Monday, March 30, 2020
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Islamic way of handling present crises of Covid 19 on past experiences and methods taught to us by our Great Prophet

By Khawaja Farooq Renzushah

In present crises, Health professionals around the world have been rendered helpless to combat Covid 19. All nuclear Arsenal's, atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, chemical weapons, huge armies surrendered in front of Covid 19 as if it is army of some tiny invisible monsters prevailing to destroy humanity. The increasing velocity of speed with each passing second of this deadly virus which emerged from wuhan China engulfing entire ocean of humanity in its fold has brought world to stand still mode.

The epidemic called officially by WHO as Covid 19 is mysterious. No one comprehends secret or mystery of it's sudden emergence whether it is result of Chemical war between China and USA or because of infection caused by bate or chameleon, or serpent is entirely separate topic which will be delt in separate article. However at present it is necessary to find out how such diseases were checked in past.

While going by the statements of WHO, the number of infections in numerical statics enhancing in lakhs after every eleven days. So far as on evening of 25th March2020 while writing first article on series, the toll of infected persons caused by deadly Covid19 has crossed 4.35000 all around Globe while number of deaths is about to reach to level of 20000 deaths . In India number of deaths caused so far are touching 11 figure. It is apprehended that within further 21 days it may take alarming shape in South Asian countries more worse than European countries and China where from this demon emerged. However if lock down remains successful the number of casualties foreseen may come down in South Asia.

India like all other countries too put 1billion & 24 million population under lock down from today for 21 days. This is appreciating step to protect human lives otherwise as declared by Prime Minister of our country the effect of catastrophe could cast it's macabre shadows for 21 years. The magnitude of this epidemic is such that it has made German Chancellor to go to Quarantine, Prince Charles of UK has proved positive, Wife of Canadian Prime Minister effected. President Trump of USA was also tested as he was deemed suspect. Similarly there is long list of top administrators, celebrities and Iconic personalities who are either infected or died of Covid 19.

What so ever preventive measures every country is taking for countering challenge of Covid 19, it is appropriate time to go deep through history and take benefit of all past experiences how Islam combated all such Tawoons plagues in such extreme crises. It is very necessary to take full benefit of prophetic vision how our Great prophet advised people to fight against such diseases.
No doubt Taweez of Surah Al Rahman has divine protection in such crises but we should find out from experiences documented in past how Islamic way of preventive measures have yielded great results. If we go to recent past and understand scientific interpretation we find that in recent past, outbreaks of swine flu, avian (bird) flu, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) became global infectious diseases. Accordingly all other similar diseases have been taken on a global context and are now on the agenda of world leaders and health policy makers alike.
In covering all countries, to tackle such global health challenges, western Asian & Arabian countries always joined hands. The China, India Japan, Iran, Pakistan, Russia contributed it's role in such crises in past in unison. Health experts had focussed their experience on infectious disease research and linked it to policymaking and infrastructure for joint responses.

However year 2020 is day by day proving real Disaster beginning of end of human population on earth. .The way world is confused and in process of contradiction at present to launch full war jointly against Covid 19 prove that entire policy making of globe require fresh review. All world markets crashed. All countries are at brink of economic collapse and vanishing of human population seems imminent possibility. This scope of infectious diseases is progressively unique and absolutely new challenge for mankind in shaping new global order.

This may be noted that easy and frequent air travel were lavishly allowed when Wuhan China was under grip of deadly evil by all countries except few who proved smart. This interaction actually became easy catalyst for disease to spread rapidly between communities and countries. Earlier global warming, wars, Environmental disasters, conflict, famine, overpopulation, deforestation, and bioterrorism were considered threat to vanish humanity. Surprisingly world remained unaware that one fine morning when we shall open our eyes we will find Covid 19 knocking our doors as mother of all such disasters with death warrants for each human being .The only weapon with us is divine and spiritual power to defy it's death warrant as 1,11,000 victims of disease till now recovered because of strong self immunity or their strong faith of their own respective religious believes.

If we recall swine flu and bird flu in 2003 -2004 the world was shocked when 8098 people became sick with SARS, before the global outbreak was contained but today till 25th March 2020, Covid 19 when I am writing this article of series of my articles on this unique challenge, we find that so far Covid 19 has broken all records of past diseases. The way it is spreading with alarming speed and demolishing entire world order because of massive lock downs not individual countries alone but entire world is likely to become bankrupt economically if it's deadly effect continues to prevail with same speed and velocity.
So far in list of identifications of deadly diseases world’s leading global infectious disease database, has tracked and documented more than 20 major infectious diseases since 1972 but there is no mention of Corona virus in the list. It has never been mentioned nor such dangerous virus has been discovered in any period of history of world. Therefore there is no medicine or drug which can be recommended for it unless some new vaccine is discovered on which work is in progress in all such laboratories of world. Therefore only way to fight it is to increase internal immunity power to kill this unidentified virus code named Covid 19. In this chapter of series of article on this Novel challenge I believe world should take full benefit how our Great prophet tackled such menace when or where ever it occurred during his life time.

If we study Islamic way of handling such incurable diseases, we find that besides divine protection practical and effective measures were taken to combat such epidemic being called Tawoons at that time. I believe it is very appropriate while everyone is confused how to defeat this tiny deadly army of invisible monsters we should take benefit of experience through health pages of Islam how to control the spread of any or all infectious diseases. No one can deny that from health and Hygiene point of view frequent hand washing, covering the mouth with Niqab, staying at home in self Isolation khalwat or Chiallah have been in Vogue in Islam since times immemorial. Today world wants to adopt it.

While dealing challenge of SARS about decade before the world health experts adopted Islamic way of Chiallah and Khalwat for SARS patients in name of self Isolation .we find that in Christ era diseased Pigs were being quarantined for 40 days later Churches adopted as per Bible Quarantine against rebels as matter of punishment to isolate from others. However after wards Quarantine word was applied on plague effected people. While in Islam self isolation was being resorted by healthy persons as preemptive exercise called khalwat or Chiallah. The Health in Islam has always been given top priority as Islam is a religion concerned with creating a community of healthy believers. World experts believe today that Islam is a holistic belief system and it takes into account the physical, emotional, and spiritual well being of individuals and societies. This has been experienced by our Kashmir society international recently in Kashmir that on my advise as chairman Kashmir society international advising people to address divine and spiritual aspect to defeat Covid 19, lakhs of people tied Amulet holy Taweez scripted with Surah Al Rahman as spiritual protection besides resorting to self Isolation khalwat or Chiallah.

The history is witness of fact that more than 1400 years ago, Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was teaching his followers hygiene practices. Today same advises have become fundamentals of effective measures to defeat corana virus at present prevailing with inexorable speed all around world to vanish human race. As advised by Great prophet Islam’s stance on coughing and sneezing are supported by hundreds of books that our great Prophet Muhammad instructed the believers Aitqaadies to cover their faces while sneezing as droplets invisible to the naked eye, may fall onto surfaces or other people. This precautions were taught to Ashiqaan e Rasool saw 1400 years before when there was no concept of invisible virus.

Today Centre for Disease Control in the USA as well as Head of WHO, explicitly confirm that virus that cause contagious diseases are transmitted most readily by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes that is why distance up to 3 feet or more is recommended. The gap between one row and other row without facing each other during Nimaz is recommended strictly where there is no chance to get effected through cough or sneeze face to face. This is scientific way of divine worship.

It has been established that Covid 19 can spread when a person touches a surface or object contaminated with infectious droplets and then touches his or her mouth, nose, or eye. The metallic surfaces facilitate it's survival for 3 days. That is why our Great prophet recommended clay pots which kill the virus through its micro pores.

Once we deeply study Islamic jurisprudence we find cleanliness is basic fundamental of Islam. In Holy Quran Ayat 2:222, it is explicitly mentioned that, “Truly, God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.” The purification besides spiritual is mandatory physical that two five times during day. The Saudi Arabia which was desert city and cleaning by water through method of Ablution (wadhu) to clean all apertures through which entry of virus is apprehended and in spite of being water starved place all Muslims adhered the advise which is still continuing throughout world in Muslim community. This practice of frequent cleaning has now also been recommended by WHO world Health organizations to combat Covid 19.

Prophet Muhammad Saw on cleanliness has emphasised that purity of body is half of faith therefore every human should keep his or her body pure, fresh and clean. Accordingly Islam insists on five times prayers after practice of five times body cleaning to facilitate spiritual cleaning. All private parts of body are strictly to be washed after using the toilet as per Islamic practice. Our great prophet had advised all Muslims to pay serious attention to be pure and clean before praying. Repeated washing of hands, faces, Rinsing of mouth and nose, arms and feet, the gaps between fingers of hands and feet where accumulation of germs is apprehended. This cleaning is repeatedly to be done minimum for five times during day to erase and perish all kinds of germs and virus to flourish over or inside body.

Every one has marked that inn first list of instructions issued by WHO and all Health managers of all countries irrespective of cast, colour, creed or faith included these instructions of Great Prophet Muhammad in its do'es and do nots and list of precautions to remain protected from danger of Covid19.
This is right time to understand that infection control in Islam includes isolation called khalwah, Takhaliya, or Chiallah. Our Great Prophet Muhammad SAW has himself prayed in self isolation Chiallah in historical Hira Cave. It was during this self Isolation Hazrat Jibrael AS arrived with first Ayat of Quran,"Iqra Ruab e ka lazi khalaq" Which indicates divine message of acquiring knowledge. Thus Quran came as gift of knowledge to our Great prophet and each verse of it is true divine Taweez which help every individual to remain spiritually and physically safe and protected.
Our Great prophet the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, instituted strategies for protection of all Aishiqaan e Rasool saw in particular and humanity in general that are today implemented by public health authorities throughout world while combating Covid 19.

At present even top Administrators of world while discouraging international and interstate travels either by road or by Air are referring historical statement of our Great prophet who commanded his followers not to travel to places known to be afflicted with illness. Fourteen hundred years before it was our Great prophet who advised those in the contaminated areas or communities not to leave and spread the disease further afield by advising them to be where they are. It is obvious that at present this virus off shoot of some game plan spread from China to other countries in shape of Covid 19 so fast globally because maximum countries defied to ensure the application of this advise on time.

All international flights and transportation should have been snapped in December19 Or early January 20. Our Great prophet who acknowledged china as abode of knowledge during his life time while forbidding travels during Tawoon, plague not to move away from any part where Tawoon spreads. He even assured the victims who die while abiding his instructions by staying in effected area were promised status of Martyrdom for saving humanity and distinguished place in Janat, “If you hear that there is a plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it (plague) visits a land while you are therein, do not go out of it”.

Great prophet counselled ill people suffering of plague not to visit healthy people and healthy people not to visit tawoon effected ill person. When Covid 19 emerged, china strictly acted on advises of Great prophet given 1400 years before and not only applied self isolation advise, but five times cleaning method and ban on travels. However other countries defied advise of our Great prophet in such situations and allowed travellers from China to sneak inside. Now result is before world. China succeeded to control but all defaulting countries are facing consequences. The countries like Italy old Qastantania, Spain, USA, France and now India and Pakistan are very late to implement travel blockades which are supposed to be initial step in such Tawoon.
Present Covid 19 crises prove that teachings and principles of Islam are designed to benefit entire humankind. The doctrines advised by great prophet were for entire humanity and rules recommendations by Him for personal hygiene and cleanliness are only ways of cure to protect individuals and communities. At present all steps and all emergency measures taken by all countries who failed to stop entry of Virus on territorial borders at initial level are now fully according to advise of Great prophet. This is very clear that all such measures conform almost exactly to the hygiene and infection control practices taught by Prophet Muhammad Saw when ever such plague struck humanity during his period.
Since there is no cure to this fast spreading epidemic. It's fight is left to the individual who suffers of Carona virus disease therefore divine paths are essential to strengthen his or her confidence to reduce effect of virus. The apt method is to strengthen moral confidence of victim that he will win. The chanting of Darood e pak Rasool Akram Saw among Muslim community and respective faiths of all victims of all communities need to be encouraged. We have found in majority of cases the tying of Surah Al Rahman among Muslims and crosses among Christians, Hindu verses among Hindus, Singing of keertans among Sikhs had proved great tools of confidence among victims. Most of them recovered. The recovery of 1,11000 rill today prove it.Encourage inter community love and inter faith relationship in present crises.
This series will continue. Kindly pray for me. Regards Farooq Renzushah. The publishing rights of this latest article on Covid19 remain reserved with Kashmir society international.

(The writer is a Former Director,Information Department. He is also Chairman, Kashmir Society International)

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