Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ -رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا-، أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ: سَأَلْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنِ الطَّاعُونِ، فَأَخْبَرَنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” أَنَّهُ كَانَ عَذَابًا يَبْعَثُهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَنْ يَشَاءُ، فَجَعَلَهُ رَحْمَةً لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ، فَلَيْسَ مِنْ رَجُلٍ يَقَعُ الطَّاعُونُ، فَيَمْكُثُ فِي بَيْتِهِ صَابِرًا مُحْتَسِبًا يَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ لَا يُصِيبُهُ إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ، إِلَّا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ الشَّهِيدِ “.
Meaning: Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: I asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) about pestilence and he said, “It is a punishment which Allah sends upon whomsoever He wills, but Allah has made it as a mercy to the believers. Anyone who remains in his house with pestilence maintaining patience expecting the reward from Allah, and knowing that nothing will befall him other than what Allah has foreordained for him, he would receive a reward of Shaheed”.(Musnad Imam Ahmad)
The Hadith mentioned above can also be applied for crisis such as the COVID 19 virus. In other words, this crisis is none other than the mercy of Allah to strengthen the hearts of people and the faith of those who believe in Allah.
Even so, to be deserving of the reward and for it to truly become the grace and mercy of Allah for His believers, the Prophet salla allahu ‘alaihi mentioned FOUR CONDITIONS:
1. BE PATIENT for the trials faced especially for all the hardships & tribulations that result from it.
2. MUHTASIBA; that is to always hope for the mercy and reward of Allah swt for the tests.
3. KEEPING THE EFFORT CONSISTENT which is a form of IKHTIYAR by staying at home or anywhere nearby to prevent being affected by the disease or affecting others.
4. WHOLEHEARTEDLY ACCEPTING ALLAH’S DECREE (REDHA); that is, if it is destined by Allah swt for a person to be affected by the disease, he accepts it as it its what Allah has ordained. As a result, bountiful rewards will be granted upon the person because of his PATIENCE AND ACCEPTANCE OF GOD’S WILL AND DECREE AS WELL AS HIS EFFORTS for staying at home, the reward is AS AMPLE AS THE REWARD for a martyr.
What if the person also got INFECTED or DID NOT DIE because of it? The same thing also applies in this case, the person will receive abundant of rewards and advantages with the condition that the matters listed above are met, patience, ‘muhtasiba’ in hoping for the rewards from Allah SWT, keeping the effort consistent and believing as well as accepting God’s decree. Thus was interpreted by Imam Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqolani, Ali al-Qari and others.
WHAT ABOUT THE FRONT LINERS?
On the other hand, for the front liners during this pandemic, do not worry, fellow scholars have also mentioned and considered their case of having to go out (especially for the front liners), with the right intention and have met the four conditions aforementioned above. Whether they are infected or not be the virus, they too receive the same amount of rewards as the martyr. As long as they are patient, hoping for the reward of Allah swt and wholeheartedly believe in God’s will and decree in what they are facing.
May those who are not involved in handling the critical areas of the operation to curb this virus are able to remain patient and at home. For those who are still working out of home and in risky places even during this period as duty calls can continue making efforts and doing the best they can in their field. It is the grace of Allah Almighty to reward His faithful and patient servants.
Dr. Zaharuddin Abd Rahman
– Founder, Elzar Group