Islam calls for protecting communities against epidemics: Sheikh Al-Manea

July 30, 2020

Saudi Gazette report

ARAFAT — Islam's teachings seek to ensure people's health and physical wellbeing, and maintain the cleanliness of oneself and keep the environment clean. The teachings also call for taking measures to protect communities against the spread of epidemics, said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Suleiman Al-Manea, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars and adviser at the Royal Court, in his Arafat sermon.

Sheikh Al-Manea quoted a verse from the Holy Qur'an that says: “People of eemaan, when you want to perform prayers but you are in a state of lesser impurity, you must first perform wudoo by washing your faces, washing your forearms up to and including the elbows, passing your wet hands over your heads, and washing your feet up to and including the ankles. If you are in a state of major impurity, you must first perform ghusl by washing your bodies in their entirety”.

“And purify your garments”. Allah also told us that His Prophet Ibrahim had said: “And when I am ill, it is Allah who cures me”. Additionally, Allah described His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by saying, “He will permit wholesome things for them and prohibit them from all that is detestable”. Furthermore, the Prophet said: “Servants of Allah, seek a cure for ailments since there is no ailment which does not have a cure." The Prophet also said: "Flee from a person with leprosy as you would flee from a lion", as well as "Do not put one who is ill with one who is healthy."

Sheikh Al-Manea also quoted the Prophet further: "If you hear of an epidemic in a place, do not enter it; and if an epidemic spreads in a place where you are, do not leave it."

Sheikh Al-Manea said that based on this hadeeth which prohibits traveling from one location to another during times when there are highly contagious diseases spreading, a decision was made by the Saudi Arabia government to limit the number of people performing Hajj this year, and to only have it consist of individuals from a wide array of nationalities who are already within the nation's borders.

This allows for Hajj to still be performed while taking all necessary measures for protecting people's health and maintaining social distancing.

Precautions have been put in place to protect lives against the damage that the pandemic can cause, and also to actualize Islam's teachings pertaining to safeguarding human life by Allah's permission, Al-Manea added.

Al-Manea also said that deep gratitude is also extended to all Muslims for their positive response to comply with our nation's precautionary regulations that were implemented in Makkah and Madinah to protect people from the potential effects of the current pandemic.

We pray that Allah rewards Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman as well as Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and all individuals of the nation's leadership and government for the efforts they expend to serve and protect the Two Holy Mosques.

"O Allah, bless their efforts, reward them immensely, and protect them against all harms and against all individuals who want ill for them," Sheikh Al-Manea prayed.

Al-Manea also said Islam prescribes various directives including those pertaining to governance and security. It calls for measures that ensure the safety and stability of people and their lands, and which enable people to perform all of their tasks and duties and also teaches us to protect people's rights, preserve their lives, and safeguard their properties.

Sheikh Al-Manea pointed out that Islam's teachings protect people's rights, preserve their lives, and safeguard their properties. They prohibit transgression against others or extending harm to them. They also prohibit instigating problems, supporting terrorism, and spreading corruption anywhere in the world. They encourage staying clear of any paths leading to strife, and they emphasize not falling prey to opponents who lurk and look for a chance to attack. They obligate adherence to official regulations, and obedience to leaders in authority in all things that do not amount to disobeying Allah.

They enjoin justice, bringing about the greatest overall good, averting all that is disadvantageous, achieving accord between people, and striving for rectification, Sheikh Al-Manea added.

praising Allah, the Continually Pardoning, Continually Forgiving and the Almighty who overpowers all else.

He asked Muslims to observe taqwaa of Allah (by fulfilling His commands and avoiding His prohibitions). Observing taqwaa is the instruction that Allah gave all former and latter generations. Allah, who is perfect in every way, said, (We most certainly commanded the people of the scriptures prior to you, as well as you yourselves, to observe taqwaa of Allah. However, if you refuse to accept the truth from Allah, you will not harm Him in any way.

Sheikh Al-Manea said that the most important component of taqwaa is tawheed: sincerely devoting all worship to Allaah alone. Thus, no prayer, supplication, sacrifice, vow, or any other form of worship should be devoted to other than Allah, the Most Exalted.

Another component of taqwaa is persevering through difficulties one faces which may cause him pain. Allaah, the Most Exalted, said: “They patiently persevere through extreme poverty and illness, as well as at times of battle. The people who have those qualities are the ones who have been true to Allah, and they are the ones who observe taqwaa,” Sheikh Al-Manea observed.

Sheikh Al-Manea told the pilgrims that adversities lead a servant of Allah to remember the multitude of goodness and blessings that Allah already granted him. Allah, the Most Exalted, said: “And if you attempted to enumerate the blessings of Allaah, you would remain unable to do so. Allah is truly Most Forgiving, Bestower of mercy”.

Adversities lead a servant of Allah to recognize his Lord's limitless ability, and to then return to his Lord with humility, penitence, and hope. Adversities remind human beings about the hereafter and prompt them to prepare for the abode of Jannah which contains no adversities or sorrows, Sheikh Al-Manea reminded the pilgrims.

Sheikh Al-Manea also said that adversities of this world serve as a test for people, and allow those who persevere to be distinguished from those who are impatient. However, no matter how difficult circumstances may become in this world, those difficulties do not last forever. Allah's mercy is always more expansive, and the relief He grants is always near. He promised to provide relief and ease.

Adversities faced in this life open various gates to obeying Allah, the Most Exalted, by hoping to attain His reward for taking measures to prevent harms before they may occur, as well as for striving to remove them after they have set in. The blessed teachings of Islam have prescribed a number of directives that aim to achieve those outcomes.

For instance, there are directives Allah prescribed for dealing with adversities of an economic and financial nature, so as to bring about a dignified life for people at large. Islam's teachings encourage earnings, promote productivity, urge doing work, and support commerce.

According to Islam's teachings, the default ruling concerning trade is permissibility; and they only prohibit things such as usury, deception, and dishonesty in transactions. Islam's teachings prescribe that public and private property be protected, that agreements be honored, and that stipulated terms be fulfilled.

Islam's teachings give order to commercial cooperation and exchange; they prescribe settling debts, as well as documenting liabilities and obligations; they warn against extravagance; they obligate giving charity to the needy; and they encourage charity during times of adversity and distress.

There are also directives prescribed for protecting communities, as well as resolving social and psychological issues. Islam's teachings prescribe treating parents well, upholding ties of kinship, and raising children properly; they foster harmony, togetherness, and social solidarity; they give each spouse rights that must be fulfilled by the other; and they protect the rights of any human being whether man, woman, child, elderly, young, able-bodied, or with special needs.

Islam's teachings promote giving consideration to the feelings of others, supporting others during their times of hardship, observing sound conduct, and using wholesome words when speaking. They encourage the promotion of love, harmony, and cooperation among people.

The guidance and directives Allaah gives you are certainly most admirable. Indeed, Allaah hears all and sees all.

In Hajj this year, we reiterate that it is a must for the Hujjaaj, as well as everyone assisting them, to adhere to the precautionary regulations that have been implemented. This is to be done for their own safety, Sheikh Al-Manea said.

Dear people of eemaan, the greatest means to attaining Allaah's blessings and averting hardships is du'aa' (supplicating Allaah). Allaah Himself promised to respond to those who supplicate Him.

“O Allah, remove the pandemic we are facing, cure the ill, and enable researchers and those working in the medical field to uncover treatments for diseases.”

“O Allah, bestow an abundance of Your favors upon Your servants, and enrich them out of Your bounty.”

“O Allah, sow the seeds of love and affinity between Your servants; and enable them to cooperate in fulfilling Your commands and avoiding Your prohibitions, not in perpetrating sins or transgression.”

“O Allah, spread in our midst safety and stability, out of Your favor and kindness.

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