Islam orders Muslims to seek medication

Coronavirus And Islam

The coronavirus is a reminder to us all of our weak state. Regardless of our social standing and our financial position, we are helpless. Situations like this remind us to turn back to Allah. Allah controls everything and he is the one that can relieve us from our difficulties, we must return to Allah and seek refuge in him and ask for his protection. Allah says:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

“And surely We will test you with something of [the] fear and [the] hunger and loss of [the] wealth and [the] lives and [the] fruits, but give good news (to) the patient ones.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:155)

Islam is a holistic belief system and it takes into account the physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of individuals and societies. Although care of the individual is important, safeguarding communities, including its weakest members, is of paramount importance. Allah says:

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا ۚ فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

“So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. Adhere to the nature of Allah upon which He has created all people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most people do not know.” (Surah Ar-Rum 30:30)

Infection control in Islam includes isolation and quarantine. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) instituted strategies that are today implemented by public health authorities. He commanded his followers not to travel to places known to be afflicted with illness and he advised those in the contaminated areas or communities not to leave and spread the disease further afield. Allāh says: “Mankind was created weak”.

“If you hear that there is a plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it (plague) visits a land while you are therein, do not go out of it.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The teachings and principles of Islam are designed to benefit all of humankind. Rules and recommendations for personal hygiene and cleanliness promote the well-being of individuals and communities. Infection control is inherent in Islamic hygiene behaviour. Washing the hands, covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing, voluntary isolation, when one is feeling unwell, restricted travel, covering the food and killing the dangerous animals is an effective and comprehensive public health strategy. Allah says:

وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعًا وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ وَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْغَافِلِينَ

“Remember your Lord in yourselves with humility and in private without announcing it in the mornings and evenings, and do not be among the heedless.” (Surah Al-Araf 7:205)

Measures taken in the 21st century to prevent the spread of infections and viruses conform almost exactly to the hygiene and infection control practices taught by our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Islam is referred to as the religion of cleanliness. Allah says:

وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

“And whoever seeks other than [the] submission/Islam (as) religion then never will be accepted from and he in the Hereafter, (will be) from the losers.” (Surah Al-Kahf 18:29)

Coronavirus: Safety Precautions In Islam:

  1.  Islam has put rules and regulations on interactions with the opposite gender
  2. Islam urges Muslims to be moderate in consuming lawful food and drinks
  3. Islam calls its followers to protect themselves against diseases
  4. Islam made ablution a pre-requisite for the validity of prayer
  5. Islam made lawful for Muslims all the good foods
  6. Islam emphasizes the importance of cleanliness
  7. Islam orders Muslims to seek medication
  8. Islam itself is an inherently inner peace
  9. Islam emphasizes taking a bath five times a day
  10. Islam points up to purification includes washing the mouth
  11. Islam urges Muslims to observe the characteristics of fitrah
  12. Islam is the objective of the Shariah that preservation of the soul
  13. Islam made unlawful to them all what causes harm and their bodies
  14. Islam prohibited adultery and homosexuality which are the causes of many diseases
  15. Islam encourages everyone must take all necessary measures to protect themselves against any harm

When you face trials and difficulties with patience, you feel inner peace and a state of psychological health that will help you defeat the disease. When a Muslim is afflicted with a certain disease, he has to look at it as a test from Allah. When there is an outbreak of a disease, Islam commands Muslims to practice quarantine. Prophet Muhammad said:

“If you get wind of the outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it breaks out in a land in which you are, do not leave it.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

A close look at these rituals would reveal that they play a great role in protecting the body from diseases. Therefore, ablution and using tooth-stick are one of the means of protecting our bodies from diseases and viruses. A Muslim is patient in trials; he knows Allah will never forsake him, nor will Allah burden him with a trial that is more than what he can handle.

“Make use of medical treatment, for Allah has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, except for one disease, namely old age.” (Abu Dawud)

The coronavirus is a reminder to us all of our weak state. Regardless of our social standing and our financial position, we are helpless. It is an act of sunnah to say dua (supplications) to protect yourself from coronavirus and other infectious diseases: Prophet Muhammad used to say:

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from leprosy, madness, elephantiasis, and evil diseases.” (Abu Dawud)

Muslim-majority states must take it upon themselves to strengthen ties of mutual solidarity in this difficult period by exchanging public health expertise. As Muslims, we should trust our gut feeling when we feel something unexplainable happens and there is no medical answer, however many of us fail to ask Allah first for His protection and mercy.

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

  • “And fear none but Me.” (Al-Baqarah 2:40)
  • “Therefore fear not men but fear Me.” (Al-Maidah 5:44)
  • “They have eyes wherewith they see not, …” (Al-Araf 179)
  • “So fear them not, but fear Me, if you are (true) believers.” (Al Imraan 3:175)
  • “Verily, all things have We created in proportion and measure.” (Qamar 49)
  • “They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.” (An-Nahl: 50)
  • “If Allah helps you, none can overcome you: If He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? in Allah, then, Let believers put their trust.” (Al-Imran 160)
  • “Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our protector” and on Allah let the believers put their trust.” (Al-Tawba 51)

The moral values of the Quran need to pervade all of life and the believer needs to apply every moment of life. Deep love and fear of Allah and a strong will to follow conscience also need to be instilled in the child’s heart. Allah says:

وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

“Fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:281)

A believer has two positions when it comes to pre-determination: one is before the situation occurs, and one is after. Before the situation he seeks help from Allāh, makes dua to him, and relies upon him; he asks Allah for good to come from it. Allah will never harm us nor does he want evil to befall us. We may think something is bad for us due to our restricted view of life, but it is always good in a situation. Allah says:

وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ

“Do not curse those they invoke besides Allah, lest they insult Allah in hostility without knowledge.” (Surah Al-An’am 6:108)

It is also important to know that no harm can affect us without the permission of Allah, so we must bear in mind that the harm can also be a trial for us, to bring us closer to our creator. It is He who will provide help and His knowledge of our affairs surpasses our restricted intellect.