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NEW ARTICLE: How Islam Deals with Diseases and Pandemics (part 1 of 2)


Tips to Prevent the Spread of Viruses

How-Islam-Deals-with-Diseases-and-Pandemics--part-1.jpgIn light of the
COVID-19 pandemic that has taken the entire world by surprise, it is worth
noting that Islam, the religion of mercy, long ago mentioned valuable tips that
medical science would later confirm help prevent the spread of illnesses,
plagues and viruses, including:

1.     Washing Hands. Islam strongly recommends the washing of
hands.  The Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him,
said, “Wash your hands after you wake up; you do not know where your hands
have moved while you sleep.”
 In addition to after waking up Muslims also wash their hands during an act
known as “wudu”—an act of cleaning various parts of the body starting off with
washing each hand three times”—that is a prerequisite to performing the five daily prayers.  Furthermore,
the Prophet told us that when washing, we should make sure to wash in-between
the finger joints,[2]
 which medically speaking is essential in-order to kill germs.

2.     Cleanliness.  The importance of cleanliness can be
emphasized in the saying of the Prophet that, Cleanliness is half of
Cleanliness is of so much importance that many acts of worship cannot be
performed until one becomes in a clean state.  A Muslim cannot pray, hold the
Quran, nor circumambulate the Kabah until they perform wudu, which includes the
washing of the hands, mouth, nose, face, arms, and feet.  Likewise after sexual
intercourse a Muslim must take a shower before he/she can carry out certain
acts of worship. 

It is also
highly recommended to take a complete shower before attending the weekly Friday
prayer at a mosque.  A well-known saying of the Prophet goes even further and
tells us of ten acts of cleanliness that one should implement for their own
well-being, including snuffing water in the nose, cutting the nails, removing
armpit hair, shaving pubic hair, and cleaning one’s backside with water after
answering the call of nature.  Furthermore, even the using of a “miswak”, a
tree twig used for cleaning teeth, which is equivalent to present day brush and
toothpaste, is something that is recommended and liked by God.[4]  The Quran
(2:222) mentions, “Indeed, God loves those who repent and loves those who
keep themselves pure.”
 Implementing the above-mentioned points helps one stay
clean and hence less prone to illness.

Drinking and Eating Guidelines.  The
Prophet forbade people from breathing into a vessel or cup while drinking from
it[5]  and forbade the drinking of water directly
from the mouth of a water skin.[6]  Not breathing into a cup and not drinking
from the same cup with someone else are two universal acts of hygiene that help
prevent the transmission of disease.  Islam also tells us to cover food and
drinks when we go to sleep[7]  and forbade people from urinating in still
Finally, Islam dislikes the act of overeating; an act that can cause over a
dozen medical conditions; the Prophet mentioned, The food for two
persons is sufficient for three, and the food of three persons is sufficient
for four persons.”

4.     Cleaning of Clothes. The Prophet used to clean his
clothes with his very own hands, and Islam informs us that God likes to see His
servant dress well.  The Quran (74:4) mentions, “And purify your clothes.”

Covering One’s Sneeze. It is
narrated that, “When the
Prophet sneezed, he used to place his hand or a garment on his mouth, to lessen
the noise;”
[10]  an act that is strongly recommended at times
of infection in order to prevent the spread of germs to others.

6.     Social Quarantine. Remarkably, over fourteen centuries
ago the Prophet mentioned the following, “If you hear of an outbreak of plague
in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you
are in it, do not leave that place,”[11]
 and “If you hear
that it (plague) has broken out in a land, do not go to it; but if it breaks
out in a land where you are present, do not go out escaping from it.”[12]  Experts
strongly advise at times of outbreaks that no one leaves their homes and that
no one travels to other locations.


Muslim, Book # 2, Hadith # 541

Muslim, Book # 2, Hadith # 502

Muslim, Book # 2, Hadith # 432

Muslim, Book # 2, Hadith # 502

Al Bukhari, Book # 69, Hadith # 534

Al Bukhari, Book # 69, Hadith # 532

Al Bukhari, Book # 69, Hadith # 528

Muslim, Book # 2, Hadith # 553

Al Bukhari, Book # 65, Hadith # 304

Abu Dawoud, Book # 41, Hadith # 5011

Al Bukhari, Book # 71, Hadith # 624

Al Bukhari, Book # 71, Hadith # 626


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