The Muslim is the one who fears Allah, the One who created the heavens and the earth and everything in it. The One who gives life and death, who alone can cure. The Muslim knows hardship befalls a person except that it is decreed by Allah Most High. This understanding can remove anxiety and confusion from a person, knowing that Allah is full control of His affairs.
Responding to the coronavirus pandemic requires a comprehensive system of care working at all levels, where the well-being of all of the people is the primary concern. The Islamic way of life is well equipped to take care of the affairs of the people, with its beliefs and values, and systems that are built upon them.
The final Messenger sent to humankind, Muhammad (saw) is reported to have said:
أَلاَ كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ فَالأَمِيرُ الَّذِى عَلَى النَّاسِ رَاعٍ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ وَالرَّجُلُ رَاعٍ عَلَى أَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْهُمْ وَالْمَرْأَةُ رَاعِيَةٌ عَلَى بَيْتِ بَعْلِهَا وَوَلَدِهِ وَهِىَ مَسْئُولَةٌ عَنْهُمْ وَالْعَبْدُ رَاعٍ عَلَى مَالِ سَيِّدِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْهُ أَلاَ فَكُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ
“Each of you is a guardian and each of you is questioned over his subjects, the Imam who is responsible over the people and he is questioned over his responsibility, and the man is responsible over the people of his household and he is questioned over them, and the woman is responsible over her husbands house and his children and she is questioned over them, and the slave is a guardian over the wealth of his master and he is questioned over it, each of you is a guardian and each of you is questioned over their responsibility.”
The Muslim ummah, who will be witnesses over all of humankind on the day of judgement, have a shariah (legal) responsibility to help prevent the spread of this disease and everyone should focus their efforts towards that end.
Everyone should take seriously the advice of the experts who aim to halt the spread of the disease, acting accordingly, lest the pandemic enters every home leaving much suffering in its wake, Allah forbid.
We should, therefore, take the following matters into serious consideration:
1. The necessity to adhere to the sanitation guidelines, such as regular and thorough hand washing, not touching the face, mouth or eyes without washing, and keeping away from patients or those who have symptoms of the illness, such as coughing or high temperature.
The messenger of Allah advised:
لاَ تُورِدُوا المُمْرِضَ عَلَى المُصِحِّ
“Do not put the sick with the healthy.”
فِرَّ مِنَ الْمَجْذُومِ فِرَارَكَ مِنَ الْأَسَدِ
“Run from the leper like you run from a lion.”
2. Remaining in the home as much as one can, especially for children, the elderly and those with underlying health issues. Those who must leave for work should adhere to the isolation and sanitation procedures to prevent spreading or catching the disease. Hands should be washed properly before mixing with the family, so as not to infect them.
The Messenger of Allah also said:
لَا ضَرَرَ وَلَا ضِرَارَ
“There (must be) no harm and no harming.”
3. Keep away from gatherings as much as possible, cancelling all events that can be cancelled.
4. Avoid close contact like kissing and handshaking as much as possible.
5. Those who have the disease or its symptoms must be quarantined and must adhere to that.
6. Not to travel without necessity and to take all precautions if one must.
The Messenger of Allah said:
إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ بِالطَّاعُونِ بِأَرْضٍ فَلاَ تَدْخُلُوهَا، وَإِذَا وَقَعَ بِأَرْضٍ وَأَنْتُمْ بِهَا فَلاَ تَخْرُجُوا مِنْهَا
“If you heard of a plague in a land, then do not enter it; and if you are in a land and it enters, then do not leave it.”
Aisha (ra) was asked about the plague, so the Prophet told her:
أَنَّهُ كَانَ عَذَابًا يَبْعَثُهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَنْ يَشَاءُ، فَجَعَلَهُ اللَّهُ رَحْمَةً لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ، فَلَيْسَ مِنْ عَبْدٍ يَقَعُ الطَّاعُونُ، فَيَمْكُثُ فِي بَلَدِهِ صَابِرًا، يَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ لَنْ يُصِيبَهُ إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ، إِلَّا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ الشَّهِيدِ
“It is a punishment that Allah sends upon whom He wills. Allah made it a mercy for the believers; for there is no servent who encounters plague, but he stays patiently in his land, knowing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has written for him, except that there is for him a reward like that of the martyr.”
7. Abstain from spreading rumours and unreliable news reports due to the fear that they generate, and its negative consequences.
8. Those with experience and ability should be willing to provide assistance to those in need.
The Islamic ummah, when facing this pandemic, faces it by relying on Allah and taking the necessary precautions, armed with their closeness to Allah, reliance on Him, seeking His forgiveness, and the Islamic aqeedah concepts that calm a believer when faced with Allah’s decree. Disease is a decree of Allah to test the iman of the believers, and we hope it is not a punishment from Him. It is an invitation to the people to seek forgiveness in Him, to do good actions and to seek out treatment with the certain knowledge that none cures except Allah the Almighty.
Just like the virus, the greed of the capitalists does not recognise borders. The leading capitalist states today have brought humanity to the brink of destruction many times, caring only about exploitation for profit, with no care the condition of the people or preparedness for such disasters as this.
Furthermore, they built the entire world’s economy on enormous debt, making it so fragile that it could collapse at any moment, while their only solution is to offer more debt, only delaying the inevitable crash and multiplying its magnitude in the process.
All humankind is facing this pandemic and is in dire need of real care from a state that truly looks after the people’s affairs. We are in need of a state that values humanity and not only materialism and profit. Humanity is in need of a Khaleefah (caliph) that deals with illness as primarily a humanitarian issue and not an economic issue.
The world needs a new global leadership to lead us out of darkness into light.
Media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain,
18th March 2020