Fighting the pandemic: an Islamic perspective

Abrar Ul Mustafa

The ongoing pandemic has shaken us. Globally, over 5 Lakh people have passed away and there are over 1.3 Crores of confirmed positive cases. In the absence of a cure, prevention and prayer are the only getaways. Muslims across the globe have been turning to Allah and looking for answers from Him. The practices of quarantine, physical distancing, personal hygiene and handwash need to be adopted in letter and intent. These are the teachings of Islam and our beloved Prophet (pbuh). Doctors instruct us today what Islam has advised centuries ago. Islam has prioritised things. Sharia emphasises ‘protection of personal and public health’. It puts the same ahead of the protection of faith, intelligence, belongings and fledgelings. Islam is a complete way of life. The golden words of the Holy Qur’an and the teachings of our Prophet (pbuh) have made things crystal-clear. There is an answer to every question, a solution to each problem and a cure to all ailments. Our Prophet (pbuh) explained the ideal response to plagues and pandemics. Sahih Al-Bukhari mentions that the Messenger of Allah once said, “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter. If the plague breaks out in a place where you live, do not leave”. Once upon a time, in Madina, a confluence of Islamic delegations was going on. Prophet (pbuh) refused to shake hands with a person who had inflicted a certain communicable disease. He sent him back. Likewise, once upon a time in mid 7th century, in the erstwhile Levant—the present day Syria—the braveheart of Islamic history, Khalifa Omar (may Allah be pleased with him), faced a conundrum during an important expedition. A plague had engulfed the territory. Omar (ra) decided to retreat. He faced severe opposition. But, he did what the Prophet (pbuh) had advised. He said, “We’re fleeing from the decree of Allah to the decree of Allah.” Later on, the decision proved to be right. Those who had opposed and stayed were affected by the infestation. Some of them, including a top commander, lost their lives to the plague. In accession to this, Islam shows us the ways of quarantine, physical distancing and personal hygiene. In solitude, we find peace and redemption.

Islam emphasises the protection of personal and public health and advises to adopt stringent social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic

In physical distancing, we discover a cure. In maintaining personal hygiene, we make ourselves ready to stand in front of our creator. Ablution cleanses the skin and Salah purifies the soul. Islam teaches us the idea of humanity and brotherhood. It encourages us to think beyond the concept of self. We are instructed to be humble and helpful. We are counselled to think about our neighbours before we think about ourselves. We will always put the public interest first. This Friday, let’s resolve to look at the ongoing pandemic from a true believer’s eye. Let’s respond to it the way our Prophet (pbuh) asked us to. Let’s join hands to maintain social distancing and personal cleanliness. This would ensure that we contribute our bit. During these hard times, personal and public hygiene need to be prioritised; compassion and love need to be stretched forth to all. We necessitate to seek solitude and Allah’s forgiveness. We need to revisit the teachings of Sharia and Hadith. We all need to take it very seriously. We require to fight the pandemic with our heartfelt prayers and sticking to the teachings of the Prophet (pbuh). This Friday, let’s leave aside our religious egoism and division. Let’s hope good sense prevails. Stay home, stay calm, stay safe.

 

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COVID-19

India
Confirmed: 5,732,518Deaths: 91,149