Quarantine Against Infectious Diseases

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In a hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: 

وَقَالَ عَفَّانُ حَدَّثَنَا سَلِيمُ بْنُ حَيَّانَ، حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ مِينَاءَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ، يَقُولُ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ لاَ عَدْوَى وَلاَ طِيَرَةَ وَلاَ هَامَةَ وَلاَ صَفَرَ، وَفِرَّ مِنَ الْمَجْذُومِ كَمَا تَفِرُّ مِنَ الأَسَدِ

“(There is) no ‘Adwa (no contagious disease is conveyed without Allah’s permission). nor is there any bad omen (from birds), nor is there any Hamah, nor is there any bad omen in the month of Safar, and one should run away from the leper1 as one runs away from a lion.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 5707

The comparative statement in this hadith has nothing to do with the resemblance to the lion of the leprosy microbe, or leprosy, as some might think. The “escape” recommended here should not be taken to mean literally, as running away and escaping.

Instead, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) advises us to investigate the remedies to fight and protect against the disease called leprosy with this hadith. In other words, he recommends that we escape it by fighting.

Prophet Muhammad has many recommendations when fighting diseases, including quarantine, working to prevent contamination, and finding a cure:

Narrated by Saud:

The Prophet (ﷺ) 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.”

 Sahih al-Bukhari 5728

As Abu Huraira narrates,

“The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment.'”

Sahih al-Bukhari 5678

Footnotes

  1. an infectious skin disease
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