The Coronavirus continues to ravage the world. As we fully enter the second year and move into the third year, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a challenge. The nationwide hysteria of personal freedom superseding community responsibility has left many unsure of how to proceed to protect themselves and their family from this deadly pandemic.
The Muslim community has protocols in place to help us during times of travail. By the end of October 2021, there were 248 million people worldwide infected with the coronavirus and over five million people who had died from the disease. For the discerning individual, these statistics reveal that Covid-19 is a public health crisis.
As Muslims, we rely on the guidance from the Quran and the life example and words of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, to help us respond to turbulent challenges.In Quran (2:128), Allah, The Most High, enlists the human being to use our intellect to recognize and respond to the signs He gives us.
O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you… (4:59)
Obey those in authority over you
- Covid-19 components have been researched and studied by scientists from organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Intellectually, we know that the findings and recommendations given by health and infectious disease experts are more reliable than that of friends, family, neighbors, television newscasters, radio hosts, Facebook posts and politicians. If we want to stay safe, then we need to use the intellect that Allah has given us. Health officials are charged with recommending actions for the good of the public health and safety. We should understand and respect the information and instructions provided.
That includes following the basic guidelines that have been in place and which have been proven to be successful:
- Avoid crowds, poorly ventilated spaces, and keep a safe physical distance from people outside your household.
- Wear a well-fitted face mask in indoor public places.
- Restrict travel to high Covid-19 areas.
- Wash hands often.
- Clean and disinfect areas used publicly.
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
- Isolate yourself if you think you may have been exposed.
- Get vaccinated to protect yourself and others or get tested often.
The Prophet said: “When you hear about a plague in any land, then do not enter it And if plague outbreaks in your land, then do not leave your land.”
(Sahih Bukhari Hadith No. 5728)
Don’t be part of the problem
- In 2020, many Imams and learned scholars helped the Muslim community understand that a pandemic falls under the category of a plague, which is a contagious and infectious disease. From the sayings of our dear beloved Prophet the Muslim realizes that it is our religious duty to keep ourselves and others safe. Where the Hadith tells us not to go near the virus, this implies self-isolation, hygiene and protective clothing. To not leave a land with plague implies restricted movement and also a sense of civic and community responsibility not to spread the virus by putting others at risk. Our neighbors and fellow citizens have rights over us. We can find many references in Hadith and Quran about neigbours rights that may help in situations like plague ...
“Leave that which makes you doubt for what that which does not make you doubt”.
(Reported by at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasaa’i. At-Tirmidhi said: “It is a Hasan Sahih hadith”)
- Part of staying safe is to remember to think clearly and be discerning when information is brought to us. Conspiracy theories are in fact theories – a conjecture that has not been proven and should be avoided. Muslim scientists and scholars have declared that the Pfizer vaccine is Halal because it does not contain any pork derivatives or fetal cells.
Fear about the speed of vaccine development may be allayed with some research. Although there are many different kinds of Coronaviruses, the SARS-CoV-2 caused a pandemic of respiratory illness, titled COVID-19 because it was identified in the year 2019. Scientists have been mapping and studying coronaviruses since the 1960s so the development of a vaccine wasn’t a new concept, but rather a continuation and building on the knowledge already gained.
“Eat of the good things which We have provided for you”
- A healthy diet is the first line of defense in building protections from Covid-19. The Quran mentions many fruits and vegetables to eat. Their consumption is quite beneficial, the olive in Chapter 24 boosts the immune system, strengthens heart muscles and even prevents diabetes. Severe Covid disease causes inflammation and is dangerous to those with compromised immune systems, heart disease, and or diabetes.
Besides eating correctly, medical authorities also advise getting plenty of exercise – walking, bike riding or even going to the gym. For Muslims, the prostrations we make in our daily five prayers keep our bodies limber. Also, getting restful, recuperative sleep which will allow the body to regenerate and heal. Anyone who takes medicines, should keep their medicinal schedule up to date and timely to help prevent illness.
The Prophet said, "There is no disease that Allah has created, except that he also has created its treatment.”
- Surely nothing happens that is not in the infinite Plan of Allah, the Most High. Pandemic disease is surely a test of our patience, perseverance, and reliance on Allah. Regardless of what scientists may believe now, the fact is that there is a cure for whatever ails the human being and this will be revealed to us in time. As Muslims, we know that Allah, is Ar-Razzaq, the Provider of sustenance and Al Muhaymin, the Protector, is the one Who ensures well-being and protection over His creation.