Misconceptions about contagious diseases

17

Last Updated on 13th March 2020

Hazrat Mir Muhammad Ishaqra

عَنْ أَبِیْ ھُرَیْرَۃَ۔ رَضی اللہ عنہ۔ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِیُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏ لاَ عَدْوَى، وَلاَ صَفَرَ، وَلاَ هَامَةَ۔‏ فَقَالَ أَعْرَابِيٌّ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَمَا بَالُ الْاِبِلِ تَكُونُ فِي الرَّمْلِ كَأَنَّهَا الظِّبَاءُ فَیُخَالِطُھَا الْبَعِیرُالأَجْرَبُ فَيُجْرِبُهَا‏۔ فَقَالَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَمَنْ أَعْدَى الأَوَّلَ

Hazrat Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “There is no ‘adwa [i.e. no contagious disease is conveyed to others], nor [is there any evil omen in the month of] Safar, nor Hama.”

A bedouin asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! What about the camels which, when on the sand [desert] look like deers, but when a camel with an itch mixes with them, they are all infected with itchiness?”

On that, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Then who conveyed the disease [itch] to the first camel?” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Medicine)

[In his commentary of the above hadith, Hazrat Mir Muhammad Ishaqra said the following:]

Most of the opponents of Islam are mistaken by the Holy Prophet’ssa statement of لاَ عَدْوَى [There is no contagious disease]. They raise issue with this statement and allege that the Prophetsa of Islam said “There is no contagious disease”, whereas experience and observation negates this belief as there are plenty of contagious diseases.

In reality, this hadith which says لاَعَدْوَى does not mean that “no disease is contagious”, rather it means “not every disease is always contagious”.

In other words; it is not necessary that a disease always passes onto someone who is healthy.

A bedouin said to the Holy Prophetsa:

فَمَا بَالُ الْاِبِلِ تَكُونُ فِي الرَّمْلِ كَأَنَّهَا الظِّبَاءُ، فَیُخَالِطُھَا الْبَعِیرُالأَجْرَبُ فَيُجْرِبُهَا

“Are you not aware that hordes of our camels roam with great jubilance like that of deers on the sand of the desert, and then suddenly a camel who has an itch mingles with the rest and then all the camels develop an itch. But you [O Prophetsa] say that there are no contagious diseases”.

Upon hearing this from the bedouin, the Holy Prophetsa never told the bedouin that he was wrong and that no disease is contagious. But said فَمَنْ أَعْدَى الأَوَّلَ i.e if every disease is
contagious, then from who did the initial camel (with the itch) catch the disease? Then, in another narration of this hadith, the wording is فَمَن اَجرَب الاول, meaning, “Then what animal made the first camel develop an itch?”

So, in this way, it becomes clear that the first camel had to be the one who first developed the itch, and it developed the itch by itself. By hearing this explanation [from the Holy Prophetsa], the bedouin remained silent and understood the matter.

Thus, allegations develop as a result of a lack of thinking and reflection. The Holy Prophetsa never said an itch was not contagious; his answer showed that he believed some diseases are contagious. His reply of فَمَنْ أَعْدَى الأَوَّلَ and فَمَن اَجرَب الاول, “Who made the camel itchy originally?” shows that he was explaining how not every disease is always, necessarily, contagious.

And so if the Holy Prophetsa himself clarified the matter, what room is left for contention? With this in mind, this hadith means that not every disease is always contagious. Yes, some diseases are contagious.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Clearly you are adding your own words here. The fact is that people never knew about communicable diseases back then.

    Stop bending the words to fit your narrative.

    Lies like yours are the reason why lot of people leave Islam.

  2. Don’t give baatil interpretations to the hadith. The prophet(salallahu alaihi wasallam) clearly negated the contagion in diseases. If your observations & medical science research is contradictory to it, then re-check medical science whose researches give new results every decade contradictory to its own previous statement. The prophet’s (salallahu alaihi wasallam) knowledge was based on revelations from ALLAH not the atheist scientists.

    • This life is extremely short compared to life after death when you will be raised again. Passing there and succeeding to enter paradise is real everlasting happiness. Otherwise it is a great loss

  3. This makes a lot of sense. Clearly the bedouin knew diseases are contagious – as this was common knowledge back them, even the Holy Prophet (sa) advised not to enter or leave an area that has a pandemic. Of course he knew diseases can be contagious. But the Holy Prophet (sa) was explaining to the bedouin that not all diseases are contagious.

    btw, not sure what the other comments here are trying to achieve, they make no sense.

  4. Your interpretation of the hadith seems to be only based on “experience and observation negates this belief as there are plenty of contagious diseases.”

    However, I did some research and now I have no doubt in the hadith. It is consistent with reality. The forces of Dajjaal have been lying to us about this for more than 100 years and dismissing anyone that tells the truth.

    Here is some evidence:
    Books: Virus Mania and the Poisoned Needle
    Dr. Andrew Kaufman points out that no scientific proof (using Koch’s Postulates) has been shown that viruses or bacteria are contagious.
    Dr. Stefan Lanka in his research discovered that viruses and bacteria do not cause diseases. He put a prize of Euro 100k to anyone that proves the existence of a virus that causes measles. In this matter, the German high court ruled that the measles virus does not exist.
    During the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, where 50 million people died worldwide, there were experiments with 100 prisoners in the USA to prove the disease was contagious. Not a single prisoner got sick.

    Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:
    “There are four matters in my nation that are from the matters of Jahiliyyah which the people
    will not leave: Wailing, slandering one’s lineage, Al-Adwa – a camel gets mange, so one
    hundred camels get mange – but who gave the first camel mange? And Al-Anwa (saying): “We
    got rain because of this or that celestial positioning.'”
    حَدَّثَنَا مَحْمُودُُ بْنُُ غَيْلاَنَ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو دَاوُدَ، أَنْبَأنََا شُعْبَةُ، وَالْمَُسْعُودِيُّ، عَنُْ عَلْقَمَةَُ بْنُِ
    مَرْثَدٍ، عَنُْ أَبِي الرَّبِيعِ، عَنُْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَُ قَالَُ رَسُولُُ اللَُِّّ صلى الله عليه وسلمُ ”
    أَرْبَ عُ فِي أُمَّتِي مِنُْ أَمْرُِ الْجَاهِلِيَّةُِ لَنُْ يَدَعَهُنَُّ النَّاسُُ الن يَاحَةُُ وَالطَّعْنُُ فِي الأحَْسَابُِ
    وَالْعَدْوَى أَجْرَبَُ بَعِي رُ فَأجَْرَبَُ مِائَةَُ بَعِيرٍُ مَنُْ أَجْرَبَُ الْبَعِيرَُ الأوََّلَُ وَالأنَْوَاءُُ مُطِرْنَاُ
    بِنَوْءُِ كَذَا وَكَذَا ” . قَالَُ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِي ثُ حَسَ نُ .
    Grade : Hasan (Darussalam)
    Reference:: Jami` at-Tirmidhi

  5. Jazak’Allah Riaz Sarvan, you have spoken truly, objectively and wisely. When the Prophet asked who infected the first camel, he put a very logical question. Why to assume that other camels were infected by the first camel and overlook the logically obvious—that like the first camel the rest too were infected by some agent present in the food they ate, water they drank or the air they inhaled?

    The blessed Prophet meant what he said and it is weakness of faith which makes us reinterpret it to fit what the scientists (not even all, as you pointed) say. and believe. Haven’t we seen the so called “scientific” truths change from time to time?

    The hadith means what it means, that diseases are not passed by physical contact of the infected, from person to person, per se. As you pointed out, back in 1918 US Navy and Boston Health authorities conducted experiments with the help of 100 volunteers who were repeatedly exposed to infected patients, were made to ingest and even injected sputum from patients seriously suffering from Spanish flu with an objective to prove this theory of contagiousness through human contact. The researchers and doctors were surprised to see that it failed to reproduce infection by contagiousness as not a single volunteer could get infected.

    Not a single experiment is done during present times to prove contagiousness through human contact but assumptions and fallacious observations pass for gospel truths.

      • As salaam u alaikum,
        This is a very good question brother Murtaza, I would encourage you to recheck the assertion however that “if one person gets then the others also catch”. If we think about it, never is this “catch” an absolute certainty, we always find some people are free of the symptoms despite being in close contact. If contagion was true, and caused by things invisible to the eye passing from one to another, the results would be consistent for all people, along with the symptoms. The fact that each persons’ symptoms differ suggests each living organism is going through its’ own program from within, rather than something passing from one to another. Yes, it could be that people who spend time together become “in sync” and go through these programs at the same time period, or it could even be that witnessing someone going through symptoms can trigger a person to go through their own program. When we think about it all of this is consistent with the Islamic perspective of illness being a means of purification, rather than the pharmaceutical view that illness should be fought like waging a war on the body, with powerful drugs, invasive treatments, and pre-emptive vaccinations, all of which seem to fix the problem by creating other problems.

        I am very happy to see the responses on this thread, the true Muslims know the Prophet (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam) spoke the absolute truth, applicable for the rest of time, and not in need of any manipulation to suit current day narratives.

      • Your interpretation of the hadith seems to be only based on “experience and observation negates this belief as there are plenty of contagious diseases.”

        However, I did some research and now I have no doubt in the hadith. It is consistent with reality. The forces of Dajjaal have been lying to us about this for more than 100 years and dismissing anyone that tells the truth.

        Here is some evidence:
        Books: Virus Mania and the Poisoned Needle
        Dr. Andrew Kaufman points out that no scientific proof (using Koch’s Postulates) has been shown that viruses or bacteria are contagious.
        Dr. Stefan Lanka in his research discovered that viruses and bacteria do not cause diseases. He put a prize of Euro 100k to anyone that proves the existence of a virus that causes measles. In this matter, the German high court ruled that the measles virus does not exist.
        During the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, where 50 million people died worldwide, there were experiments with 100 prisoners in the USA to prove the disease was contagious. Not a single prisoner got sick.

        Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:
        “There are four matters in my nation that are from the matters of Jahiliyyah which the people
        will not leave: Wailing, slandering one’s lineage, Al-Adwa – a camel gets mange, so one
        hundred camels get mange – but who gave the first camel mange? And Al-Anwa (saying): “We
        got rain because of this or that celestial positioning.’”
        حَدَّثَنَا مَحْمُودُُ بْنُُ غَيْلاَنَ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو دَاوُدَ، أَنْبَأنََا شُعْبَةُ، وَالْمَُسْعُودِيُّ، عَنُْ عَلْقَمَةَُ بْنُِ
        مَرْثَدٍ، عَنُْ أَبِي الرَّبِيعِ، عَنُْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَُ قَالَُ رَسُولُُ اللَُِّّ صلى الله عليه وسلمُ ”
        أَرْبَعُ فِي أُمَّتِي مِنُْ أَمْرُِ الْجَاهِلِيَّةُِ لَنُْ يَدَعَهُنَُّ النَّاسُُ الن يَاحَةُُ وَالطَّعْنُُ فِي الأحَْسَابُِ
        وَالْعَدْوَى أَجْرَبَُ بَعِي رُ فَأجَْرَبَُ مِائَةَُ بَعِيرٍُ مَنُْ أَجْرَبَُ الْبَعِيرَُ الأوََّلَُ وَالأنَْوَاءُُ مُطِرْنَاُ
        بِنَوْءُِ كَذَا وَكَذَا ” . قَالَُ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثُ حَسَ نُ .
        Grade : Hasan (Darussalam)
        Reference:: Jami` at-Tirmidhi

        *****
        Jazak’Allah Riaz Sarvan, you have spoken truly, objectively and wisely. When the Prophet asked who infected the first camel, he put a very logical question. Why to assume that other camels were infected by the first camel and overlook the logically obvious—that like the first camel the rest too were infected by some agent present in the food they ate, water they drank or the air they inhaled?

        The blessed Prophet meant what he said and it is weakness of faith which makes us reinterpret it to fit what the scientists (not even all, as you pointed) say. and believe. Haven’t we seen the so called “scientific” truths change from time to time?

        The hadith means what it means, that diseases are not passed by physical contact of the infected, from person to person, per se. As you pointed out, back in 1918 US Navy and Boston Health authorities conducted experiments with the help of 100 volunteers who were repeatedly exposed to infected patients, were made to ingest and even injected sputum from patients seriously suffering from Spanish flu with an objective to prove this theory of contagiousness through human contact. The researchers and doctors were surprised to see that it failed to reproduce infection by contagiousness as not a single volunteer could get infected.

        Not a single experiment is done during present times to prove contagiousness through human contact but assumptions and fallacious observations pass for gospel truths.
        *****

        The family lives in the same house exposed to same set of external elements in food, water and environment and sickness could be caused by any of these. “Catching” is idiomatic use of the word and not literal or factual. Even the weakest interpretation of the hadith would imply that if one is infected, others would not automatically be infected by their exposure to or contact with the infected one. I, from the age of 12 till 19, and my 9 younger siblings and our parents we all lived in a house with one big room that served as bedroom, living room, dining room etc. It was the only large room we had in the house and we all shared it for 7 long years. My younger step-mother was suffering from advanced lung tuberculosis, the most dreaded of the “contagious” diseases. Later she passed away at young age of 27 as her lungs were consumed by the disease although she received treatment from leading specialists at best sanatoriums in the country. Despite living in such close proximity, not a single one amongst the rest of us “caught” TB. Others may consider this anecdotal but for me it is living proof and experience testifying to the basic truth of the hadith.

  6. As salaam u alaikum,
    This is a very good question brother Murtaza, I would encourage you to recheck the assertion however that “if one person gets then the others also catch”. If we think about it, never is this “catch” an absolute certainty, we always find some people are free of the symptoms despite being in close contact. If contagion was true, and caused by things invisible to the eye passing from one to another, the results would be consistent for all people, along with the symptoms. The fact that each persons’ symptoms differ suggests each living organism is going through its’ own program from within, rather than something passing from one to another. Yes, it could be that people who spend time together become “in sync” and go through these programs at the same time period, or it could even be that witnessing someone going through symptoms can trigger a person to go through their own program. When we think about it all of this is consistent with the Islamic perspective of illness being a means of purification, rather than the pharmaceutical view that illness should be fought like waging a war on the body, with powerful drugs, invasive treatments, and pre-emptive vaccinations, all of which seem to fix the problem by creating other problems.

    I am very happy to see the responses on this thread, the true Muslims know the Prophet (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam) spoke the absolute truth, applicable for the rest of time, and not in need of any manipulation to suit current day narratives.

  7. ASA. The way I understand this hadith is that the microbes in and of themselves have no power to infect. It is only by the permission of Allah SWT that one is infected by a particular pathogen or not. There is only one answer to the Prophet’s (SAWAWS) question regarding the first infected camel, and that answer is Allah SWT.

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