Islamic Stance on COVID-19 – Coronavirus and the Muslim – Simple Fiqh
Posted on March 24, 2020 by Abu Naser
The blessings and Rulings of The Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Virus
Oh servants of Allah, a prudent man or woman, surely realizes that all things have been determined and that Allah, exalted is He, has decided them all, be they big or be they small. Allah tells us:
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the sick. Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return.” Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.” (Al-Baqarah 2:157)
Allah says which translates as:
“And We divided them throughout the earth into nations. Of them some were righteous, and of them some were otherwise. And We tested them with good [times] and bad that perhaps they would return [to obedience].” (Al-A’raf: 168)
“Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned.” (Al-Anbiya: 35).
Ibn Abbaas radiAllahu anhu said: You are tested with deficiency and prosperity, sickness and health, poverty and wealth, what is lawful and unlawful, obedience and disobedience, guidance and going astray.
Destiny is pre-determined. There are no way people can bring about what is not predestined. If a Muslim is to face hardship, he or she should have patience and be content to be fully rewarded for doing so. When Sa’id bin Jubair was brought to Al-Hajjaj in order to be killed, a man cried. “Sa’id”. Sa’id Asked him: Why do you cry? The man answered: Because of what has befallen you. Sa’id said: “do not cry then, for this is predestined”.
Then he recited Allah’s saying:
“No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being – indeed that, for Allah , is easy” (Al-Hadeed: 22).
If what befalls man pleases him, it is a definite blessing. If it displeases him, it is also a blessing, as it atones for his sins and he is rewarded for it. Moreover, it comprises wisdom and a mercy that only Allah knows of; as Allah says:
“Allah knows but you do not know” (Al-Baqarah: 216).
The Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam told us: “strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is only in the case of a believer, for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.” (Muslim).
As for the fitna, of not being able to attend the Masjid for Prayer or Jumuah: Islam and Muslims have always been tested by their Lord Allah, The Hajj, the pillar of Islam may be cancelled, and it has been cancelled previously, matter of fact in perhaps the most infamous cancellation of the Hajj, which took place in the 10th century AD, which corresponded to the third century of the Islamic calendar, after an obscure sect took over the holy site in Mecca.
The Qarmatians were a heterodox sect based in eastern Arabia, who established their own state under Abu Taher al-Janabi. Their belief system was based on Ismaili Shia Islam mixed with gnostic elements and their society was egalitarian, with American author Kenneth Rexroth calling them the “only communistic society to control a large territory” before the 20th century.
However even though they claimed Islam for themselves, they considered the Hajj to be a pagan ritual and in 930 AD Abu Taher carried out a vicious attack on Mecca during the Hajj season. According to historic accounts, the Qarmatians killed 30,000 pilgrims while mockingly chanting verses of the Qur'an at them and dumped their bodies in the sacred Zamzam well. They then stole the Black Stone from the Kaaba. For ten years after this the Hajj was cancelled.
This however did not stop Muslims from Worshiping Allah, the Muslim is ordered to observe the prayer at night and at day, as much as one is able to. If the Haram is closed due to a catastrophic event, the Muslims are not burdened with having to do Hajj at this time. The Maqasid (Legal Maxim) says: Hardship Begets Facilitation.
The same rule applies to our current state, not being able to go to the Masjid due to lock downs, again, Hardship Begets Facilitation. The home, the backyard, the garage, the front yard, the balcony, the bedroom, all of them become the Masjid for Muslims. Gather those you have been charged with and pray as a family unit. Observe the salah at home until the Masajid become safe again. Islam is a Deen (Way of Life) of mercy.
As for Quarantining one self and your family: Islam came with the Quarantine 1500 Years Ago almost, Our Beloved Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam told us: Sa’d reported: The Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said: “If you hear of a plague in a land, then do not go into it. If it happens in land where you are, then do not go out of it.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
This hadith above becomes a Maqasid Al-Shariyyah, where Muslims are tasked with neither going to places where a pandemic or an epidemic is happening, but also it tasks us not to spread the virus, knowingly or not. The emphasis being on preserving one self and the people around you, we may already be sick but we should not be wanting to make others sick, even if it be done accidently, hence the isolation. The blessings of Islam are plain to see, if only our eyes were more open.
In a situation like the one we are in now, the fitna of the COVID-19 Virus, Muslims are tasked to protect the health, the blood and the wealth of their Muslim Brothers. The Masajid and Musallas’ close, but we go on worshipping Allah as we always have, as we always will. Till death overtakes us. In sickness and in health in peace and in war, the worship of Allah never stops. The Earth is a Masjid for us, and we are not burdened by more than we can bare.
“Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah , Lord of the worlds.” (Al-Anam 162)
As for Jumuah prayer: In times of hardship and illness, the Muslim takes the ruling of the sick person or the traveller, Jumu’ah prayer does not become a burden on us, in its’ stead we perform the Dhuhr prayer and use the time wisely, sharpening our knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Humanity unanimously agrees that health is a blessing, which we enjoy, and which only the sick can appreciate, Good health is a blessing that so many people bask in. Nonetheless, disease and sickness are widespread everywhere. Never was there a time or a place that was free from disease No people are immune against disease or misfortune and life is never free from it. Abu Sa’id reported The Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Visit the sick. Follow funeral processions. Remind yourselves of the Next World.”
Though sickness and disease constitute a sad burden that man must bear and offers a bitter battle that he must fight. Allah, glorified is He, has injected numerous benefits and wisdoms in these apparently negative situations, which some people are aware of, while others are not. What we must know is:
“Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.” (At-talaq 65:7).
Ibn Al-Qayim, states: “The heart and the soul benefits from disease and pain. Good health of hearts depends on the pain & trouble the individual has suffered.”
Infliction of disease can be a blessing and an act of mercy from Allah in order to atone for one’s sins and to raise one in rank. A man said to the Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam: “Why do we have to be stricken with disease? The Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, “It is atonement for your sins,” Ubai bin Ka`b then asked: “Even if it is not serious?”. The Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, “even if it is a thorn.” (Musnad Ahmad). It also could be punishment, which I will touch on later.
The Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, visited a man suffering from fever, He said, I have good news for you, Allah, exalted be He says: This is my fire which I inflict on the believer in this life to replace his share of torture in Hellfire in the Hereafter (Ahmad and Ibn Majah).
That way, we come to realize the positive results of disease. We understand that sickness is bitter, yet its consequences are immeasurably beneficial. Why then should one insult a disease that befalls him and hurl curses on it, wishing it never struck him?
The Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam , visited Umm Sa`ib and said: “Umm Sa`ib. why is it that you are shivering? She said: “It is fever and may it not be blessed by Allah”, whereupon he said: “Don’t curse fever for it expiates the sin of the posterity of Adam just as furnace removes the alloy of iron” (Sahih Muslim).
A man of the righteous predecessors once had a disease in his foot, however, he never groaned with pain. Instead, he smiled. He was asked: “How is it you do not groan with pain when you have been inflicted with this ailment?” He answered: “Its sweet reward makes me forget its bitter pain.”
Nonetheless, this does not mean that sickness should be sought: On the contrary, the steadfast believer should not wish for misfortunes, nor should he pray to be inflicted with ailments. This again reiterates the order to save ones life and the lives of others, which is one of the main reasons we close down Masajid and stop mass gatherings, this is why we isolate and go in lock down, this is an order by the Almighty, Allah says:
“…And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.” (An-Nisa 29)
The Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, said: “Allahummaghfirli, wahdini, warzuqni wa ‘Aafini.” – “O Allah, forgive me, guide me, grant me provision and good health.” Pray for forgiveness and health, for, next to Faith, none has been granted a better blessing than good health (An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah). Therefore, The Salaf said: “Praising Allah for good health is better than having patience when stricken with sickness.”
Therefore, we must remember that sickness is not desired for its own sake, but praising Allah for it means one is to be handsomely rewarded for it. It therefore appears that both the Muslims and the disbeliever; people of benevolence and people of depravity are equally stricken with sickness. Only the end result is different. Only a perfect imbecile would not be able to tell the difference.
Ibn Mas’ud radiAllahu anhu, says: ‘You see that the disbeliever has a perfect health, yet a sick heart. On the other hand, you also see that a believer has a whole heart, yet a sick body. I swear by Allah if your hearts are sick and your bodies are healthy, you would mean to Allah as little as dung beetles do’. (Tirmidhi)
Salman Al- Farsi radiAllahu anhu, went to visit a sick man and told him, ‘I have good news for you, The disease that befalls a believer is the atonement for his sins, while the disease that befalls the disbeliever is like an animal whose owners restrict it then lets it go. It neither knows why it was restricted not why it was let go’. (Al-Adab AL-Mufrad)
Islam urges Muslims to have patience when stricken with calamities and explain the wisdom and benefits to be found in sickness. However, this does not meant it glorifies pain and honors misfortunes. Islam only seeks to praise people in distress and those who were stricken with ailments for their steadfast faith and for their courage.
“Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him? And Allah is Ever All- Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing” (An-Nisa: 147).
Urwah bin Az-Zubair suffered from cancer in his foot, so it was amputated at the knee, during which he was silent and never groaned with pain. On the same night, one of his children fell from the roof and died. Urwah said: “Praise be to You, Allah. I had seven children. You took one and left six. I had four limbs. You took one and left three. It is true You have taken, but You did give me before. It is true You struck me with disease but You have cured me”. May Allah have mercy on `Urwah.
When sickness grows grave, and when nights of ailment linger, only patience can guard one against anxiety in moments of doubt. Only patience offers guidance that keeps one from losing faith in times of distress. Thereupon, a believer is no longer alarmed at the sight of a dark cloud looming in the horizon, even if it were followed by another and yet a third. Nonetheless, man by nature ignores the truth. He is astounded by the difficulties he encounters. Thereupon, he suffers anxiety, becomes inpatient, pines bitterly and sinks deep in a sea of torment, forgetting Allah’s words:
“Man is created of haste, I will show you My Ayat (torments, proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.). So ask Me not to hasten (them)” (Al-Anbiya: 37).
Ibn Abbas radiAllahu anhu narrates a hadith (agreed upon) from RasulAllah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam : “Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth, before you become old; and your health, before you fall sick; and your richness, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death.”
The first word in the Arabic, “Ightanam” comes from same root that signifies sheep ghanam. Sheep, in Arabic, means ghanam, and ightanam is from the same root that also signifies sheep. Ightanam is used to indicate any good that can be obtained without much effort. Hence Pain is often disguised atonement that Allah, out of His infinite wisdom, grants the staunch believers to free them from the grip of worldly pleasures with which they may be distracted. They would therefore be disenchanted with them. Hence, every cloud has a positive aspect and many a time does a misfortune turn out to be a blessing in disguise. O Allah, we pray for Your Forgiveness and we ask of You good health.
O Servants of Allah, there are several things that patients ought to know: To all the invalids and the sick, I break the good news that they shall be rewarded for the supererogatory (Sunnah) acts of worship which they regularly performed when in perfect health, but which they were unable to perform when incapacitated by illness. He ? said: “If a servant of Allah falls sick or goes on a journey, he (continues to be) rewarded for the good deeds that he used to do when he was healthy or at home” (Bukhari)
The remedy for Muslims’ diseases never lies in what Allah has forbidden. The Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam told us: “Allay has not sent down any disease but He has also sent down a cure for it.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari)
The following is a verse which indicates that the Qur’an is healing: Allah says:
“And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.” [al-Isra’ 82]
Ibn al-Qayyim said: Allah says: “And We send down of the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe”. The correct view is that the Arabic word “min” (translated here as “of”) serves to explain the nature of the Qur'an as a whole, not to refer to parts of it and not other parts.
And yes we take the advice of the experts, the scientists and the Drs’, we follow their advice on hygiene, we do tie the camel before we rely upon Allah. Matter of fact, the greatest hygiene amongst all of the people of the world is amongst the Muslims, nobody is commanded to clean and wash as much as a Muslims are. We as Muslimeen must do everything necessary to prepare and brace ourselves for the tidal wave called CORONAVIRUS, we understand that people we know will pass except as Allah wills from this plague. Saying all of that, our ultimate reliance is upon Allah, no medicine will cure us, no vaccine will work unless if Allah wills it to work.
Eventually: This disease will pass just as every other hardship passes, and the day of Judgment will come and that is what we must be prepared for.
Patients should know, that they must not neglect performing prayers when ill: They should perform the five daily prayers on time. If not, Allah gives them the permission to pray the noon and the afternoon prayers together, and the sunset and the evening prayers together. Similarly, If there are unable to do wudhu they are to perform Tayammum dry ablution, take clean sand or earth and wipe therewith their faces and hands. If not, then pray in the condition they are in, so as not to miss prayer, as Allah says:
“Fear Allah as much as you are able to..” (At-Taghabun 64:16)
And Allah says:
“…We burden not any person, but that which he can bear….” (Al-An‘am: 152).
As for the one that passes away while inflicted by Coronavirus: Aisha reported: She asked the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam , about plagues and he said: “It is a punishment that Allah sends upon whoever he wills, but Allah has made it a mercy for the believers. Any servant who resides in a land afflicted by plague, remaining patient and hoping for reward from Allah, knowing that nothing will befall him but what Allah has decreed, he will be given the reward of a martyr.” (Bukhari)
So by now you should realise, it is not the illness that we should fear, but the Creator of the Heavens and The Earth, It is HE that NEEDS TO BE FEARED.
As for the one that claims this is Punishment From Allah: As the hadith in Bukhari says it just very well may be that rasulAllah said sallallahu alaihi wa sallam : “It is a punishment that Allah sends upon whoever he wills, but Allah has made it a mercy for the believers…” As for the reasons for the punishment, there are hundreds of them. When the Glorious Qur'an, and the Sunnah is abandoned, because it is thought that they are insufficient, and when human opinions, analogy, discretion, and the words of scholars are adopted instead of Allah said, His Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam Said, people’s natures are corrupted, their hearts become dark, their understandings become confused, and their minds become distorted, and they go on thinking them to be allowed. And they say, what they not do!
Innovated matters replaced The Messengers sallallahu alaihi wa sallam traditions, inclination replaced wisdom, vain desires replaced reason, going astray replaced guidance, the wrong replaced the good, ignorance replaced knowledge, hypocrisy replaced devotion, the unlawful replaced the lawful, lying substituted truthfulness, flattery substituted advice, and injustice replaced justice, these evils reigned supreme, and their holders became privileged. Surely the bottom of the earth would be much more desirable than its surface, the peaks of mountains would be more preferable than the plains, and accompanying beasts would be better than accompanying people.
The earth trembles, the heavens have darkened, evil has appeared on land and on sea because of the injustice of the wicked evil doers. Blessings have disappeared, good deeds are less, life has become corrupted because of the wickedness of the wrongdoers. The morning light and the night’s darkness shed tears, because of the awful deeds that are committed. Angels and others from among them have complained to their Lord Allah, because of the misdeeds and the supremacy of atrocities.
By Allah! This CORONAVIRUS however severe it may be, however many lives it takes, is just a warning of approaching torment, and forthcoming afflictions, a small taste of the DAY OF JUDGEMENT, so you who is reading this, you have no resort except sincere repentance to The Creator of The Heavens and The Earth, Turn To Allah, as long as repentance is still available.
Buy success for yourself today, for the market still exists, and the price is affordable, and goods are low-priced, and do not wait until the market and the goods are inaccessible, in which Allah says
“That will be the Day of mutual loss and gain.” (At-Taghabun 9)
“when the Zalim (wrong-doer, oppressor, polytheist, etc.) will bite at his hands.” (Al-Furqan, 25:27)
Get yourself out of this limited world of diseases to the wide world of the Hereafter, which has what the eyes have never seen. Nothing is impossible there, and love is not lost. Do not wait until there is no escape in which Allah says:
“Except those who believe and do righteous deeds and remember Allah often and defend [the Muslims] after they were wronged. And those who have wronged are going to know to what [kind of] return they will be returned.” (Ash-Shu’ara 226-227)
As for you, who sold yourself for the sake of something that will cause you suffering and pain, and which will also lose its beauty, you sold the most precious item for the cheapest price, as if you neither knew the value of the goods nor the meanness of the price. Wait until you come to the Day of mutual loss and gain, when we all discover the injustice of this contract. “There is no god but Allah” is something that Allah is buying. Its price is Paradise, and the Messengers’ Sunnah, is its agent.
And their finals words should always be,
All praise is for Allah The Lord of All The Worlds.
Say these words while you still have breath and expect the Gardens beneath which rivers flow, accept Allah as your Only Creator Lord and Savior, Muhammad being his Last and Final Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam .
La ilaha illa l-Lah, Muhammadun Rasulu l-Lah