We would like to take this opportunity to remind the Muslim community of the following points:
1. COVID-19 is everybody’s responsibility. It affects all of us, irrespective of our differences.
2. This crisis is a time for Muslims to demonstrate the sublimeness of their Islam, specifically calmness in the face of adversity, altruism, and the highest standards of personal hygiene. These are matters of faith that should be demonstrated every day whether as individuals, groups, or businesses.
3. The Muslim Ummah when faced with a trial or a pandemic such as this, faces it with reliance on Allah (swt) and adopting the practical means whilst placing full trust in our Creator (swt). We face it whilst seeking forgiveness, and by referring to a tenant of our core belief that the believer submits to the Qada (judgement) of Allah (swt), and that calamity afflicts people so that Allah (swt) can test their faith with Him (swt). We ask Allah (swt) that this is not sent to us as a punishment.
The guidance from our Prophet (saw) is to invite people to seek forgiveness and do good deeds whilst seeking a cure with the full belief that the healer is only Allah (swt).
Following our beloved Prophet (saw) carries a great reward, whether it is in taking his advice in seeking a cure and prevention, or in understanding how a believer should view it. Al-Bukhari narrated through Abu Hurairah that the Messenger (saw) said,
لاَ تُورِدُوا المُمْرِضَ عَلَى المُصِحّ
“The one who is ill shall not meet the healthy”
And he (saw) also said,
إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ بِالطَّاعُونِ بِأَرْضٍ فَلاَ تَدْخُلُوهَا، وَإِذَا وَقَعَ بِأَرْضٍ وَأَنْتُمْ بِهَا فَلاَ تَخْرُجُوا مِنْهَا
“If you hear that the plague is in a land, do not enter it, and if it happens in a land where you are, then do not leave it” (Al-Bukhari)
Aisha reports that she asked the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, about plagues and he said,
أَنَّهُ كَانَ عَذَابًا يَبْعَثُهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَنْ يَشَاءُ، فَجَعَلَهُ اللَّهُ رَحْمَةً لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ، فَلَيْسَ مِنْ عَبْدٍ يَقَعُ الطَّاعُونُ، فَيَمْكُثُ فِي بَلَدِهِ صَابِرًا، يَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ لَنْ يُصِيبَهُ إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ، إِلَّا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ الشَّهِيدِ
“It is a punishment that Allah sends upon whoever he wills, but Allah has made it a mercy for the believers. Any servant who resides in a land afflicted by plague, remaining patient and hoping for reward from Allah, knowing that nothing will befall him but what Allah has decreed, he will be given the reward of a martyr.” (Al-Bukhari)
4. On matters like COVID-19, when seeking a cure and/or prevention, Islam demands we base our response on expert advice. The shariah insists we take this responsibility seriously as we would be legally responsible for inflicting harm upon others through our negligence. Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْؤول عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ، الإِمَامُ رَاعٍ وَمَسْؤولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ، وَالرَّجُلُ رَاعٍ فِي أَهْلِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْؤولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ، وَالْمَرْأَةُ رَاعِيَةٌ فِي بَيْتِ زَوْجِهَا وَمَسْؤولَةٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهَا، وَالْخَادِمُ رَاعٍ فِي مَالِ سَيِّدِهِ ومَسْؤولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ، -قَالَ: وَحَسِبْتُ أَنْ قَدْ قَالَ: وَالرَّجُلُ رَاعٍ فِي مَالِ أَبِيهِ وَمَسْؤولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ- وَكُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَمَسْؤولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ
“Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” (Bukhari/Muslim)
5. This crisis is a stark reminder, again, of the consequences of the absence of a genuine Islamic polity in the Muslim world.
Muslims will always be subject to the political machinations of those who have inflicted destruction upon us, the betrayal of ‘our’ rulers, and the dismal political, economic and technological realities that disregard the sanctity of Muslim life.
We see this both in times of peace and war, and we see it again with indifference and incompetence in the Muslim world with COVID-19.
Muslims truly are a flock without a shepherd, highlighting the gravity of working for this change.
6. Humanity is facing this pandemic lead by nations who place economic considerations over human life and dignity. It is not unfathomable that powers who drop bombs, whether conventional, nuclear or chemical, on populations would place the humanitarian value a distant second after the economy.
7. It is a great shame Muslims are living in the absence of the Khilafah today, and have been for decades, whose 99 year anniversary is about to pass us in this month of Rajab.
It is a great crime from a shariah point of view and a great crime from a human point of view.
The whole world is suffering from the West’s ideological and political architecture that has caused the many problems it ostensibly seeks to fix today. COVID-19 is a stark reminder of the urgency of establishing a world order that places the protection and elevation of the human condition at its very core.
Media Office of Hizb ut-Tahrir