Teachings of Holy Prophet in Fighting Pandemics Such as Corona Virus
Being a complete religion, Islam comprehensively takes into account every aspect of our life. From physical and psychological, to emotional and spiritual, every part of our body to its last atom is has been guided by the Quran and the blessed teachings of Holy Prophet (S.A.W).
Islam lays great emphasis on the virtues of physical and spiritual cleanliness. In the texts of the Quran, Allah commands his followers to practice cleanliness and maintain a state of purity. This is a reason why Muslims around the world share a very high standard of personal hygiene.
With the recent turn of events, the Corona Virus outbreak has proved more challenging than it was ever anticipated. The pandemic is now global and has left governments helplessly into a panic. With so much on our shoulders and the socio-economic balance deteriorating, it is imperative to learn from the example of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) in order to fight this disease and prevent it from further spread.
What Should We Seek from the Teaching of Holy Prophet (S.A.W)
The life of the Holy Prophet is full of accounts that teaches people to keep the body and the surrounding clean and well-groomed.
As we are well aware that this pandemic is growing due to poor self-hygiene and negligence in social distancing. Therefore, maintaining a healthy state and practicing proper quarantine can effectively help in the fight to contain it until a vaccine is found.
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) referred to physical cleanliness as one of the central components of faith.
Emphasizing Abu Malik al-Ashari reported that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said,
“Purity is half of faith, and the praise of Allah fills the scale – Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 223
on the importance of personal hygiene, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) instructed his followers to keep the body in a clean state by washing it at least once a week.
Abu Hurairah narrates that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) said,
“It is the duty of every Muslim to take a bath (at least) once every seven days, and to wash his head and body” – Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim
Early records from the Islamic and pre-Islamic era indicate that plagues and outbreaks of infectious diseases happened off and on in the Arabic peninsula. While there were no standard measures to contain them, primitive methods of quarantine were sometimes practiced which often resulted in indiscriminate deaths due to their harsh nature.
With the advent of Islam, proper guidelines were introduced by the Holy Prophet to contain pandemics such as the plague before they can spread and infect the surrounding villages. In a narration, 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 inland where you are, then do not go out of it.” – Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5396, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2218
These were the precautions and guidelines for hygiene the holy prophet taught and practiced to stop the spread of contagions when a pandemic broke loose.
Quarantine of the Sick
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) understood the caution and care that was required to treat someone carrying a contagious infection. In one of his sayings reported by Abu Huraira, He instructed that a contagious person should not be allowed contact with a healthy person.
“The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “There is no superstitious infection, but do not mix the sick with the healthy.”-Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2221
Containment to Prevent Spread
These guidelines also included measures for people within the affected village to prevent the illness from passing onto a healthy person.
At one occasion, Jabir ibn Abdullah reported,
“The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “Cover the vessels and close the water skins, for there will be night out of the year in which an epidemic descends. It will not pass over an uncovered vessel or an untied water skin but that some of this contagion will fall into it.” – Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2014
As we are all enduring this difficult time, it is important to remain steadfast and practice proper caution. Islam essentially promotes a healthy and strong society that is capable of taking care of its needs even in the harshest of times. With the blessed guidance of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W), we can all take a lesson and play our part as responsible for fighting this pandemic.