BY Ahmed Zakaria
Many centuries ago, even before the discovery of what today is called ‘Preventive Medicine,’ the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave us, through his sayings and actions, guidance that ensures clean, happy life, as well as protection from diseases and pandemics such as Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Here are some of Muhammad’s teachings
Prophet Muhammad said:
Whoever wakes up from their sleep should wash their hands before putting them in the water for ablution, because nobody knows where their hands have been, during sleep.
Prophet Muhammad always acted in a way that prevented the spreading of diseases.
For example, whenever he sneezed, he always covered his mouth, with his hand or his cloths, and lowered his head and voice.
Prophet Muhammad guided us to have quarantines should an epidemic breaks out.
Prophet Muhammad said,
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.
He also said:
One who’s sick should not be put with one who’s healthy.
He also ordered Muslims to stay away from a person with infectious diseases as much as they would from a lion.
Cleanliness, and procedures that are now being widely recommended for minimizing infections are big part of Islamic life style, For example, Prophet Muhammad guided Muslims to keep their nails trimmed and specific body hair, shaven, and cleaning the mouth and nostrils with water. It’s called the “practices of pure nature”
Muslims wash their hands thoroughly when making ablution before the five daily prayers, before and after eating, after using the bathroom, and at other times.
Prophet Muhammad guided us to cover up the food and drinkable water, to clean ones teeth, to never throw trash or pollutants in running water, to go to the bathroom only at places that were meant for that purpose, and making sure that your body and clothes are clean afterwards is one way of securing your way into heaven.
Prophet Muhammad also said,
“Cleanliness is half of faith.”
Although Islam puts a lot of emphasis on prayer and connection with God, to go through hard times, prophet Muhammad acknowledged that it’s not practical to rely solely on “prayer”… and encouraged Muslims to seek medication saying, “Make use of medical treatment, for Allah has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease: old age”
A Muslim is also permitted to temporarily suspend performing Islamic duties that might compromise their health, like, fasting, praying, or any others.
Taking care of individual and societal health, while integral, is only a small part of a perfect system that covers every aspect of life including politics, finance, family and relationship, work and education etc., all stitched in harmony to ensure that happiness that the Creator intended through his final message to all humans.