Coronavirus outbreak of January 2020 has claimed lives of 106 people in China with reported cases almost doubling to more than 4,500. China has placed its Wuhan province into quarantine which appears to be at the centre of this outbreak. Its been reported that the outbreak started from South China Seafood Market which also sold wild animals. The animal host hasn’t been identified but it can be a snake according to Chinese Officials.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are the type of viruses that cause symptoms similar to common cold, the intensity can vary from mild to moderate. But recently there have been 3 different kinds of coronavirus which have caused severe illness in humans.
- SARS (China in 2002)
- MERS (Saudi Arabia 2014 – Korea 2015)
- 2019-nCoV (China 2020)
The recent outbreak in China has everyone worried with airport screening set up by some countries and others are even calling their citizens back from China.
What does WHO says?
World Health Organization has put forth guidelines for protecting oneself from the virus which are as follows:
- “Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
- The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.”
Similar guidelines are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA.
The top point in the guidelines by both organizations is “washing hands frequently”.
Washing Hands During the Day
It will be noteworthy that as Muslims, we are required to make wudu (ablution) before every prayer.
Allah says in the Quran:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاةِ فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَينِ
O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles.Al-Maidah 5:6
Washing face, arms (including hands) and feet is the part of ritual of ablution. Performing this ritual before the compulsory five daily prayers, means that we are already taking care of washing hands frequently.
Also Read: Clean and Fresh – The Benefits of Wudu
Washing Before Bed
Apart from this, Prophet peace be upon him advised us to perform the wudu before going to bed.
The hadith says:
“Whenever you go to bed perform ablution like that for the prayer…”Sahih al-Bukhari 247
Washing Hands in the Morning
Even on waking up, we are required to wash hands.
Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When one of you awakens from sleep, do not let him dip his hands into the vessel until he washes them three times. Verily, he does not know where his hand spent the night.”Sahih al-Bukhari 160, Sahih Muslim 278
We should pray for all our brothers and sisters who are in crisis due to the outbreak of Corona virus and we should take all the necessary precautions to save ourselves. One of the most important step in doing so, is keeping our hands clean which we will be automatically doing if we decide to follow the sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him.
Following are a few duas which you can read to protect yourself from the outbreak along with other diseases.
- Whenever you hear a case of Corona virus, or se the afflicted on tv, read the following dua:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي عَافَانِي مِمَّا ابْتَلَاكَ بِهِ وَفَضَّلَنِي عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ تَفْضِيلًا
Transliteration: “Alhamudu lillahil-ladhi afani mimmab-talaka bihi wa faddalani ala kathirim-mimman khalaqa tafdeela”
Meaning: “All praise is for Allah, Who saved me from what He has afflicted you with and favored me more than many others He created.”
- Read the following dua for prevention from all diseases:
اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّیْ أَعُوْذُبِکَ مِنَ الْبَرَصِ، وَالْجُنُوْنِ، وَالْجُذَامِ، وَمِنْ سَیِّءِ الاَسْقَامِ
Transliteration: “Allahumma inni audhubika minal-barasi wal-junooni wal-juzami, wa minal-sayyi’ilasqam”
Meaning: “O Allah! Indeed I seek refuge in You from leucoderma, and madness, and leprosy, and all bad diseases.”
May Allah save us all from the deadly diseases. Ameen.
AlJazeera. (2020 Jan 24). Deadly worldwide outbreaks that originated from animals. AlJazeera. Retrieved from: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/deadly-worldwide-outbreaks-originated-animals-200123023649596.html
CDC. (n.d.) Coronavirus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html
WHO. (n.d.) Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) advice for the public. World Health Organization. Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
CDC. (2020 Jan 26). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html