With the pandemic of the coronavirus spreading across the world and the death toll increasing, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, in his Friday Sermon today emphasised the need to take precaution against the virus while also giving valuable advice. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa highlighted how Muslims, who perform ablution before prayers, have a great means of protection. Further, Huzooraa commented on how the abstinence of shaking hands between men and women that Islam invokes, has now become a social norm due to the virus.
The transcript of these passages, mentioned in today’s Friday Sermon, is provided for the benefit of all:
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
“I would now like to say a few things about the pandemic of the coronavirus that has spread, and draw the attention of the Jamaat towards it. We should all abide by and follow the instructions that are being issued by governments and departments with regard to precautions [against the virus].
“At the very onset, I advised some precautionary homeopathic medicines after consulting homeopaths; some are for precaution while others are to treat the virus. These medicines should be used. We cannot say they are a hundred percent cure for it or that homeopaths know about this virus, these medicines are a possible treatment. There is no knowledge of this virus, but the medicines have been recommended as the closest possible treatment that could be devised for such a virus. May Allah the Almighty make them effective and so we should use them.
“However, along with this, precautionary measures need to be taken, like it is being announced. It is important that crowds are avoided. Also those coming to the mosque should keep in mind that if they even have a light fever, their body begins to ache, or they have a cold and are sneezing etc. then they should not come to the mosque. The mosque also has rights and it is the right of the mosque that those people do not enter it who can pass on illnesses to others; anyone with a contagious illness should be very cautious of attending the mosque.
“Even in normal circumstances one should cover their mouth with a handkerchief whilst sneezing, and particularly in these days. Various worshippers have also complained that while they are praying some of those who are next to them, sneeze without covering their mouths, and their sneeze is so forceful that its remnants spread on them. So, worshippers also have rights.
“Doctors have advised to keep the face and hands clean as a precautionary step. If hands are dirty then the face should not be touched. Also to use sanitizer on your hands or wash them regularly. But for Muslims, for us, if someone offers all of his five daily prayers and also does the ablution five times i.e they are thoroughly rinsing their nose and cleaning it as a result and other elements of the ablution are being properly done, then this is a very high standard of hygiene which compensates the absence of a sanitizer. I’ve come to know that sanitizers have vanished from shops, people have bought everything in panic and shop shelves are empty; especially with those things that can be used in such a time.
“Nevertheless, if the ablution is carried out properly then it serves as physical hygiene and then when one offers namaz, it is also cleans spiritually. In these days prayers are especially needed, so we should focus on these elements as well.”
Huzooraa further noted:
“It is being advised not to shake hands these days, this is also very important. No one knows the condition of each other’s hands. Though handshakes are a means of enhancing brotherhood but these days it is better to avoid them due to this illness.
“Currently, even worldly people, who would raise their voices [against Muslims] saying they don’t shake hands with women and men etc. even they are being joked about. A Member of Parliament rejected a handshake from the Chancellor of Germany and a joke has been made about this. Even here, a Member of Parliament said that we are being protected against the coronavirus by not shaking hands as it was [British] culture to just salute or take one’s hat off while bowing [when greeting each other]. He even went to the extent to say that we shake the hands of women and while hugging them, try and kiss them, without knowing whether the lady likes this or not and we force it upon them without reason.
“They were not ready to listen to Allah the Almighty, but this pandemic has at least drawn their attention towards this. May their attention draw towards Allah the Almighty as well. They would oppose the commandment of Allah when we would, with great love, explain that we are not allowed to shake hands between men and women in Islam. At this, they would raise their voices greatly. But now, I have heard, within institutes and other places, when people reject [a handshake] they do so very rudely. We at least said it lovingly and softly, that this is our teaching. But, due to the fear of the coronavirus, they have become so alarmed that they do not care for morals. Nevertheless, this disease has rectified their ways with regard to this, to an extent. And like I have said, may this change take them towards Allah the Almighty.
“Allah the Almighty knows better how much this pandemic will spread and to what extent it will go; what His decree is. But if this disease is being manifest due to the wrath of Allah the Mighty, as we have seen since the time of the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him, that pestilences, diseases, earthquakes, storms, etc. have spread a lot. Then to be saved from the negatives effects of Allah the Almighty’s decree, it is all the more critically essential to turn towards Allah the Almighty and every Ahmadi, in these days, should pay special attention towards prayers and enhancing their spiritual condition. Also we should pray for the world at large, may Allah guide them. May Allah the Almighty enable the world to recognise Him, instead of becoming completely engrossed in worldly pursuits and forgetting God Almighty, Who created them.”