What Does Islam Say About Plague?

“No misfortune ever befalls except by permission of Allah. And whoever has faith in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things.” [Quran 64:11]

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“No misfortune ever befalls except by permission of Allah. And whoever has faith in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things.” [Quran 64:11]

Islam is a religion that is complete and perfect for all times and places. Once we understand this, we can also understand that Islam has a solution for all the problems that a Muslim can face as well.

“So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief” – (Quran 94:5).

Islam exhibits that death and life are in the hands of Allah. However, religion also says there is no disease that cannot be cured.

Narrated by Abu Hura: “The Prophet () said, ‘There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment’”.

Today, an outbreak of Covid-19 has shaken the whole world and even powerful nation-states seem unable to do anything. But we must remember that as Muslims, we shouldn’t be disappointed and instead continue to ask for mercy from Allah.

“Whoever puts his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him” – (Quran 65:3).

Many centuries ago, our Prophet urged his people to eliminate the element of contact to save lives during an epidemic. It shows how much Islam values the protection of life and health. Above all, a Muslim should believe in Allah and accept what is destined for him. On the other hand, he should also take rational and precautionary measures in any adversity just like the pandemic of coronavirus.

Anas ibn Malik reported: “A man said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?’ The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Tie her and trust in Allah’”.

In light of this Hadith, it is clear that we should trust in Allah but also take all the precautionary measures we can. Therefore, in the case of today’s coronavirus, we should first wear a mask, avoid close contact, and maintain social distance to avoid the virus. And then trust Allah, as all life and death belong to Him.

One aspect of coronavirus prevention that comes very naturally to Muslims is personal hygiene. Health organizations and experts promote personal hygiene to limit the spread of coronavirus, especially washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.

Muslims should take it as a test from Allah to check their faith and should trust Allah and have faith in Him.

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” – (Quran 2:155).

In the Quran, Allah has stressed upon “Taqwah” (God-fearing) and “Tawakal” (reliance upon God). This is because a human can’t control certain things. There are a plethora of things which are beyond the control of humans at this time so what should one do? In regards to these fears, we should instead remind ourselves that Islam should strengthen one’s beliefs regarding death, calamity, happiness, respect, honor, and disrespect – as all of them come from Allah Almighty.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is reported to have said: “When Allah (SWT) desires good for someone, He tries him with hardships” – (Sahih al-Bukhari).

During the life of Hazrat Muhammad (SAW), a plague occurred during which he asked Muslims not to travel and further spread the disease. The Prophet also strictly observed what he advised his companions about the epidemic as he had done in other religious issues as well

The Prophet gave utmost importance to his own health and public health. When he was in Medina and was about to make an agreement with one of the delegations, he refused to shake hands with one of the people [from the delegation], who had a contagious disease, sending him back [to where he came from].

Sa’d reported: “The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said,If you hear of a plague in a land, then do not go into it. If it happens in land where you are, then do not go out of it’”.

So during these hard times, we should strictly follow the guidelines provided by health professionals to keep not only ourselves but also our loved ones and other people safe.

Many of the health guidelines given by the Ministry of Health are in fact normal practices for Muslims, some of which are as follows:

  1. Washing hands: This is a part of ablution, a Muslim’s daily ritual of purity.
  2. General cleanliness: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Cleanliness is part of faith”. Keeping our surroundings tidy, cleaning up after ourselves, and wiping surfaces down are all aspects of cleanliness that must be adhered to in these situations.
  3. Covering your mouth when sneezing: The Prophet would cover his mouth when he sneezed. This basic act can play a big part in stopping the spread of viruses. “Whenever the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) sneezed, he would cover his mouth with his hand or a piece of cloth.”
  4. Quarantine: In times of viruses that can spread, the Prophet gave instructions on what to do if there is an outbreak. This has set the precedence that we must always follow guidelines when it comes to helping stop the spread of deadly viruses.  

So in light of Islam, a Muslim should have faith in Allah (SAW) and also follow all the guidelines and precautionary measures. May Allah help us in getting out of this situation without damaging our Imaan and guide us to the right path. 

“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient…Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear” – (Quran 2:153 and 2:286).



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