As the virus is being spread, people from all around the globe are being reminded to avoid or limit physical contact, wash hands frequently, and avoid touching their faces as precautionary measures. The deadly coronavirus challenged everyone regardless of their region, culture, ethnic background, and religion.
In the meanwhile, experts have found some proven ways to prevent the spread of the unfortunate virus, and these are nothing else except the Prophet Muhammad’s ritual hygienic practices.
Islamic Hygienic Practices
Surprisingly, about 1400 years ago, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) advised having a ritual washing practice, known as “Wudu.” The recent Netflix docuseries “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak,” defined the surprising effectiveness of this practice in the prevention of coronavirus.
Before praying five times a day, ritually purifying the body is the first step required by Islamic law. There are a bunch of hidden health and spiritual benefits of purifying yourself at this pace. Despite focusing on Islamophobia, we must observe its versatile teachings at first.
The Islamic hygienic practices and today’s guidelines are entirely in sync. To enhance personal and public health, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) not only practiced these ritual purity practices but also insisted on his followers to do so.
When it comes to ritual purity (Wudu or ablution), consists of washing your hands, face, nose, mouth, ears, ankles, and even feet. The concept and importance of cleanliness in Islam can be drawn by the Prophet Muhammad’s famous saying (Hadith) “Cleanliness is half of faith.”
The Holy Quran, the book of Islam (which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) between 610 and 632 AD), also emphasized cleanliness as well as purifying the body in several verses and commanded the faithful to stay clean.
There is a verse in the Holy Quran “God loves those who keep themselves clean” [2:222]. Moreover, there is an entire section on the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) called “The Book on Purification,” which refers to the rules of personal cleanliness.
Almost every body part that can be exposed to the deadly virus or other bacterial infections or germs is washed thoroughly in the ablution. Even some body parts like the face and mouth are washed thrice according to Islamic law.
Ignoring the concerns of cleanliness is greatly opposed by Islam. And during the time of pandemics, it even becomes mandatory to follow up with all the precautionary measures and cleanliness practices.
Alliance with Public Health Guidelines
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) strongly insisted that believers not harm others (no matter Muslims or Non-Muslims) even with the smell of their mouths. How can a religion that prevents its believers not to discomforting others with the bad smell of mouth teach them to be dirty?
Activities like sneezing, coughing, and snuggling into someone else within a close radius are prohibited. Even speaking in a loud way is advised not to practice in public places.
Narrated by Abu Hurairah – one of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that “when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would sneeze, he would cover his face with his hand or with his garment, and muffle the sound with it.” [Jami-At-Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 2745]
In the pandemic situation, Muslim leaders have aligned with different health experts and suggested the teachings of Islam be followed. In times of pandemics, despite being scared of the situation, people should research and follow up with the cleanliness recommendations provided by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
As far as the public greetings are concerned, there is a concept of Salam which has been adopted by almost every Muslim. In hard times, like this one, while meeting others, the believers say the Islamic greetings (Salam) by putting their right onto the left side of the chest (representing the heart). In this way, not only the self-cleanliness but the Coronavirus Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are also being followed.
Islamic Teachings and the COVID-19 Guidelines
While the task of vaccine development is under process by different countries and individual organizations, remaining clean is the best way to be safe from the virus. Islam teaches to wash hands frequently in the usual routine, as this is one of the most effective strategies to cope with the bacteria.
Washing your hands thoroughly is also the very first step while taking a bath in the Islamic way. Islam gives the ultimate flexibility to its believers when it comes to pandemics. Most of the COVID-19 guidelines are even not new for the Muslims as they were used to practicing them daily.
Without any doubt, a healthy number of Quranic verses and the Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) provide the best cleanliness guidelines. One can enjoy the highest level of hygiene by observing the Islamic lifestyle and adhering to its recommendations.
From ablution to keeping a safe distance from others in the pandemics, the purity of the body revolves around Islam throughout its entire lifestyle. Eventually, Islamic hygiene practices are one of the best ways to be safe from not only the coronavirus but all other bacterial and viral infections as well.