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War Against Coronavirus: Islamic Perspective

People who got infected save the rest of their community from infection thereby bringing the transmission to a halt

Friday April 10, 2020 6:13 PM, Team ummid.com

Covid 19 Islamic Perspective

With the outbreak of Corona Virus, millions of people across the globe have been affected and thousands have succumbed to the infection. Its war like situation out there, many countries are treating the fight against the virus as war, a war against an unseen enemy- invisible to the naked eyes of man, a new unknown enemy, a small organism whose characteristics are yet not fully known.

You are advised to stay indoors and undertake safety precautions; many countries have enforced the law of total lock down lest you get hit by the bullet called the corona. The greatest military inventions possessed by the so called super powers of the world are of no use at this juncture, countries around the world, in unison, are scrambling to find a new weapon, a medicine that can save human lives. Countries with stockpiles of deadly arsenals find them in vain; they are scrambling for masks, gloves, PPE, beds, oxygen cylinders, ventilators, medicines, etc.

Engaged in the war front are the brave doctors, nurses, all medical and paramedical staff and people in public service, putting their own lives at risk, many have laid their lives in the course of helping those who have been injured in this war against the virus invisible to the bare eyes of man.

What does the religion teach us at times like this

On the Islamic perspective, what does the religion teach us at times like this. In olden days, whenever such infectious disease occurred and affected mankind in large scale it was commonly referred to as plague – simply put - a disease which has pervaded into the community and infected people in large scale. In those days mankind didn’t have the necessary equipment to identify and name the organism. So any infectious disease was simply called a PLAGUE.

On taking recourse to the teachings of the Prophet of Islam (Peace be upon him), one can find that the Prophet (PBUH) has stressed upon the concept of quarantine 1400 years ago. He advised his ummah (followers) not to travel from or to the place where infectious diseases have spread. One can understand from this hadith how the Prophet (PBUH) has sternly advised to take utmost precaution to safeguard oneself and the community from being infected. So following his words, one should take scrupulous measures and follow the modern day precautions advised and take utmost care to safeguard oneself and the community from infected.

'Do not despair or lose hope'

Despite all the precautions if we do get the disease, do not despair or lose hope, we see in yet another hadith (teachings) of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) where he states that those who are affected by the plague are accorded the distinguished position of Shaheed in the hereafter. The one who dies due to plague is treated as martyr and accorded the highest title – the title of shaheed (martyr) and a person who has been afflicted, endures and passes over the plague is also accorded the shaheed.

Now why did the respected PROPHET OF ISLAM (PBUH) say like this, why is shaheed conferred upon a person afflicted by plague? Since every good or bad happens with the approval of the Allah-God Almighty (sometimes for reasons beyond human comprehension), the PROPHET OF ISLAM (PBUH) could have simply said that whoever is afflicted of plague would enter Jannah (Paradise) in the hereafter (life after death as Muslims believe), but instead the additional degree of shaheed is conferred upon him.

Martyr (shaheed) is generally conferred upon a person who loses his/her life during a legitimate war, like a war to save people and homelands. Now, how does that equate with the person who has affected/died during the PLAGUE!

Modern science comes into play here, to understand this you have to understand the concept of ‘Herd immunity’.

What is Herd immunity?

In primitive days, people could not understand the disease, and there were no proper protocols in place, like what we know now, hand washing, masks, sanitizers, not touching the face, social distancing, etc., so majority of the people got the infection by transmission.

Coronavirus Islamic Perspective

As a result, even though many were inflicted by the disease and out of them a percentage died, another majority among the infected were able to overcome the disease and proceeded to live after enduring the effect of the disease. This is due to the immunity their bodies naturally developed after being infected by the new virus/bacteria. Once sufficient people became infected and gained immunity the virus finds it difficult to find a host and reaches its end in the natural way.

The phenomenon to be noted here is the people who got infected and gain immunity in the community are main reason for prevention of further spread of the disease within the community. That is to say, people who got infected save the rest of their community from infection thereby bringing the transmission to a halt. This phenomenon is now scientifically termed as ‘HERD IMMUNITY’ by modern day scientists.

Consequences without herd immunity

A wider knowledge of herd immunity can be had from the internet. Even today for Covid-19, many countries supported by medical fraternity are directly/indirectly adopting this strategy to achieve Herd Immunity so that people develop their own immunity until a vaccine is discovered.

It is also stated that large scale vaccination is done to promote ‘herd immunity’ so that benefit is derived even for the population left out of vaccination. Wealth of literature is available on the web on ‘Herd immunity’. Scientists are noting that without herd immunity if there is a second wave of infection, the results would be more devastating!

Now visualise the concept of herd immunity in the light of the situation prevailed at the time of Prophet (PBUH) 1400 years ago, few people endure the affliction of the disease and some lose their lives, but the result is that they save the rest of their community from death and affliction.

Though it is a natural phenomenon, it cannot be denied that the people who have been afflicted or lost their lives have bravely fought the disease and saved their fellow beings of their homeland since they naturally brought the infection to an end. Now is this not akin to the soldier in war? except that the war has been won by wonderful weapons - patience and endurance.

Muslims be ready to donate your plasma

Despite the extraordinary precautions and awareness, today we find many being infected and recovering and a portion of them losing their lives, infections are beyond anyone’s control. Despite the virus infecting millions world over, here in India, one particular community is blamed, bashed and badmouthed for the spread of the virus.

Coronavirus and Quran

Muslims don’t lose heart, don’t despair, you are the chosen one by the Almighty to lead the country into herd immunity. With sufficient damage already done to the Muslim Community, don’t worry if you are looked down upon as transmitters or disease spreaders by hate mongers, with promising results from blood plasma transfusion which is saving thousands of lives. Those who have overcome the disease be ready to donate your plasma, show love to the world and your fellow countrymen by donating your plasma.

It is you who have been badmouthed and it is your blood plasma which is going to save lives. Also remember, with no medicine for corona virus, you are the ones who will be subject to trial drugs thereby aiding the medical fraternity in their research. Either way life or death you emerge victorious!

Remember, the virus is not in the control at the hands of few men and it cannot be, those who have been infected have to be looked upon with compassion as brave soldiers of war, who have been affected by disease beyond their control in order to slowly neutralise the virus and to protect the mankind!

The Prophet (peace be upon him) probably knew nothing about Quarantine or Herd immunity 1400 years ago, yet he conveyed those profound words of wisdom conferring the status of shaheed - martyr, to those who were affected by Plague. Allah says in the Quran, Ch 53 ver 3-4, “He (the Prophet) does not speak out of his own desires, it is a revelation sent down upon him”.

Allah knows the best.

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