Contemporary issues

What does Islam say about infectious disease or epidemic?

Question: What is the verdict of the Islamic scholars and the just jurists about the body of Zayd who has been affected by an illness and lives together with his family. If they [the family] are asked to keep him at a distance, his family members will help him and keep him in their house while feeding him. They are told that his body is affected, keep him at a distance. Then they answer that you bring a judgment in which the opposite must be done, otherwise we cannot distance our family member from ourselves.

Answer: O Allah lead us to the truth and justice.

The judgment about avoiding disease is for the weakly believer [da’if al-iman], who is afraid that if he gets leprosy, Allah forbid, he thinks it is not with the will of Allah, but rather assumes that this disease comes from being infected in identification with the sick person. Although in Islam such a religious doctrine [aqida] is false that the disease can infect the other. It says in the hadith: “No infectious disease is transmitted without the permission of Allah.” [al-Bukhari: 5707].

In the question asked, if these people have a weak faith where they are afraid, then they must avoid it. Otherwise there is no judgment about avoidance over them, but this, that if his illness drips, then he must be kept at a distance from the mosque. Neither should one eat on the same plate as his own. And Allah knows best.

Mufti Muhammad Akhtar Rida al-Azhari al-Qadri

The answer is correct.
Allamah Tehsin Rida Khan

al-Mawahib al-Ridawiyyah fi’l-Fatawa al-Azhariyyah: vol. 2, p. 102
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