Is Coronavirus a Punishment from Allah? 5 Best Answers

PROPHETS ISLAM

These days the Corona epidemic has become one of the most talked about topics in the world. According to Islam, Coronavirus could be a punishment to the non-Muslims but Only Allah (swt) knows for sure. No one can say for sure that the Corona outbreak is a definite punishment from Allah to a specific group of people. The Coronavirus is an epidemic and an epidemic no matter how big or small is a mercy from Allah (swt) to a Muslim. To the Kafir, it is a different story and it could be a punishment from Allah and Allah knows best. After the Corona outbreak in China there has been a large number of online fatwas given by Muslim brothers and sisters on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere that the Coronavirus outbreak is a punishment from Allah because the Chinese are oppressing the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province.

There are also social media posts and videos shared by Muslims telling that the Chinese have got the epidemic because they are eating snakes and other animals which Allah has forbidden. There is no scientific evidence to prove that the Coronavirus spread due to the consumption of snakes. We should realize that no one can specifically say for sure why Allah (swt) has sent the Corona epidemic to China because revelation stopped with Muhammad, our final messenger peace be upon him. As no one will be getting revelation (Wahiy), acting as if we know what Allah (swt) knows is erroneous. What we should understand from the Quran and the authentic hadiths is that this epidemic could be a punishment for the non-Muslims but specifying that it was sent by Allah because the Chinese are torturing and oppressing the Uyghur Muslim brothers and sisters is wrong because we do not know for sure. Before giving the reasons why Allah (swt) sends an epidemic, let me explain what the Coronavirus is.

What is Coronavirus?
According to the World health organization, Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to more sever disease such as the middle-east respiratory syndrome (MERS) and sever acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The SARS and MERS viruses had already struck death and panic some time ago and Coronavirus known as novel Coronavirus (nCOV) is a new type of virus that has never been found anywhere in humans before. Coronavirus is known to have been transmitted to humans through civet cats which were sold to be consumed as meat by humans in markets located in Wuhan, China. The common signs of Coronavirus are,

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breathe
  • Infection leading to pneumonia
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome and
  • Kidney failure

Now, let us look at why Allah (swt) sends such epidemics.

  1. Coronavirus is a Punishment
    An epidemic or a plague could be a punishment sent by Allah (swt) on whom he wished. Aisha (rali) narrated,
    “I asked Allah’s Messenger (sal) about the plague. He told me that it was a Punishment sent by Allah on whom he wished”
    (Bukhari)
    Usamah bin Zaid narrated that:
    The Prophet mentioned the plague and said: “It is an abiding punishment or chastisement that was sent upon a group of the children of Isra’il. So when it occurs in a land while you are in it, then do not leave it. And when it occurs in a land while you are not in it, then do not enter it.”
    (Tirmidhi who graded is Hasan Sahih)
    Narrated Usama bin Zaid:

Allah’s Messenger (sal) said, “Plague was a means of torture sent on a group of Israelis (or on some people before you). So if you hear of its spread in a land, don’t approach it, and if a plague should appear in a land where you are present, then don’t leave that land in order to run away from it (i.e. plague)
(Bukhari)

These hadiths are wrongly used to hit back at innocent Chinese people who do not have anything to do with the actions of the Chinese communist government. There are many Chinese people who have converted to Islam and being too judgemental will only make Islam look harsh and rigid towards non-Muslim people. What is meant from the above mentioned hadiths is that the prophet (sal) mentioned that a plague was sent by Allah (swt) as a punishment to whom he wished and it was sent to the people of the book who came before and that cannot be used to give a blanket statement meaning that the Chinese are also been punished. What needs to be understood is that it could be a punishment and no one should try to speak on behalf of Allah (swt) because only Allah (swt) knows for sure why he sent the Coronavirus in the first place. There are various governments in the world which are tyrannizing Muslims and that does not mean that we should declare everyone as bad people or deserving punishment. The BJP led Narendra Modi government and Donald Trump led Republican government is one such example and that does not mean that whenever a calamity falls a country, we should jump to give our own personal interpretation and say that so and so is suffering because they had done wrong to the Muslims.

  1. An Epidemic is a Mercy to a Muslim
    With all the negativity surrounded with regards to the Coronavirus outbreak, it should be noted that this outbreak is a mercy from Allah (swt) to the Muslim ummah and if a Muslim dies form this outbreak, he is considered as a martyr which is a reward from Allah (swt).
    Aisha (rali) narrated,

“I asked Allah’s Messenger (sal) about the plague. He told me that it was a Punishment sent by Allah on whom he wished, and Allah made it a source of mercy for the believers, for if one in the time of an epidemic plague stays in his country patiently hoping for Allah’s Reward and believing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has written for him, he will get the reward of a martyr.”
(Bukhari)
Narrated by Abu Hurayrah (rali):

Allah’s Messenger (sal) said, “Five are regarded as martyrs: They are those who die because of plague, Abdominal disease, drowning or a falling building etc., and the martyrs in Allah’s Cause.”
(Bukhari)

  1. An Epidemic could be a Warning and a Lesson
    An epidemic could not always mean an infectious disease spreading among humans. A plague could strike animals such as livestock and this could be a warning for the disbelievers to fear Allah and accept him. Allah says in the Quran on how he afflicted Pharaoh and his people. He says
    “And we certainly seized the people of Pharaoh with years of famine and a deficiency in fruits that perhaps they would be reminded”
    (Al-Quran-7:130)
    ‘And when the plague fell upon them, they said: O Musa! Pray for us to your Lord as He has promised with you, if you remove the plague from us, we will certainly believe in you and we will certainly send away with you the children of Israel.”
    (Al-Quran-7:134)
    A plague could also strike a community if there is immorality.
    Ibn Umar (rali) narrated, the prophet (sal) said,
    “If ever lewdness spreads among people till it is regarded as a common open practice, plagues and new diseases which did not exist before will spread among them.”
    (Ibn Majah-Graded Sahih by Imam Dahabi, Hakim and others)

What needs to be understood is that the plague if afflicted will be a mercy from Allah (swt). It has been found that the Coronavirus was found in civet cats and the plague could have first attacked the animals before entering the humans.

  1. An Epidemic like the Corona Outbreak Could Be a Remnant of an Affliction That Had Existed Before
    It is now confirmed from the world health organization that the Coronavirus is similar to the SARS and MERS virus and the following hadith explains clearly that remnants of previous outbreaks could also be a reason for the present outbreak of disease.
    Shu’ba reported from Habib:
    While we were in Medina we heard of plague having broken out in Kufa. ‘Ata b. Yasir and others said to me that Allah’s Messenger (sal) had said.
    “If you are in a land where it (this scourge) has broken out, don’t get out of it, and if you were to know that it had broken (in another land, then don’t enter it. I said to him: From whom (did you hear it)? They said: ‘Amir b. Sa’d has narrated it. So I came to him. They said that he was not present there. So I met his brother Ibrahim b. Sa’d and asked him. He said: I bear testimony to the fact that Usama narrated it to Sa’d saying: I heard Allah’s Messenger (sal) as saying that it is a God-sent punishment from the calamity or from the remnant of the calamity with which people were afflicted before you. So when it is in a land and you are there, don’t get out of it, and if (this news reaches you) that it has broken out in a land, then don’t enter therein. Habib said: I said to Ibrahim: Did you hear Usama narrating it to Sa’d and he was not denying it. He said: Yes.
    (Sahih Muslim)
  2. The Coronavirus Could Be a Test for a Muslim in His Faith
    Epidemics like the Coronavirus are not punishments for Muslims but they could be a trial from Allah to test the faith (Iman) of a Muslim. A Muslim should not panic and instead he should put his trust in Allah and be patient if he or she happens to be in a country where that epidemic has spread.
    Aisha (rali) narrated,

“I asked Allah’s Messenger (sal) about the plague. He told me that it was a Punishment sent by Allah on whom he wished, and Allah made it a source of mercy for the believers, for if one in the time of an epidemic plague stays in his country patiently hoping for Allah’s Reward and believing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has written for him, he will get the reward of a martyr.”
(Bukhari)
The Corona outbreak has brought fear to many people and that fear itself has made people to take unnecessary precautions. This fear is also a trial from Allah and he says,
‘And we will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient”
(Al-Quran-2:155)
Such epidemic comes as a blessing in disguise for a Muslim because A Muslim is forgiven for his sins for such affliction. Aisha (Rali) narrated that the prophet (sal) said,
“There is no calamity that befalls a Muslim but Allah expiates (sin) thereby, even a thorn that pricks him.”
(Bukhari)
No one should leave that place of plague if he happens to be in that land and no one should go to the place that is afflicted with plague.
Narrated by Usama bin Zaid (rali):
The prophet (sal) said,
“Plague was a means of torture sent on a group of Israelis (or on some people before you). So if you hear of its spread in a land, don’t approach it, and if a plague should appear in a land where you are present, then don’t leave that land in order to run away from it (i.e. plague)
(Bukhari)
The above hadith is validated by modern science and the Chinese authorities and it’s experts have taken precautions by shutting down areas affected to prevent people entering the place and has told the residents living in those areas which have been effected to not leave the areas as well. This is because the person who happens to be having the virus could spread it to others if he leaves the city and the person who enters it could get it.

Refuting Those Who Deny Epidemics
There is a false opinion generated by some Muslims that there is no such thing as an epidemic. This is based on a misunderstood hadith. Abu Hurayrah (rali) narrated that the prophet (sal) said,
There is no ‘Adwa (no disease is conveyed from the sick to the healthy without the Permission of Allah), nor Haamah (i.e. owl), nor Safar». A Bedouin stood up and said, “Then what about my camels? They are like deer on the sand, but when a mangy camel comes and mixes with them, they all get infected with mangy”. The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: ‘Then who conveyed the (mange) disease to the first one?’
(Bukhari and Muslim)
This hadith has been misunderstood to mean that contagious disease is a lie. What is meant from this hadith is that no contagious disease is spread without the permission of Allah. It was Allah’s permission that the first camel got the mangy and this is why the prophet (sal) asked the beduoin,”who conveyed the disease to the first one?” meaning it was Allah who conveyed it. It is through Allah’s permission that a disease is spread. The prophet (sal) never denied the spread of an epidemic. Abu Hurayrah (rali) narrated that the prophet (sal) said,
“A sick person should not be taken to one who is healthy”
(Sahih Muslim)
The above hadith gives guidance that a sick person should not be taken near and healthy person because the disease could spread to the healthy person and proves that diseases could spread from one person to another.

Conclusion
Although an epidemic could be a form of punishment or a remnant of a former epidemic, it is wrong to be judgemental on all the Chinese people who are also innocent people who have nothing to do with what the Chinese government is doing to the innocent Muslims. It is not befitting for a Muslim to be rude and heartless at this moment and rather we Muslims should show mercy. Jabir Ibn Abdullah (rali) narrated that the prophet (sal) said,
“Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to people.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)
Abdullah Ibn Amr (rali) narrated,
The prophet (sal) said,
“The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One in the heavens will have mercy upon you.”
(Tirmidhi-Imam Tirmidhi Graded it Sahih)
The prophet (sal) showed a great example as narrated in the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (rali) when it was said, “O Messenger of Allah, pray against the idolaters!” The prophet (sal), said,
“Verily, I was not sent to invoke curses, but rather I was only sent as mercy.”
(Sahih Muslim)
Suraqa ibn Ju’shum (rali) narrated,
“I asked the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, about a lost camel who comes to drink from my cisterns that I have prepared for my own camels, “Will I be rewarded if I give it some water to drink?” The Prophet said, “Yes, in every living being with a warm liver is a reward for charity.”
(Ibn Majah-Graded Sahih by Albani)
Abu Hurayrah (rali) reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“A man suffered from thirst while he was walking on a journey. When he found a well, he climbed down into it and drank from it. Then he came out and saw a dog lolling its tongue from thirst and licking the ground. The man said: This dog has suffered thirst just as I have suffered from it. He climbed down into the well, filled his shoe with water, and caught it in his mouth as he climbed up. Then he gave the dog a drink. Allah appreciated this deed, so he forgave him.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for charity even for the animals?” The Prophet said, “Yes, in every creature with a moist liver is a reward for charity.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

This is the time for a Muslim to show how merciful Islam is rather than giving Facebook fatwas inciting hatred on the general Chinese population. It should be understood that an epidemic could spread in any part of the world except Medina because Abu Hurayrah (rali) narrated, that the prophet (sal) saying,
“There are angels guarding the entrances (or roads) of Medina, neither plague nor Ad-Dajjal will be able to enter it.”
(Bukhari)

And in another hadith,
Allah’s Messenger (sal) said, “there are angels at the mountain passes of Medina (so that) neither plague nor Ad-Dajjal can enter it.’
(Bukhari)
Like all diseases and ailments, Allah (swt) has sent a cure. Jabir (rali) narrated, the prophet (sal) said,
“Every disease has a cure. If a cure is applied to the disease, it is relieved by the permission of Allah Almighty.”
(Sahih Muslim)
From this, it should be understood that the Coronavirus outbreak although could be either a punishment or a remnant to an earlier disease, it is wrong to be judgemental and start insulting, cursing and venting ones anger on the general Chinese population because Allah knows best why he sent an epidemic such as this. There is no disease or epidemic without the will of Allah.

​C.J Ahmed

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