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Swine Flu is spreading very fast and causing a lot of public concern in United States and other countries of the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control in US (CDC) have already issued advisories to the general public. We urge Muslims to exercise necessary precautions in this matter.
It is an Islamic teaching that in the situation of wide spread infections, people living in infected areas should be careful not to move around in order to avoid spreading infections. Similarly those who are healthy should avoid traveling to infested areas in order to protect themselves, unless they are needed as doctors or health workers. Allah says in the Qur’an, “Do not contribute to your destruction with your own hands…” (2:195) The Prophet –peace be upon him- said, “If you are in a land and plague breaks out there, then do not leave that place. If you are told that it is spreading in some land and you are not there, then do not go there.” (Muslim, Hadith no. 5731)
In the light of these instructions the Fiqh Council of North America emphasizes that Muslims should take CDC advisories seriously. Those who are affected by any symptoms of this flu should avoid shaking hands and coming into close contacts with others. They are allowed in this situation to pray at home and not go to the Masjid for congregational prayers, until they are healthy. The Prophet –peace be upon him- said, “A sick person (with contagious disease) must not be brought among the healthy.” (Abu Dau’ud, Hadith 3911)
In case there is a Swine Flu pandemic, public assemblies might be curtailed. In that situation it will be allowed for the Masajid to issue special instructions regarding Jama’ah (congregational) and Jumu’ah (Friday) prayers considering the general welfare of their communities and cooperating with local authorities to maintain public health and safety.
We must also make individual and collective du’a asking Allah to remove this affliction and bless us all.
Fiqh Council of North America