat Umarra was on his way to Syria, when he came across a group of Christians
afflicted with leprosy. He immediately ordered that a medical allowance be provided to them from
the government treasury so they could seek medical treatment. Hazrat Umarra also ordered Muslims
to keep a close watch on prisoners and provide for all of their medical needs as required. At the end
I want to quote the hadith of prophet mohammad (s.a.w)
He said, “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if the plague breaks out in
a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
If china had followed this single hadith, the virus could have been prevented from spreading to the
world. America could have been prevented from becoming a pile of corpses .The whole of humanity
could have been prevented from destruction. if this Hadith had been implemented, it would have been
saved the whole world ,from the threat of death. This is the beauty of islam that by following a single
hadith we could have been prevented the entire humanity Islam is the religion by which we could lead
our lives in true ways. We should be proud that we are muslims. Islam is the complete way of life for all
humanity. It is the religion of submission to one God, the religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness. It
is the universal religion that calls for “ONE PEOPLE UNDER ONE GOD” Islam provides specific
guidelines for all people to follow in their daily lives.
Its guidance is comprehensive and includes the social,economic, political, moral, and spiritual aspects
of life.
By saying that it is a complete way of life, we mean that it caters for all the fields of human existence.
Prophet Muhammad’ssa teachings around pandemics propose an infection control mechanism that
calls for both faith and practical measures to be taken in order to effectively contain infectious
diseases.
world leaders have now two equally important responsibilities – solving coronavirus crisis and
improving the way we respond to outbreaks in the future. Without a doubt, the history of Islam’s
battle against pandemics or in other aspects of life is indispensable and could very well guide our
infection control systems now and in the future.

( Author Has completed M.SC and IK’s Special Oped writer )