What does Islam say about Pandemic?

What is a pandemic? How is Islam pandemic related?

A pandemic is a global virus outbreak. Islam has taught us various ways to deal with the Pandemic. Following are some of the details of a pandemic

what is pandemic flu ?

Pandemics in Islamic history

The plague of Amwaas (Emmaus)

The first Pandemic that afflicted the Muslim ummah was the plague of Amwaas. It erupted in the city of Emmaus and started in the 18th year of the hijra and came in multiple batches. However, in Constantinople, the Justinian plague killed 10000 people in a day.
We learn in the history of Ibn Kathīr that the first wave took many of the senior companions. Then, Amr b. al-As advised the Companions to spread in small groups amongst the valleys and hills. He informed them that plagues are like fires: they cause more havoc when covered in densely populated areas, and they don’t spread when people are far apart.

This caused a Companion to challenge this theory, angry because this tactic seemed cowardly and didn’t make sense. He said to Amr: “I am a person who accompanied the Prophet (SAW), and I testify by Allah that you’re wrong!! I say you are more misguided than my donkey!!” Amr, despite being the leader and despite the public humiliation, replied: “I shall not dignify that with a response, nor shall I punish you.” 

And the people followed his policy, and it was effective. When they were informing about the plan to Umar RA, he found it to be a great one.

Abu Ubaidah Amir Ibn Al-Jarrah, one of the sahaba, promised Jannah was the leader of the Muslim forces in the entire region. Over 25000 Muslims and Sahabas included passed away in the plague of Amwaas. The sahabas amongst the shaheed are Abu Ubaidah Amir Ibn Al-Jarrah, Sohail Ibn Al Amar, Yazeed Ibn Abu-Sufyan. – Ibn-E-Kathir



Plague and Hazrat Umar Hadith

Other Pandemic /epidemics

 In the famous historical books, we can find numerous regional plagues. Some of which are: 

  • In Egypt, a disease took place in 218 hijra. The epidemic left no household unaffected. Governors and Statesmen also died in the plague.
  • In Azerbaijan, a plague took place in 228 hijra. Many people passed away; therefore, no cloth was left to cover the bodies. 
  • In Basra, a plague took place in the year 406 hijra. In the streets, dead bodies were left for a couple of weeks as Graveyards were so full. If a family were affected and passed away, the house would just be closed, and that was the burial of those dead bodies.

Black Plague

Black plague pandemic erupted in Europe and spread through the entire globe in 749 Hijri. It is the greatest plague that occurred in the whole human history. The dead were so many that funeral processions looked like camel caravans. Since the mosques were closed, only one Azaan (call to prayer) was given in the entire region.  And during the Black Death, many masjids and shrines were shut. Almost half of Egypt’s population had perished from the disease or its societal effects by the late 15th century. 

Ahadith related to Plague – Pandemic

Death with plague in Islam is Martyrdom

What Islam says about pandemic plague Hadith

Plague occurring in various countries in Islam

Plague is blessing for Muslim believer Hadith

Ten things Islam says about Pandemics – COVID’19

Looking at all the Ahadith and history, we can conclude the following: 

  1. “Do not put a patient with a healthy person as a precaution.” – Prophet Muhammad SAW. Therefore, self-isolation is best for a person who doubts that he may be affected by the plague. 
  2. To not leave the land that has been affected by the plague. 
  3. Do not go to the land that has been affected by the plague. 
  4. Do not fear the plague; trust Allah SWT. You will be from martyrs, in case the plague has afflicted you.
  5. The Plague will not enter Madinah, as angels are guarding it. 
  6. Plague is a punishment for whoever Allah wishes it to be and a Rahma (blessing) for the believers. 
  7. Practice social distancing. 
  8. Avoid congregations. 
  9. Close Mosques. 
  10. In those communities where the masjids have not yet opened, Ṣalāt al-Eid should be prayed in one’s houses with one’s own family, and there is no need for a khuṭbah. – Yasir Qadhi 

Understandably, people will get overwhelmed and react emotionally and cause havoc (Click here to calm down). Still, a true leader needs to ignore such emotions and do what is best for the community regardless of feelings. Feelings don’t save lives, policies do. Allah is indeed our protector, but only if we take the necessary protection and precaution first. But we do need an abundance of worship and not just an abundance of caution. Click here to download our app if you are feeling worried, anxious, or having difficulty falling asleep during the COVID’19 crisis.