The Islamic Solution By Imam Fuad Adeyemi About Ebola Epidemics
Islam differs from other religions in that it concerns itself with both this life as well as the hereafter. It is the only religion that has built on earth a state and a society. Hence all the instructions for administrating such a society descended directly from Allah through our messenger.
Some concern the ruling system, others social and economic dealings in addition to the hygienic regime.
Islam as a divine religion has proffered solution to all universal challenges, currently a particular disease is spreading like wildfire, it’s called EVD, Ebola virus disease is a human disease caused by Ebola virus.
Historically Ebola virus was first discovered simultaneously at both Sudan an Zaire now DRC when a dead monkey that was infested was carried by a man near a river called Ebola in Zaire hence the virus was named after the river Ebola.
The virus that doesn’t have any cure yet is spreading in West Africa seriously and it’s very deadly .It has almost 50-70% mortality rate is recognized by excessive fever, after 2 to 3 weeks of contracting it, sore throat, muscle pain, headaches vomiting etc it can also lead to bleeding in several parts of the body.
The suspected reservoirs for Ebola are fruit bats.
• Transmission to humans is thought to originate from infected bats or primates that have become infected by bats.
• Undercooked infected bat and primate (bush) meat transmits the virus to humans.( avoid bush meat that you )
• Human to human transmission is only achieved by physical contact with a person who is acutely and gravely ill from the Ebola virus or their body fluids like urine, saliva etc
• Transmission among humans is almost exclusively among caregiver family members or health care workers tending to the very ill.
To avoid it the medical practitioners recommend That since The virus is easily killed by contact with soap, bleach, sunlight, or drying. Wash your hands often
• A person can incubate the virus without symptoms for 2-21 days, the average being 5-8 days before becoming ill. THEY ARE NOT CONTAGIOUS until they are acutely ill.
• Only when ill does the viral load express itself first in the blood and then in other bodily fluids (to include vomit, feces, urine, breast milk, semen and sweat).
• If you are walking around you are not infectious to others.
Islam as a religion intends to create a community that is healthy and immune against infectious diseases, and the healthy individual (in body and mind) who is capable of understanding and applying God’s message and carrying it away to the entire world because of these as Muslims let us no look at what islam says on;
I. CLEANLINESS, PURIFICATION AND ABLUTION
1. Body: Islam recommends bathing for twenty-three reasons. Seven of them are compulsory and sixteen are preferable.
2. Hands: Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) says: “Wash thy hands before and after eating”, and “Wash thy hands after awakening. No one knows where his hands lay during his sleep.”
3. Islam recommends cleanliness and elegance in clothing “Ameliorate thy clothing and thy mount”.
4. Food and drink: Orders for protecting food from dust and insects, the prophet says “Cover thy vessels and drinks”
5. Residence: “Clean thy courtyards and thy residence” as well as cleanliness of streets: “It is charitable to remove harms from the road.”
6. Water sources such as wells, rivers and shores. Therefore, urinating and defecating are forbidden in any of them— “Avoid three evils; defecation in water sources, shades and in the road.
II. ISLAM’S INSTRUCTION IN EPIDEMIC DISEASES CONTROL
Having mentioned the role of cleanliness in preventing diseases, now Islâm’s instructions to combat epidemics.
1. Isolation: Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) says in this respect “Infectious cases should not contact the healthy”
2. Quarantine: on cases such as lepers “Leave a space of a spear or two between ye and the leper”
3. Islam also laid basic rules for dealing with an epidemic such as Cholera, plague and smallpox “Do not enter a land of which you hear there is a pestilence, and if ye are in that land do not try to leave it in escape” .
4. Islam encourages every means of protection from infectious diseases such as immunisation. When the prophet (PBUH) was once asked whether such protective measures prevent God’s fate, he (PBUH) said that it is a part of God’s will.
III. NUTRITION IN ISLAM
Islam concerned itself with three aspects of the Muslim’s food:
a. Forbidding the harmful food
b. Acquainting the Muslim with the beneficial food.
c. Rectifying his eating habits.
A. Forbidden Items:
God announces: –
“Forbidden to ye are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been invoked in the name of other than God. That which hath been killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a headlong fall, or gored to death; that which hath been partly eaten by a wild animal, unless you are able to slaughter it in due form”
Islam has also forbidden liquor in great as well as small quantities, the harm of which is undisputed. Moreover, its moral and spiritual harm is worse than its physical harm.
In case we try our best and there is any eventuality, burying such a person is to be conducted by specially trained personnel and ghuzlu is not to be performed.
In their flourishing days, Islamic capitals were models in cleanliness and elegance.
The streets were paved and were daily swept and cleaned and illuminated by lanterns at night, Meanwhile, Europe was a dump full of insects and pigs. The Muslim was considered an ideal being preceeding his time, elegant in his costumes, his mount, his habits and his food.
Historic references mention that early Muslims lived longer and healthier than the Muslims of today, that some of the prophet’s companions participated in contention till the age of sixty or seventy. This is actually ascribed to following the hygienic instructions of Islam and the avoidance of corruption.
Moreover, epidemics and diseases in the Islamic world were much less than they were in Europe at the same period. Even the plagues which exterminated quarter of the inhabitants of the European continent were nullified on the boarders of the Islamic world.
In this respect, Bernard Shaw a british author and historian mentions in his book “The Doctor’s Dilemma- that no sooner had Britain occupied the Sandwich Islands and managed to convert its inhabitants from Islam to Christianity than infectious diseases and epidemics spread among them, and that, says Shaw, is ascribed to abandoning the instructions of Islam which enjoin cleanliness even in trivial matters such as cutting the nails and burying the pairings.
Imam A. A. Fuad
Al-habibiyyah Academy, Abuja, Nigeria.