By Pervez Bari
Bhopal: Hazrat Maulana Fazlurraheem Mujaddidi, secretary All India Muslim Personal Law Board, has given a clarion call to Muslims in particular and other communities in general to honour lockdown restrictions while maintaining social distancing, personal hygiene and taking preventive measures to spiritedly fight the Coronavirus pandemic and come out victorious.
Maulana Mujaddidi in his Online address (Khitab-e-Juma) from Jaipur said that while virtually the whole world is affected by the pandemic the Indian government has issued guidelines to be followed during the lockdown which Muslims and others must follow it in letter and spirit. Efforts should also be made to see that no one in the neighbourhood goes to sleep hungry. His topic of address was “Isteqbal –e-Ramzan Aur Maujuda Haalat”.
While quoting extensively from the Holy Quran and Hadiths the Islamic scholar exhorted Muslims to offer their daily Namaaz, Namaz-e-Juma and even Taraweeh prayers in the month of Ramzan at their homes only and not to venture out unnecessarily to avoid falling prey to Covid-19 disease. He asked Muslims to spend more time in “Ibaadat” i.e. offering Namaz, reciting the Holy Quran with understanding and do other “azkaar”. The Muslim Ummah should cooperate with the district administration, police and doctors along with medical staff in tackling with the pandemic effectively.
He said Islam is a Deen-e-Fitrat (a natural religion) which guides its followers in walks of life. The Holy Quran and Hadiths stipulate as how to fight back epidemics and pandemics which was taught by Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him: PBUH) to the Muslim Ummah. The Prophet (PBUH) had more than 1400 centuries ago had 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.” (Reported by Bukhari & Muslim Hadiths)
The learned Maulana Mujaddidi pointed out that in such an environment of epidemics, the Prophet (PBUH) established the system of quarantine which is considered the basis of modern preventative medicine after the discovery of the microbes that cause diseases and plagues. In order to make sure that his order would be carried out properly, he (PBUH) established a wall around the area of the plague and promised those who are patient and stay in the area of the plague with the reward of the martyrs, and those who run away from it were promised doom and perdition.
Lockdown Concept existed 1400 yrs. ago
If a healthy person was asked two hundred years ago to stay with the sick people in a plague area, he would have considered this some kind of nonsense and in response to his desire to live he would have run away to another place. Only Muslims did not run away and leave at the time of plague in compliance with the order of their Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Non-Muslims mocked them for this act until it was later discovered that those who appear to be healthy with no symptoms, are the germ carriers who might transfer the plague to another place if they moved to it. They would move freely and mingle with healthy people, so they might cause them to catch the disease. Thus, the concept of lockdown existed more than 1400 years ago which is being now practiced by the present era governments in various part of the world, the renowned Islamic cleric stated.
Meanwhile, at the time of the Prophet (PBUH) as well as before and after his time until Pasteur managed to discover the existence of microbes, people used to think that diseases were caused by devils, demons and stars. That is they were not related to cleanliness or certain behaviours; thus, they resorted to sorcery and magic as a remedy.
Modern science now understands the ways in which micro-organisms multiply and the diseases they cause. Scientists affirm that healthy people who have no symptoms in the place of plague are already carrying the microbe and so they represent a real threat because they may transfer the plague to another place if they move to it.
Cleanliness and procedures that are now being widely recommended for minimizing infections are big part of Islamic life style. For example, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 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 (Namaaz), before and after eating, after using the bathroom and at other times.
3 types of crises
Continuing his address Maulana Mujaddidi opined that that the present pandemic has resulted in three types of crises viz. 1. No vaccine still available for Coronavirus, though research is underway, afflicting the masses; 2. Rumour-mongering and hate campaign targeting Muslims for spread of Coronavirus & 3. Helping out the poor, daily wagers, migrant workers, laid off employees from small manufacturing units closed due to lockdown etc. who are facing the spectre of hunger with no money left with them.
He lamented that rumours, fake news and hate campaign are causing much discomfiture in the society with innocents being victimised and causing impediments in combating efficiently Coronavirus pandemic. Muslims are being accused of spreading the disease with their allegedly bad and dirty habits. He cautioned the masses to counter-check the facts before believing any rumours and fake news. Islam stresses its followers to counter-check the facts before moving it forward. He said undoubtedly at times of tribulation there is a lot of propaganda and excitement, hence the role of rumours and fake news. It is well known that verifying news is required according to Islamic Sharee’ah, because Allah says (interpretation of the Quran meaning):
“O you who believe! If a Faasiq (liar — evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done”. [al-Hujuraat 49:6]
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “It is enough sin for a man to speak of everything that he hears.” Al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 2025.
It may be mentioned here that Maulana Fazlurraheem Mujaddidi is Rector of Jamea-Tul-Hidaya, Jaipur. He is chairman of a number of institutions such as Foundation for Civil Liberties, Maulana Abdur Rahim Educational Trust, Crescent Academy for Civil Services Exams, Al-Hidaya Islamic Research Centre, Group of Imam Rabbani Public Schools & Maulana Abdur Rahim Foundation.
It may be recalled here that Maulana Mujaddidi has been vigilantly keeping an eye on the various government schemes for the minorities. He was a member of the Consultative Group for Empowerment of Minorities, Planning Commission of India. To make sure that minorities, especially the Muslims, could achieve the maximum benefits of these schemes he had discussions with the government in the past. During the earlier years of the decade, he organised several national-level seminars on government schemes for minorities all over India making Power Point presentations everywhere. A madrasa product Maulana Mujaddidi with his endeavours was lovingly nicknamed as “Laptop Maulana” by his followers and fans.