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Lesson The Way a Muslim Deals with Epidemics

A Muslim deals with the various aspects of life in different ways. Epidemics and adversities are such instances. The Muslim differed from others due to his faith, and in this lesson, it will become clear how a Muslim deals with epidemics.

Learn the best way a Muslim should deal with epidemics.

Iman (firm belief) in Predestination

We believe in the decree, the good and the bad. It is one of the pillars of faith. Therefore, whatever pandemics, diseases, calamities, or afflictions befall the slaves (of Allah), do so by His decree and pre-destiny. We are pleased with His decree and do not become engaged, complain, or become panic-stricken. Allah says: (No calamity befalls ˹anyone˺ except by Allah’s Will. And whoever has faith in Allah, He will ˹rightly˺ guide their hearts ˹through adversity˺. And Allah has ˹perfect˺ knowledge of all things.)(At-Taghabun:11)

Diseases are not Self-Contagious

The believer affirms that diseases themselves do not have the power to spread. Instead, it is with Allah's power; with that said, we have been ordered to use the physical means available to us to secure our health by avoiding things that can cause diseases and places where epidemics are present. Taking precautions and not mixing with infected people. Prophet ﷺ said: «There is no infection, no evil omen, no nightbird, and no serpent in a hungry belly*; but flee from one who has tubercular leprosy as you would from a lion.» (Al-Bukhari, 5707)

Are Diseases and Epidemics a Perpetual Punishment?

Epidemic diseases are an accelerated punishment for disbelievers and hypocrites. At the same time, it is a mercy for the believers to raise their levels and expiate their sins. The Prophet ﷺ told 'Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) when she asked him about the plague: «It is a punishment Allah sends upon whomsoever He wills, but Allah has made it a blessing to the believers. When plague comes, anyone who stays patiently in his town looking for his reward from Allah, knowing that only what Allah has decreed for him can happen to him, will have a reward like that of a martyr» (Al-Bukhari, 3474)

Responding to Advice from Official Bodies

In such circumstances, Muslims must respond to the advice of the official bodies, assume responsibility by giving public interests precedence over individual interests, and cooperate to ensure stability and normalization of life. Allah says: (Cooperate with one another in goodness and righteousness, and do not cooperate in sin and transgression) (Al-Maidah: 2)

What is Forbidden During Times of Epidemics

Spreading Rumors

Undoubtedly, spreading rumors is considered lying, which is forbidden, as it causes panic among people. It is important to ensure that no undocumented information is transmitted. In mentioning the qualities of hypocrites, Allah says: (And when they hear news of security or fear, they publicize it. Had they referred it to the Messenger or their authorities, those with sound judgment among them would have validated it.)(An-Nisa:83)

Monopolizing Basic Commodities

Islam has forbidden the practice of monopolizing and cheating. Raising prices and manipulating basic necessities that people need, especially in times of crisis. The Prophet ﷺ said: «Whoever monopolizes something that he intends to raise the price for the Muslims later, then he is a sinner.» (Al-Musnad, 8617).

3. Intentional Transmission of an Infection

Intentionally transmitting a contagious disease from an affected person to a healthy person in any way is forbidden, and considered a major sin. In this way, a worldly punishment must be handed out in accordance with the gravity of the action and its impact on the individual and society as a whole.

The penalty of the One Who Intentionally Tranamits a Contagious Disease

If the intent is to spread the disease in society, then this action is considered a type of open enmity and corruption on earth, and capital punishment must be established on that person. As mentioned in the verse: (Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and spread mischief in the land is death, crucifixion, cutting off their hands and feet on opposite sides, or exile from the land. This ˹penalty˺ is a disgrace for them in this world, and they will suffer a tremendous punishment in the Hereafter.) (Al-Maidah:33)
If the intent is to transmit the disease to a particular person out of enmity towards him, and that person falls ill and dies, then the penalty is execution.
If the intent is to transmit the disease to a particular person out of enmity towards him, and that person falls ill and does not die, then the penalty is left to the discretion of a judge to set based on the severity of the situation.

Cursing Disease

The Prophet ﷺ forbade cursing fever. In a narration reported by Jabir Bin Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him and his father), he said that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to Umm As-Sa'ib: «Do not revile fever, for it removes the sins of the sons of Adam just as the bellows remove the dross from iron.» (Muslim, 2575)

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