Plague is a highly contagious infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Plagues are of several types and depending upon the lung infection, or sanitary conditions, plague can be spread in the air, by direct contact, or by contaminated under cooked food. The Bubonic Plague or the Black Death from 1346 to 1353 was responsible for an estimated 75 to 200 million deaths in Eurasia and Europe.
Types of Plague and Causes
Plagues and epidemics are mainly vector borne diseases and are mainly of three types of plague:-
- Septicemia Plague which is caused when the bacteria enter the bloodstream directly and multiply there.
- The most common form of plague is Bubonic Plague or the Black Death. It’s usually transmitted when an infected rodent or flea bites.
- Pneumonic Plague-the most lethal form which is caused when the bacteria spread to the lungs.
Symptoms of Plague
Symptoms usually take 1 to 3 days to develop after you are exposed to airborne droplets of plague bacteria. Prophet S.A.W. himself described the symptoms of Plague
“A gland that is similar to the camel’s gland and which appears in the tender parts of the abdomen and under the arms”. [Narrated in Sahihain by Hazrat Ayesha R.A.]
Following are other major symptoms
- Hotness of breath
- Chest pain and cough
- Bloody or watery sputum (In case of Pneumonia)
- Fever, headache, and weakness.
Prophetic Treatment of The Plague
Plague has a dark history of destroying civilizations. The most horrific plague outbreak, “Black Death” is responsible for reducing the Europe’s population by one third in 14th century. Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. graded plague as a severe damnation, descended upon societies when their disobedience reaches beyond the levels of forgiveness.
Hazrat Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas R.A. asked Hazrat Usamah bin Zayd R.A. about what he heard Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. say concerning the plague. Hazrat Usamah said that the Messenger of Allah said:
“The plague is a punishment that was sent down on some of the Children of Israel and on those who were before your time. So if you hear that it has struck a land, do not enter that land, and if it breaks out in a land that you are residing in, do not go out of that area escaping from it”. [Narrated in Sahihain]
Plague is curable if diagnosed in early stages. It is a slow poison, at first; it only seems to be a normal temporary ailment but gets worse with time and eventually becomes fatal. There is no certain plague treatment even in modern medicine as our Holy Beloved Prophet S.A.W. classified it as a curse, a damnation sent by Allah S.T. because of our impurities. However, our beloved Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. do provided us with some precautions to minimize the casualties.
Don’t Enter a Plague Infected Land
Prophet S.A.W. instructed his Ummah to quit all travel associated activities with the plague affected area. The Plague is a vector borne disease and is easily transmitted from victim to a healthy person.
The evil “The Black Death” out broke in central Asia and traveled all the way down to Western Europe by merchant vessels and tradesmen via silk route. This horrific expansion proves the wisdom in Prophets Saying.
Don’t Abandon Plague Infected Land
There is a great wisdom behind commanding the people to remain in the plague-infested area and refraining from migrating, which is as under:
- So that the people of the migrated land do not fall sick upon breathing polluted and contaminated air.
- Avoiding close association with those afflicted with the plague, so as the inhabitants of the migrated land don’t become a victim.
- A fact that is also acknowledged by Modern Doctors is when the plague strikes a land, the best thing one can do is to remain idle in that area, so that the harmful substances in his body are not aroused or irritated.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. stressed to intensify prayers and plea for forgiveness. Encouraging the heart to depend and rely on Allah while having complete faith and patience and being content with what Allah has decided with our fate. Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said, “The plague is martyrdom for every Muslim”. [narrated in Sahihain]
Prophet S.A.W. on one occasion described the omen of Allah’s consent, “When the Najm (literally: star) appears, every epidemic is removed from every land”. [Reported in Hadiths]
The Plague is a horrific nightmare and the best cure is regression towards Allah S.T. and plea for salvation.