ADVISORY ON MANAGING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
IRSYAD (RELIGIOUS ADVISORY) ON MANAGING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
Office of the Mufti
Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
- This religious guidance aims to outline the measures for Muslims to follow in response to the Wuhan coronavirus (2019-NCOV) situation.
- The Singapore Muslim community shares the responsibility of minimising the transmission of the virus, and ensuring that the situation remains under control. Islam teaches us to place great importance to the community’s interest and wellbeing. We have a collective responsibility to safeguard the public’s health.
- Several precautions should be taken as part of our efforts to manage the situation:
First Step: Be cautious and careful
- We should maintain good personal hygiene and monitor our health regularly. We must make it a habit to wash our hands with soap so, that any bacteria that is on our hands do not enter our bodies.
- We should cover our mouth and nose with a tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and avoid passing on any bacteria or viruses through close physical contact with others, such as shaking hands.
- If we experience symptoms of illness such as fever, cough, cold or breathing difficulties, we must always ensure that we put on the appropriate mask and promptly seek medical attention.
- We are encouraged to postpone any unnecessary travel to China. If travel is unavoidable, we should ensure that we take necessary precautions, such as avoiding contact with live animals and avoiding consumption of raw and undercooked meat.
Second Step: Avoid public places if unwell
- Avoid public crowded places if we feel unwell. The Prophet s.a.w. once forbade a sick individual from leaving his house [Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim]. This prohibition is to prevent the virus from spreading to other areas and infecting individuals. We should also follow the advice of healthcare professionals. This includes putting ourselves in quarantine if necessary for the wellbeing of our family and society.
- Islam provides flexibility to a sick person in facing his/her difficulties. Allah s.w.t. says in surah al-Fath, verse 17:
“There is no blame upon the blind, nor any blame upon the lame, nor any blame upon the sick”
- If you are feeling unwell, Islam has provided you with the flexibility of not attending Friday prayers, as mentioned by al-Nawawi in his book, Rauḍah Al-Ṭālibīn.Instead, you are to pray the Zohor prayer in its place.
Third Step: Stay updated with the latest news through valid sources
- The Muslim community must always ensure the validity of any news. We should never spread any unverified news that may cause a stir and create confusion among members of community. This is part of Allah’s reminders towards us. Allah says:
“O you who believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm people out of ignorance and become regretful of what you have done.” (Surah Al-Hujurat, verse 6).
- In addition, it is important for us to ensure that we do not form opinions and make judgements without care or consideration, such as attributing any unfortunate incident to be a result of committing a wrong/sin. Allah knows best the reason behind every incident. What has been commanded to us by Allah is to pray and rely upon Him, combined with our efforts in ameliorating the situation.
- One of the prayers the Prophet has taught us in facing such trials and adversities is:
“In the Name of Allah with Whose Name there is protection against every kind of harm in the earth or in the heaven, and He is the All-Hearing and All-Knowing.” [Hadith narrated by Abu Daud and at-Tirmizi].
Another prayer that the Prophet has taught us is:
“O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from leprosy, insanity, elephantiasis, and evil diseases.” [Hadith narrated by Abu Daud].
- May Allah preserve us always in good health and wellbeing in this world and the hereafter. Amin.
OFFICE OF THE MUFTI
MAJLIS UGAMA ISLAM SINGAPURA