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How Islam Deals With Diseases and Pandemics (part 2 of 2)

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Description: The following are measures that Islam strongly recommends in the event of being infected by a virus or any illness in general. 

  • By Sherif Alkassimi (© 2020 IslamReligion.com)
  • Published on 09 Apr 2020
  • Last modified on 09 Apr 2020
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Measures When Infected by a Virus

Likewise Islam teaches us remedies that can help fight off any illness or virus, including: 

1.     Medical Treatment. The Prophet would encourage his followers to seek medical treatment and told them to use water while dealing with fever; "God’s Messenger used to order us to abate fever with water."[1]  He even used to have cupping therapy applied on himself.[2]

2.     Seeking a Cure. It is up to us to strive and find a cure for all illnesses; for the Prophet mentioned, "There is no disease that God has created, except that He also has created its treatment,"[3]  and "God has sent down both the disease and the cure, and He has appointed a cure for every disease, so treat yourselves medically, but use nothing unlawful."[4]  Also as narrated by Usamah ibn Sharik: "I came to the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, and his Companions were sitting as if they had birds on their heads [figuratively speaking, due to how attentive they were]. I saluted and sat down. The desert Arabs then came from here and there. They asked, ‘Messenger of God, should we make use of medical treatment?’ He replied, ‘Make use of medical treatment, for God has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease, namely old age.’"[5]

3.     Giving Charity. This might come as a surprise, however, at times of dire need one should turn to God with acts that please Him; and giving to the poor and needy for the sake of seeking God’s pleasure is an act that pleases the Lord and brings one closer to His Mercy.

4.     Dependence on God. After taking all necessary medical treatment one should be dependent on God with their heart.  A believer knows that God is the Creator of everything big and small, and although He has given a reason for everything, in the end He is in control of everything.  The Quran (65:3) mentions that, "… whoever, relies on God—then He is sufficient for him."  A fine example is our father Abraham who when he would fall ill would seek suitable medical treatment then confidently tell his people, "And when I am ill, it is He (God) Who cures me." (Quran 26:80). 

5.     Remaining Positive. Staying calm and positive and thinking that, God willing, one will get through their illness is of extreme importance; in fact it is part of the psychological treatment that helps one’s immune system do its work in the correct fashion.  Feeling negative and pessimistic on the contrary weakens one’s immune system.  The Prophet said, "There is … no ‘tiyarah’ (superstitious beliefs in omens), but I like good mention." They said: "What is a good mention?" He said: "An optimistic word."[6]  So a patient should remain positive and, for example, say, "I hope to be better by the weekend and back to work soon."

6.     The Secret Weapon: Prayer.  This is an extremely effective weapon to fight off any illness.  The Quran (40:60) mentions, "And your Lord said, "Call upon Me (God); I will respond to you…"  A well-known hadith narrated by ‘Aisha states: "Whenever God’s Messenger paid a visit to a patient, or a patient was brought to him, he used to invoke God, saying, ‘Take away the disease, O the Lord of the people! Cure him as You are the One Who cures. There is no cure but Yours, a cure that leaves no disease.’"[7]  God likes it when His servants turn to Him in prayer at time of calamity and weakness and are not arrogant to raise their hands in the air and ask Him to bestow His Mercy and cure them.  God’s promise is true, and He answers the calls of whoever calls Him.  Finally the dear Prophet told us that, "nothing averts the Divine Decree except for supplication,"[8]  meaning that if something bad was going to occur and someone asked God for protection from all harm and God answered his/her prayer then that bad thing will not occur; likewise, if someone is sick and asks God to be cured, God willing, they will be cured.

Eventually, this global pandemic will subside—as do all hardships in this world—and life will start returning to normal again.  Let the first thing we do after COVID-19 has been defeated is be thankful to God for allowing it to subside.  Then let us all relook at our relationship with our Lord and ask ourselves how we can get closer to Him.  "O God, I seek refuge in You from the withdrawal of Your blessing and the decline of the good health you have given..."[9]  God bless and protect you all.



Footnotes:

[1] Al Bukhari, Book # 71, Hadith # 620

[2] Al Bukhari, Book # 71, Hadith # 595

[3] Al Bukhari, Book # 71, Hadith # 582

[4] Abu Dawoud, Book # 28, Hadith # 3865

[5] Abu Dawoud, Book # 28, Hadith # 3846

[6] Muslim, Book # 26, Hadith # 5520

[7] Al Bukhari, Book # 70, Hadith # 579

[8] Ibn Majah, Book # 1, Hadith # 90

[9] Muslim, Book # 49, Hadith # 08

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