Today, the whole world has become one in the fight against the Coronavirus. Various governments and private institutions are devising new schemes and adopting precautionary measures. Similarly, the central and state governments of India are also forming effective plans to fight the situation. Doctors, nurses, policemen and other government departments are toiling hard to save people from this deadly disease. But, at the same time, some recent incidents in India have resulted in blaming Islam for the spread of the virus and many have started to target Islam in the prevailing situation.
To obey the Government is a Religious Obligation of a Muslim
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community India expresses its gratitude towards the central and state governments of India that they adopted various precautionary measures to control the spread of the disease and provided various guidelines to deal with the situation. Being Muslims it is our religious obligation to obey all the instructions given by the government as guided by the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet of Islam(saw). By obeying the government instructions, in the light of Islamic teachings, a Muslim is not only saving himself from the disease but also fulfilling his social responsibility and expressing affection towards mankind, which is the core of Islamic teachings.
Purpose of establishing Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
At a time when Muslims had completely forgotten the teachings of Islam, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (AS) laid the foundation of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in 1889 to enlighten the world with the true, pure and pristine spirit of Islamic teachings. This community was found with the objective of establishing peace, justice and high Islamic & moral virtues. As stated by the founder, this community was established to fulfil mainly two objectives; to create a bond between man and his Creator with complete wisdom of Devine existence, and to develop a strong feeling of love and empathy towards others; the soul of Islamic teachings.
Today, by the grace of God, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, India is representing the true Islam in the world.
Islam’s precautionary measures to deal with an epidemic
Islam is a practical & progressive faith-based system that encourages people to seek medical assistance and precautionary measures to fight disease, alongside relying on the power of prayer.
The Holy Prophet of Islam(SAW) recognised and preached the importance of travel bans and quarantine in places contaminated with the disease in order to mitigate the spread of illness. He said, “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
So it is in complete accordance with this teaching that nowadays governments are restricting travels and instructing quarantine.
Islam instructs to observe social distancing during epidemics
The Prophet of Islam instructed infected people to maintain the quarantine.
It is reported that a leprous man once wished to pledge his allegiance to him, an act that would require him to touch or hold the Holy Prophet’s (SAW) hand. Observing distance, the Holy Prophet (SAW) graciously said that his pledge has already been accepted and that he should return home(to maintain the quarantine) (Sunan Ibn Majah)
Regarding isolation, the Holy Prophet (saw) taught that sick should not, in any way, compromise the health of the community at large. Prophet said, “Do not accommodate sick with healthy.” This teaching was extended to animals as well; “The cattle suffering from a disease should not be mixed with healthy cattle.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
Today, some Muslims find it hard to observe quarantine and social distancing while Prophet (SAW) declared these to be a religious obligation.
Islam and hygiene
Islam instructs to remain clean and declares cleanliness to be an essential part of faith. A Muslim cleans his hands and nose five times a day through ablution.
Furthermore, the Holy Prophet (SAW) would cover his face and muffle the sneeze, effectively containing the spread of airborne bacteria and viruses. (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi)
These practices have nowadays become an essential requirement for a person to defend against this contagious disease.
Islam instructs to seek medical treatment, in addition, to rely on prayers
Along with prayers, Islam has always instructed to use medicines a mean to treat a disease.
The Holy Prophet (saw) also clarified that seeking medical assistance coupled with the divine intervention is the key to successful treatment; “There is a cure to every disease. If a cure is applied to the disease, it is relieved by the permission of Allah the Almighty”. (Sahih Muslim)
Islam instructs to deliver kindness towards humanity; especially during an epidemic
Free medical care and financial assistance during a pandemic are crucial during the spread of illness. Islam instructs to help and serve the affected regardless of their religion and beliefs in such critical times.
It is reported that Hazrat Umar (RA) once came across a group of Christians afflicted with leprosy. He immediately ordered the financial help be provided to them and directed to provide them with medical assistance.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at India representing the true Islam
These are the golden teachings of Islam which are in complete accordance with human instinct. Prophet (SAW) emphasizes to adopt all the precautionary measures and necessary medical assistance during the spread of a contagious disease. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is actively following all these Islamic guidelines during this outbreak of COVID-19.
But today, some Muslims, as a result of forgetting the true teachings of Islam, are unaware of their religious and social responsibilities.
Pieces of Advice of the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at
Ahmadiyya Muslim community India unquestionably abides by the teachings of Islam. Obedience to the government instructions is a distinctive characteristic of this community. On 27 March 2020, the worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, through his special message, instructed all Ahmadi Muslims residing in 213 countries around the world that it is the responsibility of all Ahmadi Muslims to obey the government restrictions of their respective nations. He stressed that every Ahmadi should observe the daily prayers and Friday prayers in their homes with their families if religious gatherings are restricted by the authorities. His holiness also instructed to remain in homes and use this time to increase knowledge and focus more on prayers during this time.
Ahmadis are at the front in obeying the lockdown rules
Government instructions are fully implemented in the city of Qadian, which is the national headquarter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in India. Ahmadi Muslims are observing their prayers in homes. A senior police officer of this district told the media, “Qadian is number one in this district in obeying the rules of the lockdown.” Not just Qadian, Ahmadi Muslims all over India have valued the instructions of the government. A senior police officer of Kulgam Kashmir had this to say at the funeral of an Ahmadi Muslim, “This community has systematically obeyed all instructions of lockdown. I did not have to give any instructions to them, instead, they themselves did everything in a well-organised manner.”
Relief services of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at India
The youth wing of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at ‘Khuddamul Ahmadiyya’ and the community’s charitable organization ‘Humanity First’ are nowadays involved in helping the needy in their difficult times.
As per the instruction of our worldwide leader, some preventive homoeopathic medicines had been distributed all over India, to at least 50,000 people within the initial stage when this disease had not spread much in this country. Moreover, in association with health departments, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at is creating awareness camps regarding the disease in about 15 different regions. The community has distributed masks and sanitizers to about 2000 people living in rural areas.
After the announcement of the lockdown, the volunteers of the community have distributed ration and essentials to more than 15000 families of daily wagers after acquiring permission from concerned departments. Food has been distributed to more than 40,000 people.
“Today, it is essential that we pray to God more and more and obey all instructions from the government in this regard. We should altogether try to fight this crisis. May God save the world from this deadly disease. Amin.” said Ahmadiyya spokesman.