Aḥadīth About Contagious Diseases

Question

Has anything been reported from the Holy Prophet (sws) regarding contagious diseases? I have come to know that the Holy Prophet (sws) said that a person living in an infected area should not leave it. A person dying of contagious disease enjoys the death of a martyr. What do you say about the soundness of this narrative? Please explain with the help of other narratives.


Answer

The narrative you have cited above relates to plague. It has been reported in different ḥadīth books. I will copy the text of the narrative from Sahih of Bukhari.

Sa'd (rta) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sws) said: you should not go to an area where plague has broken out. And if you are in such an area, you must not leave it." (No: 5396)

This narrative has been recorded in Sahih of Muslim as well. We can say that it is a sound narrative. There are some other narratives related from the Holy Prophet (sws) in many Ḥadīth books in this regard.A couple of them are being reproduced hereunder

Abu Hurayrah (rta) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sws) said: There is no contagious disease, nor there is any bad luck. The soul of a murdered does not become a thirsty bird. There is no animal that causes hunger. Run from a leprous like you do at the sight of a lion. (No: 5380)

Imam Muslim has mentioned a question on the first part of this narrative with the response of the Holy Prophet (sws).

(After hearing him) a Bedouin asked: What is your opinion about the camels that are hale and healthy like deer in a desert then an itchy camel comes and makes all the camels ill from itching. The Holy Prophet (sws) said: who made the first suffer from itching?"(No:2220)

It seems that the Holy Prophet (sws) wanted to clarify that every infectious disease takes place in accordance with Allah's will.

Translated by: Abid Mahmood Hashmi

About the Author

Talib Mohsin


Mr Talib Mohsin was born in 1959 in the district Pakpattan of Punjab. He received elementary education in his native town. Later on he moved to Lahore and passed his matriculation from the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Lahore. He joined F.C College Lahore and graduated in 1981. He has his MA in Islamic Studies from the University of Punjab. He joined Mr Ghamidi to learn religious disciplines during early years of his educational career. He is one of the senior students of Mr Ghamidi form whom he learnt Arabic Grammar and major religious disciplines.

He was a major contributor in the establishment of the institutes and other organizations by Mr Ghamidi including Anṣār al-Muslimūn and Al-Mawrid. He worked in Ishrāq, a monthly Urdu journal, from the beginning. He worked as assistant editor of the journal for many years. He has been engaged in research and writing under the auspice of Al-Mawrid and has also been teaching in the Institute.

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