The plague epidemic itself is a grievous affliction. Yet, another law that is even more severe exists above this; another calamity that far outweighs the phenomenon of disease. Women and children too are separated and houses are emptied at its behest. Reflecting over this illness and the law that governs it, I felt a pain in my heart, so I supplicated in my Tahajud prayer, upon which I received the revelation:
اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوۡمٍ حَتّٰي يُغَيِّرُوۡا مَا بِاَنۡفُسِهِمۡ
“Surely, Allah changes not the condition of a people until they change that which is in their hearts.”
I now consider that perhaps the revelation, “O Lightning, do not strike from Heaven”, relates to this as well.
I would like you to understand that Allah the Exalted has mercy on those who supplicate before the descent of affliction, and who seek forgiveness from Him and give charity, and He saves them from divine chastisement.
Do not listen to my words as though they were mere tales. I advise you for the sake of Allah that you ought to ponder over your circumstances. You ought to not only engage in prayer yourself, but exhort your friends to do the same. Seeking forgiveness from God serves as a shield in the face of divine chastisement and grievous calamities. In the Holy Quran, Allah the Exalted states:
وَ مَا كَانَ اللّٰهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمۡ وَ هُمۡ يَسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡنَ
“Allah would not punish them while they sought forgiveness.”
Therefore, if you desire to be safeguarded from this divine chastisement, then seek forgiveness abundantly.
The government has the right to put the infected in quarantine. In other words, those that are isolated will be grappling with death. There will be no distinction between the rich and poor, male or female, nor old or young. Therefore, if, God- forbid, the plague spreads to a locality in which any of you reside, I instruct you to be among the first who obey the laws of the government.
There are reports that in most areas, the police forces have been met with confrontation. In my view, to oppose the laws of the government is rebellion, which is a terrible crime. It is, however, an obligation of the government to appoint such officials who are well-mannered and honest, and who are aware of the traditions, customs and religious practices of the land. In short, take it upon yourselves to obey the laws, and inform your friends and neighbours of the advantages that are attached to these regulations.
I say repeatedly that now is the time for prayers; it appears that this epidemic has turned its face towards the Punjab. Therefore, it is necessary for each and every one to be forewarned and awakened so that they may supplicate and seek forgiveness from God. It is the stance of the Holy Quran that once divine punishment descends, seeking forgiveness cannot save one from chastisement.
(Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Malfuzat, Vol. 1, pp. 214-215)