By Darul Iftaa Mahmudiyyah (daruliftaa.net)
The Islamic perspective of Corona Virus and useful guidelines
To date, China’s National Health Commission’s has recorded 79,257 cases in the mainland, and 2,835 deaths. Globally, 6,445 cases have now been confirmed outside of China, bringing the total number to 85,702. The virus has spread to 61 countries and territories. The virus is spreading even more. The virus is now in USA.
There is much speculation as to what has caused the virus. Most researchers believe that the virus may have been passed from bats to another animal either snakes or pangolins and then transmitted to humans. This transmission likely occurred in the open food markets in Wuhan, China.
The coronavirus spreads through respiratory vapor. It could spread through a person sneezing or coughing around you.
It is our belief that every virus, epidemic and sickness is decreed only by Allah. An epidemic does not spread by itself. This is understood from the following Hadith:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: لاَ عَدْوَى وَلاَ طِيَرَةَ …….. (صحيح البخاري: ٥٧٥٧)
It is narrated from Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi ﷺ said, “there is no transitive disease and no evil omen ………” (Sahih Al- Bukhari: 5757)
أَنَّ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: لاَ عَدْوَى فَقَامَ أَعْرَابِيٌّ فَقَالَ: أَرَأَيْتَ الإِبِلَ، تَكُونُ فِي الرِّمَالِ أَمْثَالَ الظِّبَاءِ، فَيَأْتِيهَا البَعِيرُ الأَجْرَبُ فَتَجْرَبُ؟ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: فَمَنْ أَعْدَى الأَوَّلَ (صحيح البخاري: ٥٧٧٥)
Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Nabi ﷺ said, “there is no transitive disease”. A Bedouin got up and said, “Don’t you see how camels on the sand look like deer but when a camel with scabies mixes with them, they all get infected with scabies?” On that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Then who conveyed the disease to the first camel?” (Sahih Al- Bukhari: 5775)
It is clear from the above Ahadith that an epidemic/virus does not independently spread. It is decreed by Allah and spreads by the will of Allah.
We live in a world of apparent cause and effect. Allah has created an apparent cause for the epidemic/virus to spread.
During the rule of Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu), a sever plague broke out in Syria (Sham) which claimed the lives of thousands of people. If a Muslim passes away in a plague/epidemic, he will be considered a Shaheed (martyr).
Hereunder are some Islamic guidelines on what we should do in our circumstance of the Corona Virus.
1. Correct our belief/ Aqidah:
It is our belief that every condition is decreed by Allah. Allah Ta’ala says:
قُل لَّن يُصِيبَنَآ إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَنَا هُوَ مَوْلَىٰنَا وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ (التوبة: ٥١)
Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Maula (Lord, Helper and Protector). And in Allah let the believers put their trust. (Surah Taubah: 51)
مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَمَن يُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ (التغابن: ١١)
No calamity befalls (one), but with the leave/permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah, He guides his heart. And Allah is All-Knowing about all things. (Al- Taghabun: 11)
This is a test of our Iman. We should submit to the will of Allah. Allah Ta’ala states:
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ……. (البقرة: ١٥٥)
And We will surely test you with some fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits (investments etc.) … (Al- Baqarah: 155)
One should not travel to countries where there is a high risk of being infected by the virus nor should people who are infected by the virus flee from places that are infected by the virus.
This is understood from the following Ahadith:
يُحَدِّثُ سَعْدًا، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ بِالطَّاعُونِ بِأَرْضٍ فَلاَ تَدْخُلُوهَا، وَإِذَا وَقَعَ بِأَرْضٍ وَأَنْتُمْ بِهَا فَلاَ تَخْرُجُوا مِنْهَ (صحيح البخاري: ٥٧٢٨)
Sa’ad (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates from Nabi ﷺ, “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave from it.” (Sahih Al- Bukhari: 5728)
If possible, as a matter of precaution, it is advisable to abandon all travel plans.
3. Taharah and Cleanliness:
Shariah has emphasised on cleanliness and purity. Nabi ﷺ says:
عَنْ أَبِي مَالِكٍ الْأَشْعَرِيِّ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: الطُّهُورُ شَطْرُ الْإِيمَانِ (صحيح مسلم: ٢٢٣)
Abu Malik Al- Ash’ari (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Nabi ﷺ said: “Cleanliness is half of faith” (Sahih Muslim: 223)
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ, أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلى الله عَليه وسَلم كَانَ إِذَا عَطَسَ غَطَّى وَجْهَهُ بِيَدِهِ, أَوْ بِثَوْبِهِ …….. (سنن الترمذي: ٢٧٤٥)
It has been narrated from Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu) that: Whenever Nabi ﷺ would sneeze, he would cover his mouth with his hand or a piece of cloth …… (Sunan Al-Tirmidhi: 2745)
4. Disinfectants from Shariah
Coronavirus has been classified as an airborne disease. One possible way of preventing the virus from spreading is to disinfect the air with Loban and similar disinfectants.
This is understood from the following Hadith of Nabi ﷺ:
قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: تَبَخَّرُوا فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ بِاللُّبَانِ، وَالْمُرِّ، وَالصَّعْتَرِ (المطالب العالية، ٢٤٤٨)
Rasulullah ﷺ states, ‘Fumigate your houses with Loban, Murr (type of grass) and Sa’tar (pleasant smelling plant)’ (Al- Matalibul Aliyah, 2448)
جاء رجل إلى علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه فشكى إليه النسيان فقال: عليك باللبان فإنه يشجع القلب ويذهب بالنسيان (الطب النبوي، ٦٤٧)
A man came to Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu), he complained of having a weak memory. Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu) replied: Make use of Loban, for verily it strengthens the heart and enhances the memory. (At- Tibun Nabawi, 647)
قَالَ يَحْيَى بْنُ خَالِدٍ: شَيْئَانِ يُورِثَانِ الْعَقْلَ: التِّينُ الْيَابِسُ إِذَا أُكِلَ، وَدُخَانُ اللِّبَانِ إِذَا بُخِّرَ بِهِ (المجالسة: ٢٣٤٨)
Yahya bin Khalid states, two items that strengthen the brain, consuming a dry fig and the fumes of burnt Loban. (Al- Mujalash: 2348)
Loban is the resin of a tree, Styrax Benzoin. It is extracted by making an incision on the stem of the tree; the secreted liquid is collected dried and sold for usage. It is the source of Benzoin acid, when burnt, its fumes are used as a deodorant and as an antiseptic in sick rooms and hospitals. The fumigation of Loban serves as a good insect repellent, antiseptic and fights epidemics.
5. Turn to Allah Ta’ala with Dua and seeking forgiveness (Istighfar) and offer Sadaqah:
When we experience any calamity, we should address it from a practical dimension as well as from a spiritual dimension. While the world Health Organizations are researching the cause of the Coronavirus and its cure, the Ummat should also engage in Dua and seek forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala. This virus could attack anyone at any time. Making Istighfar invokes the mercy of Allah and changes negative conditions into positive conditions.
This is stated in the following verses of the Quran:
اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا. يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِدْرَارًا. وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ أَنْهَارًا (نوح: ١٠ – ١٢) ….
…. Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. ‘He will send rain to you in abundance. And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. (Surah Nuh: 10 – 12)
We advise the following Dua be recited as much as possible:
اللهم إني أعوذ بك من البرص والجنون والجذام ومن سيئ الأسقام (ابو داؤد: ١٥٥٤)
“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from leprosy, insanity, elephantiasis (type of skin disease), and evil diseases.” (Abu Dawood: 1554)
Also, we should try to offer Sadaqah. Rasulullah ﷺ says:
عَنْ أَنَسٍ، قَالَ: بَاكِرُوا بِالصَّدَقَةِ؛ فَإِنَّ الْبَلَاءَ لَا يَتَخَطَّى الصَّدَقَةَ (سنن الكبرى: ٧٨٣١)
Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu) said: Hasten in giving Sadaqah, for verily calamity will not pass Sadaqah (Sunan Al- Kubra: 7831)
6. Don’t discriminate against people who are infected:
Whilst we take precaution in safeguarding ourselves from the virus, we should not stigmatize those affected with the virus. Be careful with our conduct and behavior. We should feel sorry for those that are affected and make Dua for them. Don’t conduct ourselves in a way that makes the Chinese people or anyone affected uncomfortable. Use the opportunity to display the beautiful ethics of Islam as a form of Dawah.
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا، قَالَ: لَمْ يَكُنِ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَاحِشًا وَلاَ مُتَفَحِّشًا، وَكَانَ يَقُولُ: إِنَّ مِنْ خِيَارِكُمْ أَحْسَنَكُمْ أَخْلاَقًا (صحيح البخاري: ٣٥٥٩)
Abdullah bin ‘Amr (Radiyallahu Anhu) said: Nabi ﷺ was never obscene or coarse. The Prophet would say, “Verily, the best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.” (Sahih Al- Bukhari: 3559)
عن عائشة، قالت: سمعتُ رسولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: إنَّ المُؤْمِنَ ليُدرِكُ بِحُسنِ خُلُقِهِ درجةَ الصائِم القائِم (سنن ابي داود: ٤٧٩٨)
Aishah (Radiyallahu Anha) narrates that Nabi ﷺ said: “Verily, the believer may reach by his good character the rank of one who regularly fasts and stands for prayer at night.” (Sunan Abi Dawood: 4798)
It is our heartfelt Dua that Allah Ta’ala have mercy upon us and remove this Coronavirus calamity from us. Aameen.
It is now the time to turn towards Allah with Dua and Zikr. Allah alone has power over everything.
Allah Ta’ala says:
وَلِلّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاللّهُ عَلَىَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ (المائدة: ١٧)
And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them. He creates what He wills, and Allah has power over all things. (Al- Ma’idah: 17)
Indeed, Allah is in charge. Allah is in control of everything.
Abdullah Syed Sajid
Houston, TX, USA
and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.