Religious Discourse

Healthcare, Not Hate

By: Shahid Moyeen Qasmi  

Undoubtedly, Corona disease has proven to be contagious and preventive care is an individual, social and religious responsibility. But taking care of ourselves should never turn into the hate for the individuals, communities or countries affected by the disease. Revulsion for the afflicted is a reflection of a diseased mind and a crime in the sight of Allah swt.

No Religion for Diseases

It is an undeniable fact that, no disease has any religion, ideology, school of thought, colour, creed, region or country. A disease does not possess jealously or malice against any community. Instead, it simply follows the command of almighty Allah by any cause ordained by Him alone. The glorious Qur’an says:

مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَمَن يُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things.

{Surah al-Taghabun,64:11}

This and dozens of other ayats of the glorious Qur’an declare the same fact.

Expiation of Sins

If a believer contracts any disease or faces any inconvenience, mental disturbance or any worry in his life and he observers patience, returns to Allah and strengthens his relation with Him, he will be absolved of his sins and will rise in ranks in the world hereafter. Muhammad (ﷺ), the beloved Prophet of Allah, said:

“‏ “‏مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُؤْمِنَ مِنْ وَصَبٍ وَلاَ نَصَبٍ وَلاَ سَقَمٍ وَلاَ حَزَنٍ حَتَّى الْهَمِّ يُهَمُّهُ إِلاَّ كُفِّرَ بِهِ مِنْ سَيِّئَاتِهِ ‏ ‏.‏

Never a believer is stricken with discomfort, hardship or illness, grief or even with mental worry that his sins are not expiated for him.

{Sahih Muslim » The Book of Virtue, Enjoining Good Manners, and Joining of the Ties of Kinship}

Ever in Benefit

Good or bad conditions both are beneficial for a believer, if he thanks Allah swt when in good condition and observes patience in bad condition.

The beneficent of the entire humanity Muhammad(ﷺ)said:

“‏ عَجَبًا لأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لأَحَدٍ إِلاَّ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his, and this is not the case with anyone except for the believer, for if he encounters joy, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he encounters loss, he is patient, thus there is a good for him in it.

{Sahih Muslim, The Book of Zuhd and Softening of Hearts}

Prophet Muhammad () also Contracted Sickness  

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ قَالَ دَخَلْتُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهْوَ يُوعَكُ فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّكَ تُوعَكُ وَعْكًا شَدِيدًا‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَجَلْ إِنِّي أُوعَكُ كَمَا يُوعَكُ رَجُلاَنِ مِنْكُمْ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ ذَلِكَ أَنَّ لَكَ أَجْرَيْنِ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَجَلْ ذَلِكَ كَذَلِكَمَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يُصِيبُهُ أَذًى شَوْكَةٌ فَمَا فَوْقَهَاإِلاَّ كَفَّرَ اللَّهُ بِهَا سَيِّئَاتِهِكَمَا تَحُطُّ الشَّجَرَةُ وَرَقَهَا ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Hadhrat `Abdullah:

I visited Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) while he was suffering from a high fever. I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! You have a high fever.” He said, “Yes, I have as much fever as two men of you.” I said, “Is it because you will have a double reward?” He said, “Yes, it is so. No Muslim is afflicted with any harm, even if it were the prick of a thorn, but that Allah expiates his sins because of that, as a tree sheds its leaves.”

Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Patients

The hadeeth mentioned above leaves no doubt that even the Prophet Muhammad  (ﷺ) contracted sickness, though he was the most innocent and the noblest personality of the world and was the leader of all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah. Therefore, being sick cannot be a criteria for anyone’s status with Allah and so none should be hated due to his sickness.

The Way of Allah in a Calamity

It is a truth that sometimes a calamity engulfs a part of the globe afflicting everyone, because of transgressions and disobedience of Allah swt by some inhabitants as substantiated by the ayat mentioned below:

وَاتَّقُوا فِتْنَةً لَّا تُصِيبَنَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنكُمْ خَاصَّةً ۖ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ – 8:25

And fear a trial which will not strike those who have wronged among you exclusively, and know that Allah is severe in penalty.

It is also a truth that, though such a calamity may afflict even the innocent people of the area but, in the hereafter, they will be treated according to their respective actions. The ahaadeeth mentioned below make this very clear. The beloved Prophet (ﷺ) said:

 ‏”‏ إِذَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ عَذَابًاأَصَابَ الْعَذَابُ مَنْ كَانَ فِيهِمْ ثُمَّ بُعِثُوا عَلَى أَعْمَالِهِمْ ‏”‏‏.‏

“If Allah sends punishment upon a nation then it befalls upon the whole population indiscriminately and then they will be resurrected (and judged) according to their deeds. “

{Sahih al-Bukhari، Book of Afflictions and the End of the World}

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ يَغْزُو جَيْشٌ الْكَعْبَةَ، فَإِذَا كَانُوا بِبَيْدَاءَ مِنَ الأَرْضِ يُخْسَفُ بِأَوَّلِهِمْ وَآخِرِهِمْ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَتْ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ كَيْفَ يُخْسَفُ بِأَوَّلِهِمْ وَآخِرِهِمْ، وَفِيهِمْ أَسْوَاقُهُمْ وَمَنْ لَيْسَ مِنْهُمْ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ يُخْسَفُ بِأَوَّلِهِمْ وَآخِرِهِمْ، ثُمَّ يُبْعَثُونَ عَلَى نِيَّاتِهِمْ ‏”‏‏.‏

 Hadhrat Aisha(r.z) narrated:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “An army will invade the Ka`ba and when the invaders reach Al-Baida’, all the ground will sink and swallow the whole army.” I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! How will they sink into the ground while amongst them will be their markets (the people who worked in business and not invaders) and the people not belonging to them?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “all of those people will sink but they will be resurrected and judged according to their intentions.”

{Sahih al-Bukhari , Book of Sales and Trade}

So none should come to a hasty conclusion about anyone who might be hit in a calamity or epidemic. It gives no right to anyone to judge and condemn others on such superficial bases. It is not an evidence of the wrath of Allah on any specific person.

Abhorrence of Crimes not the Criminals, much less the Sick

Islam does order to prevent and eliminate crimes from the face of the earth to build a healthy human society. It guides to wise ways and ordains prescribed punishments and sanctions against the transgressors to be implemented only after the offence is established beyond doubt under tightly drawn conditions of evidence.

But, as per correct understanding, personal hatred is not permitted even against them. We should hate crimes not criminals. If we hate crimes we will try to save ourselves from crimes. Otherwise we will forget ourselves and strive unsuccessfully to reform others. At last a hated criminal may be forgiven and the one who possesses hatred against him may be consigned to Jahannam.

 Many ayats and ahaadeeth guide toward the prohibition of personal hatred against criminal elements. Here, I would love to mention only one hadeeth:

  عَنْ جُنْدَبٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَدَّثَ ‏ “‏ أَنَّ رَجُلاً قَالَ وَاللَّهِ لاَ يَغْفِرُ اللَّهُ لِفُلاَنٍ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى قَالَ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَتَأَلَّى عَلَىَّ أَنْ لاَ أَغْفِرَ لِفُلاَنٍ فَإِنِّي قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لِفُلاَنٍ وَأَحْبَطْتُ عَمَلَكَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ أَوْ كَمَا قَالَ ‏.‏

 Hadhrat Jundub(r.z) reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) stated that a person said:

Allah would not forgive such and such (person). Thereupon Allah the Exalted and Glorious, said: Who is he who adjures about Me that I would not grant pardon to so and so; I have granted pardon to so and so and blotted out his deeds (who took an oath that I would not grant pardon to him.

{Sahih Muslim, The Book of Virtue, Enjoining Good Manners, and Joining of the Ties of Kinship}

When Islam doesn’t allow personal hatred against the criminals, it is outrageous to bear ill-will or revulsion against a sick person who actually deserves our empathy and aid. We have to be extremely careful in this regard. If anyone -may Allah protect us- commits the sin of hating or ridiculing any sick person over his sickness, he may fall prey to the same disease. The ahaadeeth mentioned below sensitize us to this danger and warn of the same punishment in this world itself!

 The noblest personality of the world Muhammad(ﷺ) is reported to have said:

“‏ مَنْ عَيَّرَ أَخَاهُ بِذَنْبٍ لَمْ يَمُتْ حَتَّى يَعْمَلَهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

“Whoever shames his brother for a sin, he shall not die until he (himself) commits it.”

{Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Chapters on the description of the Day of Judgment, Ar-Riqaq, and Al-Wara’,Dh.}

‏ “‏ لاَ تُظْهِرِ الشَّمَاتَةَ لأَخِيكَ فَيَرْحَمُهُ اللَّهُ وَيَبْتَلِيكَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

“Do not rejoice over the mishaps of your brother so that Allah has mercy on him and subjects you to trials.”

{Jami` at-Tirmidhi » Chapters on the description of the Day of Judgement, Ar-Riqaq, and Al-Wara,Dh.}

Things to Do

Therefore, if anyone finds another fellow human being in any misery, or disease, he should be indebted to Allah for granting him safety from that. It is Allah who kept him safe. And he should recite the following supplication sincerely and silently:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي عَافَانِي مِمَّا ابْتَلاَكَ بِهِ وَفَضَّلَنِي عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ تَفْضِيلاً

‏(Al-ḥamdulillāhi alladhī `āfānī mimmabtalāka bihī wa faḍḍalanī `alā kathīrin mimman khalaqa tafḍīla.)

All praise is due to Allah who saved me from that which He has afflicted you with, and blessed me greatly over many of those whom He has created.

“Whoever sees an afflicted person, thereupon he recites this supplication, he shall not be struck by that affliction”, said the last Prophet of Allah Muhammad (ﷺ).

{Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Chapters on Supplication,Dh.}

 Salute to Today’s Heroes

First of all, we should salute the doctors, nurses, administrators, police,  social activists, organizations and all those who are working selflessly for all of us, for their historic courage, dedication, determination, efforts and sacrifices. Then it is our ardently human duty to assist, comfort and aid the affected individuals including their families. In no case should they be mistreated or insulted.

Surely, required steps must be taken in accordance with rules and regulations but the attitude should be sympathetic in taking affected persons to designated centers for checkup, treatment or quarantine. The centers should also try to offer the required facilities while respecting human dignity.

A positive and cooperative environment will help us win the battle against this mortal disease in Sha Allah. May Allah swt safeguard the entire humanity from Corona, help all of us keep our hearts pure from the disease of hatred and enable all of us to serve all the affected people.       

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ, وَسَلامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ, وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ 

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