COVID-19 is the most pandemic-causing-panic nowadays worldwide. There have been few attempts to find religions approaches to face them. Strangely enough, Dr. Craig Considine, a non-Muslim Catholic and a scholar, professor, global speaker, and media contributor based at the Department of Sociology at Rice University. He is the author of The Humanity of Muhammad: A Christian View (Blue Dome Press, 2020), and Islam in America: Exploring the Issues (ABC-CLIO 2019), and many other collections. He presents the Islamic approach to combat epidemics and Prophet Muhammad’s advice on facing illness.
He showed that the religion of Islam could present the most logical religious-tackle to combat epidemics. He claims that Prophet Muhammad’s approach to combat them could be beneficial to combat COVID-19 pandemic as his teachings contained reference to good hygiene and quarantining, or the practice of isolating from others in the hope of preventing the spread of contagious diseases, which are the most effective tools to contain +COVID-19.
Perfect Approach to Combat Epidemics
Dr. Considine says about Prophet Muhammad’s noble teachings which can put a perfect theory to combat epidemics: “While he is by no means a “traditional” expert on matters of deadly diseases, Muhammad nonetheless had sound advice to prevent and combat a development like COVID-19. Muhammad said: “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague outbreaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.”
He, Muahammad, according to Dr. Considine, also says: “Those with contagious diseases should be kept away from those who are healthy.” Muhammad also strongly encouraged human beings to adhere to hygienic practices that would keep people safe from infection”.
The anti-epidemic teachings of Prophet Muhammad stems it perfectness from being a revelation from God and focusing on the both the practical and spiritual aspects. They include preventive measures which were unprecedented by any religion before or even after Islam.
Hygienic Procedures Set by Prophet Muhammad
Dr. Craig Considine sets some examples for Muslim Procedures to combat epidemics which exceeded all other well-known religions even Christianity, saying, ” Do you know who else suggested good hygiene and quarantining during a pandemic? Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, over 1,300 years ago. Consider the following hadiths, or sayings of Prophet Muhammad:
“Cleanliness is part of faith.”
“Wash your hands after you wake up; you do not know where your hands have moved while you sleep.”
“The blessings of food lie in washing hands before and after eating.”
There are many hygienic procedures that were also mentioned by the Prophet other than this:
“It was narrated from Jabir that the Messenger of Allah forbade urinating into standing water”.
The Prophet also says,
“None of you should urinate into still water and then perform Ghusl (general washing for body” with it.”
The Islamic approach to illnesses is fabulous as well. Prophet Muhammad teachings tackled pain and urged medical treatment . Dr. Craig Considine says:
“And what if someone does fall ill? What kind of advice would Muhammad provide to his fellow human beings who are suffering from pain? He would encourage people to always seek medical treatment and medication: “Make use of medical treatment,” he said, “for God has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease—old age.”
Balancing Faith with Reason
The most important aspect of Islamic Sharia (law) that its teaching are in balance with reason. Prophet Muhammad used to make analogy between similar things so that people may extend rulings to newly matters regarding which there are no certain religious stand.
Prophet Muhammad used to focus on considering worldly means along with religious means. When he used to order to perform prayer, he also used to consider the hardship a patient may encounter wen performing prayer. He, the Prophet, used used to say,
“If you are unable to pray while standing, you may pray while setting….”. Umar, a companion of the Prophet, used to say, “When a sick man is unable to prostrate he should refer with his head only”.
Prophet Muhammad used also to consider the psychological state of the patient and order his companions to ease his/her hardship:
Aisha used to recommend at-Talbina (a sertain beneficial and easy food) for the sick and for such a person who grieved over a dead person. She used to say,
“I heard Allah’s Messenger saying, ‘at-Talbina gives rest to the heart of the patient and makes it active and relieves some of his sorrow and grief.'”
Dr. Considine notices the following story, of Prophet Muhammad which proves his religion to utilize both religion and reason while practicing maters and his principles which do not find a conflict between reason and religion:
One day, Prophet Muhammad noticed a Bedouin man leaving his camel without tying it. He asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I put my trust in God.” The Prophet then said, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in God.”