Propheticﷺ Teachings about Social Distancing

Propheticﷺ Teachings about Social Distancing

Islam furnished guidance to humanity 1400 years ago in every walk of life. Exploring wisdom contained in the Islamic teachings is our task. 

Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) gave utmost importance to his own health and public health. The medical precautions and guidelines that Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave 14 centuries ago is being reaffirmed by modern medical science today.  Islam’s directive principle “to protect life”  refers to protecting personal and public health. An epidemic or pandemic obviously threatens both personal and public health. The most important aspect of the pandemic is the element of human contact, which should be decreased to the lowest possible level to minimise the virus’s deadly effect. Social distancing is an infection prevention and control method implemented to avoid/decrease contact between those who are infected with a disease and those who are not, so as to stop or slow down the rate and extent of disease transmission in a community. This eventually leads to decrease in spread, morbidity and mortality due to the disease.

As the Covid-19 outbreak continues to kill tens of thousands of people across the world, Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ)’s advice on social distancing is pertinent today to protect vulnerable people from the deadly virus.

Muslims need to abide by social distancing rules in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with the advice of the Prophet(peace be upon him) as mentioned in the below ahadith:

When Prophet(peace be upon him) was in Medina and was about to make an agreement with one of the delegations, he refused to allow one of the people [from the delegation], who had a contagious disease to enter the healthy population of the city and sent him back [to where he came from].

Hadith #1
As-Shareed ibn Suwayd ath-Thaqafi narrated, Among the delegation from Thaqif there was a man with leprosy. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sent a word to him, saying, “We have accepted your oath of allegiance, so you may go.”►[Sahih Muslim,Kitab us Salam,Hadith #2231]

Prophet(peace be upon him) advised to keep distance of 6 – 8 ft while talking with a patient of “جزام”(a contagious disease).

Hadith #2
Sayyiduna Imam Hussain(RA) narrated from Hadrat Ali(Radiyallahu Anhu) that Prophet(peace be upon him) said :  “When you interact with someone who is afflicted with Juzaam(a contagious disease) there should be between you and the person, a space of the length of a spear(approx 6 feet.).”►{Musnad Imam Ahmed Ibn Hambal, Hadith # 851 and Musnad Abu Yala ,Hadith #6774}

Reference speeches by Shaykh ul Islam Dr. Tahir ul Qadri