Dealing with Coronavirus Outbreak

Coronavirus outbreak has shaken the world to its core and brought everything to a pause.

The virus, although invisible to the naked eye, has terrified communities globally and where mankind was at the peak of its power economically, militarily and even with the scientific advancements in the health care systems, both the governmental institutions and the private sector have been brought to a screeching halt as if someone pressed a pause button in the cycle of life.

The safest place for everyone to be in right now is the sanctuary of their homes if they want to evade the possibility of dying a contaminated death.

Allah says in the Qur’an:
وَمَا يَعْلَمُ جُنُودَ رَبِّكَ إِلَّا هُوَ
“And no one knows the soldiers of your Lord except Him”
Surah Al Mudathir

Islamic Shari’ah has taught Muslims how to handle similar outbreaks and plagues.
When a Muslim recites the Qur’an, he comes across the stories of the previous nations which Allah has revealed to teach us about the changes that take place on this land from time to time some of which may strike fear, panic and cause distress to the heart as they go against the established way of life – all of which is simply a reminder from Allah so that the people take heed and are reminded of His punishment for the wrongdoers, the oppressors and all those who go against His commands as Allah clearly stated in the Quran:
وَمَا نُرْسِلُ بِالْآيَاتِ إِلَّا تَخْوِيفًا
“And we do not reveal the signs except to strike fear..”
Surah Al Israa
And in another place:
وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ
“And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned, but He pardons much.”
Surah Al-Shura

As for these viruses, pandemics and plagues that could lead to the loss of life at its worst, or leave him with some disformity, we have been given clear instruction by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ on how to handle these matters in order to stay safe.

Firstly, the Prevention:
This is done by praying and asking Allah to protect us from these diseases, as the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to supplicate:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْبَرَصِ، وَالْجُنُونِ، وَالْجُذَامِ، وَمِنْ سَيِّئِ الأَسْقَامِ
“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from leprosy, insanity, mutilation and evil diseases.”
Sunan Abi Dawud

Prevention is also instructed by social distancing from the patients as the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ instructed us to flee from a leper like one would flee from a lion (Sahih Al Bukhari, Book of Medicine) as well as stating that a sick person must not be kept in close proximity to a healthy person (Sahih Muslim, Book of Greetings).

When a plague struck one of the Muslim lands in the past and led to multitudes of deaths, one of the companions of the Prophet ﷺ said that he heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say, “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.” – Sahih Al Bukhari, Book of Medicine.

These teachings and instructions are more than 1400 years old yet this is what the World Health Organisation and other institutions across the globe are telling people to put into practice in order to safeguard their lives and health as this is one of the best and easiest ways to deal with such plagues and diseases such as the current outbreak of coronavirus. We can see different countries today implementing these instructions whether in the Middle East, Europe or Asia to protect the well-being of their people as well as to stop the further spread of the virus in their communities as per the teachings of our beloved Messenger ﷺ who was divinely guided by his Lord.

Secondly, the Treatment;
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ always encouraged everyone to seek knowledge, to learn and to commit themselves to researching in order to find the cure that would uplift the hardship off mankind and make their lives easier. The Islamic Shariah condones and promotes the safeguarding of lives and facilitates all the causes for us which would help us in securing the cure in order to protect the precious life granted to us.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Certainly, O the slaves of Allah, seek the cure, as Allah has not created a disease except that He also created a cure for it.” – Sahih Al Bukhari, Book of Medicine.

We ask Allah to lift this calamity from His creation and may He make this a source of everyone collectively turning to Him for help and support by rectifying their affairs and returning to the correct path.

Translation of a text written by brother Muhammad Al Shehri

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