At the beginning of the coronavirus crises, and just like everyone else in this world, I started to encounter stress and anxiety. Thanks to Allah, I stumbled upon this valuable Prophetic Hadith and felt it was dedicated especially to our hardship right now. In fact, it calmed me down and made me view this situation from a constructive perspective.
For this reason, I decided to create an illustration that portrays this beautiful Hadith aiming to spread its valuable message amongst people.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “There is no infection and there are no bad omens, although I am pleased by a good omen – a good word.” (Sahih Al-Albani)
It is clear that the hadith has three parts; in the first part, the Prophet (s) is saying: “There is no infection” which means that disease is not transmitted from a sick person to a healthy one by itself, rather it is transmitted by the will and decree of Allah.
If a sick person mixes with healthy ones this is one of the causes of the transmission of disease. But this does not mean that it will inevitably happen, rather it only happens if Allah wills it.
Hence we often see a sick mother give birth to a healthy child, but the disease is not transmitted to the infant.
We cannot say that the Prophet (s) was denying the effect of infection, because infection or contagion is something that is proven to exist in real life.
In fact, there are many other Hadiths that show the Prophet (s) commanding us to avoid the means that lead to sickness.
The Prophet (s) said in a matter in regards to the health of camels: “Do not put a sick one with a healthy one”. Also, the Prophet (s) said: “Flee from the leper as you would flee from a lion.”
Leprosy was then a fast transmitted deadly disease. In addition, Allah commands us to avoid things that may be a cause of calamity, when he says: “and do not throw yourselves into destruction”. [Quran: 2:195].
Now, in the second part of this Hadith the Prophet (s) says: “…and there are no bad omens,” where this refers to those who have a superstitious belief in birds, animals, numbers or months.
Likewise many of us today are feeling pessimistic of the year 2020 and its numbers blaming it for all the disasters that are occurring nowadays. There is a clear order in this Hadith that finding bad omen in any sign is unacceptable in Islam. In fact, it is forbidden and considered as shirk, unless one tries to dispel its effects by placing his trust in God.
The third and the last important part of the Hadith says: “Although I am pleased by a good omen – A good word,” where the Prophet (s) explains that people normally find good omen in a good word they hear. It is not a sign by a bird or some other animal or an inanimate object.
A good word may affect a person because it expresses some favorable feeling, or describes a positive situation. It is in human nature that we like fine expressions, beautiful scenes, peaceful surroundings, even when nothing of it belongs to us.
Similarly, words that speak of a good thing happening to us soon are bound to have a good effect on us. We note here that such words may be without foundation, but the fact that they give us a sense of optimism is beneficial, provided that we attribute all future events to God’s will.
While today’s calamity of the coronavirus makes optimism a challenge, our main duty is to follow the teachings of our Prophet (s) by focusing on positive emotions and have the ability to remain optimistic believing that the best will come in Inshallah.
Kindness and encouragement should come to the fore by trying to spread good words that elevate one’s sense of well-being.
In conclusion, our beloved Prophet (s) is reassuring us to not be scared of diseases itself nor to be superstitious of any bad thing that might happen. But rather we should put our trust in Allah and depend on Him believing that nothing acts on this earth except by Allah’s permission.
He is the owner of this world and the one who causes things to happen – Not forgetting to take the necessary precautions.