Dreadful Corona Virus and the most maligned and demonized Islam

Latheef Farook

The mysterious and deadly corona virus which China accused American military of spreading and devastating the entire world, is turning people worldwide towards Islamic way of life. This is what many enlightened Muslims scholars state.

Time and again and round the clock media and other means of communication worldwide continue to appeal to people to wash hands, nose, mouth and face to prevent corona virus spreading.

This is what Islam told its followers more than 14 centuries ago. One Islamic scholar pointed out that all Muslims were obliged to pray five times a day. Before doing so it is obligatory on them to take ablution-clean themselves. Ablution includes washing hands first followed by nose, mouth, elbows, and ears to ensure one pray with physical and spiritual purification. Men. women, children and the aged alike do this five times a day.

In an article under the title “ can the power of prayer alone stop a pandemic like the corona virus, even the Prophet Muhammad thought otherwise” Dr Craig Considine a scholar, professor, global speaker and media contributor based at the Department of Sociology at Rice University had this to state;

Do you know who else suggested good hygiene and quarantining during a pandemic? Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, over 1,400 years ago. While he is by no means a “traditional” expert on matters of deadly diseases, Muhammad nonetheless had sound advice to prevent and combat a development like COVID-19.

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) aid: “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague outbreaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place. Those with contagious diseases should be kept away from those who are healthy.”

Muhammad (PBUH) strongly encouraged human beings to adhere to hygienic practices that would keep people safe from infection. Consider the following hadiths, or sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

“Cleanliness is part of faith.” “Wash your hands after you wake up; you do not know where your hands have moved while you sleep.” “The blessings of food lie in washing hands before and after eating.”

And what if someone does fall ill? What kind of advice would Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) provide to his fellow human beings who are suffering from pain? He would encourage people to always seek medical treatment and medication: “Make use of medical treatment for God has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease—old age.”

Perhaps most importantly, he knew when to balance faith with reason. In recent weeks, some have gone so far as to suggest that prayer would be better at keeping you from the coronavirus than adhering to basic rules of social distancing and quarantine. How would Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) respond to the idea of prayer as the chief—or only—form of medicine?

Consider the following story, related to us by ninth-century Persian scholar Al-Tirmidhi: One day, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) noticed a Bedouin man leaving his camel without tying it. He asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I put my trust in God.” The Prophet then said, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in God.”

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) encouraged people to seek guidance in their religion, but he hoped they take basic precautionary measures for the stability, safety and well-being of all. In other words, he hoped people would use their common sense.

(Dr Craig Considine is also the author of The Humanity of Muhammad: A Christian View (Blue Dome Press, 2020), and Islam in America: Exploring the Issues (ABC-CLIO 2019), among others)

Meanwhile with regard to safety precautions from the Quran and Sunnah this is what the renowned and respected scholar on comparative religions Dr Zakir Naik had to say;

Islam has a unique way of dealing with the outbreak of diseases in two stages. I.e. before and after the outbreak of the disease .Islam calls its followers to protect themselves against diseases through the following guidelines: One of the objectives of the Shariah is the preservation of the soul. Therefore, everyone must take all necessary measures to protect themselves against any harm. Islam emphasizes the importance of cleanliness. This acts as one of the vital coronavirus safety precautions.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:“Purification is half of faith.” (Muslim).

Islam made ablution a pre-requisite for the validity of prayer. Prophet Muhammad said:
“If there were a river at the door of one of you in which he takes a bath five times a day, would any soiling remain on him?” They replied, “No soiling would left on him.” The Prophet said, “That is the five obligatory prayer. Allah obliterates all sins as a result of performing them.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Therefore, ablution and using tooth-stick are one of the means of protecting our bodies from diseases and viruses. Islam made lawful for Muslims all the good foods and drinks and made unlawful to them all what causes harm to them and their bodies. We read in the Quran what means:

{Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful.} (Al-Araf 7:157)

Researches have proved that consuming unlawful meat causes serious diseases.
Islam urges Muslims to be moderate in consuming lawful food and drinks. Prophet Muhammad said:“A human being has never filled any vessel which is worse than his own belly.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Prophet Muhammad commands Muslims to cover their food and drinks. He said:
“Cover up the (kitchen) containers (i.e., pots, pans, etc.), tie up the mouth of the water-skin, lock up the doors and extinguish the lamps, because Satan can neither untie the water-skin nor open the door nor uncover the containers. If one can cover the cooking pot even by placing a piece of wood across it, and pronounce the Name of Allah on it, let him do it. A mouse can sometimes cause a house to burn along its dwellers.” (Muslim)

When a Muslim is afflicted with a certain disease, he has to look at it as a test from Allah the Almighty. Prophet Muhammad said:“How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.” (Muslim)

Islam orders Muslims to seek medication. Prophet Muhammad said: “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.” (Abu Dawud)

It is an act of Sunnah to say these duaas (supplications) as coronavirus safety precautions and for other infectious diseases: Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to say:
“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from leprosy, madness, elephantiasis, and evil diseases.” (Abu Dawud)

When Prophet Muhammad visited any ailing member of his family, he would touch the sick person with his right hand and would supplicate:
[O Allah! the Lord of mankind! Remove this disease and cure (him or her)! You are the Great Curer. There is no cure but through You, which leaves behind no disease].” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

It is sunnah to read these chapters of the Quran on the sick person: Surat Al-Fatihah, Surat Al-Falaq, Surat An-Nas, Ayat al-Kursi, the last two verses from Surat al-Baqarah, and Al-Anbiya 21:83. Ends
(Monday 23 March 2020)

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