Islam & COVID-19March 18, 2020 2023-08-06 14:11
Islam & COVID-19
Islam & COVID-19
Islam being a complete way of life, does not leave us stranded at the time of crisis or a pandemic; instead, it shows us how to deal, act, react and pray. We have recently come out of an unprecedented time. The pandemic was something no one alive had experienced in their lifetime. It was the first time schools were shut down all over the nation and the first time we were requested by government officials to shelter in place. What lessons did we learn from this time period and the difficulties that accompanied it? God forbid, if we ever faced such a time again, what should we do based on experience as well as teachings from our religion? With the overflux of information that was disseminated in news and social media about Coronavirus (COVID-19), adults and children were overwhelmed, and emotions of stress and anxiety were at an all-time high. As we take a look back and reflect on that experience, we list below some Islamic guidance for how to handle such times from the perspective of the Quran and sunnah.
Narrated by Saud رضي الله عنه: “The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘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 5728)
What Should One Do?
While keeping yourself informed and taking precautions is an integral part of being responsible during a pandemic, none of us should have lost sight of the fact that nothing happens without the will of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. Jabir رضي الله عنه reported Allah’s Messenger ﷺ as saying: “There is a remedy for every malady, and when the remedy is applied to the disease, it is cured with the permission of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.” (Sahih Muslim 2204). Moreover, Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه reported that he heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ as saying: “Nigella seed is a remedy for every disease except death.” (Sahih Muslim 2215) Narrated by Aisha رضي الله عنها (the wife of the Prophetﷺ ): “Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, ‘No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5640)
As a Neighbor
One day, during the pandemic, a Muslim neighbor reflected the true spirit of Islam. This brother went door to door, putting a note on the doors, informing people of his phone number and address, and that he was willing to help the elderly or anyone in need of quarantining with picking up groceries, posting mail, or with any urgent help needed. Abdullah bin Amr رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The companion, who is the best to Allah is the one who is best to his companion. And the neighbor that is the best to Allah is the one that is best to his neighbor.” ( Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1944). Narrated by `Aisha رضي الله عنها: “The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Gabriel continued to recommend to me to treat neighbors kindly and politely so much so that I thought he would order me to make them my heirs’.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 6014)
Compassion and Charity:
As Muslims, we need to be aware of the needs of others. Of course, this is not just at times of crisis or during a pandemic, but obviously the obligation to do so is magnified during these times. Compassion and mercy are at the epicenter of Islam. Those who were well and not at a high risk of getting sick should have helped others in the community and their cities. And many many people did just that. As we saw supermarkets running out of necessary supplies and food items, we as Muslims could have helped and did help others (Muslims and non-Muslims alike). Muslims should keep in mind that charity is a way for protection against calamity, misfortune, and tragedy. It was narrated from Anas bin Malik رضي الله عنه that: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother’ [or he said, ‘for his neighbor’] what he loves for himself.'”(Sahih-Darussalam)
As a Parent:
It is vital to have open communication with children. Younger children do not need all the details, but we should educate them about cleanliness, washing hands, and taking precautions. Minimizing media exposure also helped them to not be overwhelmed. Teenagers need to be taught that even if they may not show any symptoms, they can still spread the virus to the elders. Children also need to be reminded that as Muslims we do not ridicule, blame or mock any race, ethnicity or nation at the time of this hardship as our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ forbade us to do that.
We need to remind our children of all the blessings that Allah has provided us, to tell them to be grateful to Him at all times and in all situations. Children need to be aware that despite closures of schools and other institutions and venues, we have online resources such as online Arabic courses, Quran courses for Kids, and Islamic Studies courses that help us stay home and study, as many children around the world do not have this privilege.
On Washing Hands:
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه that the Prophet ﷺ said: “When anyone of you wakes from sleep, let him not dip his hand in (the water he uses for) his wudu until he has washed it three times, for none of you knows where his hand spent the night.” Sahih (Darussalam)
May Allah protect us from any future pandemics and relieve those who suffered and the ones who are in any difficulty today. May Allah protect us, our families, our community, our cities, and our masjids.
It was narrated from Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه that: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to seek refuge (in Allah) from the evil of what has been decreed, from misery, from the mockery of (triumphant) enemies, and from severe calamity.” (Sahih Muslim 2707)
Narrated by Anas bin Malikرضي الله عنه: The Prophet ﷺ said: “Plague is the cause of martyrdom of every Muslim (who dies because of it).” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2830)
Now that we have been through and survived (InshAllah!) a pandemic, let us be prepared by giving charity, teaching our children the lessons we learned from the last time and continue to trust and rely on Allah through strong faith, supplication and preparedness.