I have a friend who has two houses, one inside the city and one slightly outside. She was living with her children in the house in the city but now a lot of deaths occurred due to Corona and she is saying that she is fearful because the children do not cease going outside so in this circumstance she wanted to move to her other house. Will this not oppose the statement of the Messenger of Allah (saw) which forbids leaving places affected with contagious diseases? (Bint Rafeeq)


All praises belong to Allah. May the Salah and Salam be upon the one after whom there is no prophet! As for what proceeds:

{يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا خُذُوا حِذْرَكُمْ}

O believers! Take your precautions” (Surah An-Nisa: 71)

Though this verse of the Quran was revealed in the context of war, but according to the maxim “the consideration is granted to the generality of the wording, not to the specificity of the reason (of revelation)” this ruling is general, hence all possible precautionary measures and means should be adopted, and for the sake of controlling the children, moving from one neighbourhood to another is a precautionary measure which should be adopted.

The scholars of fundamentals (of jurisprudence) mentioned the preservation of life among the necessities of the religion, hence adopting all the legislated measures, which are necessary for the preservation and safety of human life, is required.

However when opting for all these causes and measures, our reliance should be on Allah, that all things can only be effective by His will, satisfaction and power, else if the whole world wants to kill or save someone, then it cannot happen without the will of Allah.

Illnesses and contagious viruses can only affect someone when it is the will of Allah. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “There is no ‘Adwa (contagious disease)”. A Bedouin got up and said, “Don’t you see how camels on the sand look like deer but when a mangy camel mixes with them, they all get infected with mange?” On that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Then who conveyed the (mange) disease to the first camel?” (Sahih Al-Bukhari: 5775)

The reality is that the disease in itself is not contagious rather it can only affect someone by the permission and will of Allah, hence when adopting all the causes, our belief and certainty and the hope of safety and security should be attached to Allah.

{وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ}

And whoever puts their trust in Allah, then He ˹alone˺ is sufficient for them” (Surah At-Talaq: 3)

According to the statement of doctors, to protect the human body, it is essential to strengthen its immune system. The trust and reliance in Allah and the remembrance of Allah with a present heart add to its strength, it removes the unwarranted fear and stress in the human heart. While a common person’s fear and stress can affect him highly, a true Muslim and a complete believer enjoys an abundance of peace and tranquillity. Hence it is essential to combine reliance with precautionary measures.

As for the prohibition of the Prophet (ﷺ) to leave places affected with contagious diseases, the Hadith is such:

«إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ بِالطَّاعُونِ بِأَرْضٍ فَلاَ تَدْخُلُوهَا، وَإِذَا وَقَعَ بِأَرْضٍ وَأَنْتُمْ بِهَا فَلاَ تَخْرُجُوا مِنْهَا»

“If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari: 5728)

This Hadith is related to the plague while the Corona virus is different from it. Imam Nawawi quotes from the scholars: “

“كُلُّ طَاعُونٍ وَبَاءٌ وَلَيْسَ كُلُّ وَبَاءٍ طَاعُونًا”

“Every plague is a contagious disease but every contagious disease is not a plague.” (Sharh An-Nawawi ala Muslim 14/204)

The scholars have mentioned different reasons behind the wisdom of not leaving a place affected with a plague, and among them is that the plague is a disease which spreads quickly and whenever it enters an area, it affects everyone, hence people living in such places have been prohibited from leaving them so other areas do not become affected. While Corona virus is different from it, first its effects do not manifest like the plague, and secondly it does not spread as rapidly as the plague so that it affects everyone, rather, by the favour of Allah, one can remain safe by adopting precautionary measures, and as an extra precautionary measure, one can leave an affected area. However, whoever moves from an affected area to another area, he should avoid mixing with other people, so that he does not become the reason for bringing burden and destruction to healthy people.

Here, it is important to highlight the matter that viruses and calamities are the result of our actions, meaning they are to test the believers and admonish the neglectful, hence with all precautionary measures, the real matters that we should emphasize are repentance and seeking forgiveness. It should not be that we take care completely of our physical cleanliness and purity but our heart, our thinking and our actions are polluted with dirt. In such a case, there is no benefit in moving from a place because of contagious diseases, and tests are beyond place, rather they come due to the reason of the residents.

Allah (Ta’ala) states:

{وَمَا أَصَابَكُمْ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَنْ كَثِيرٍ* وَمَا أَنْتُمْ بِمُعْجِزِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ}

Whatever affliction befalls you is because of what your own hands have committed. And He pardons much. You can never escape ˹Him˺ on earth, nor do you have any protector or helper besides Allah.” (Surah Ash-Shura: 30-31)

And in another place, Allah (Ta’ala) says:

{ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ}

Corruption has spread on land and sea as a result of what people’s hands have done, so that Allah may cause them to taste ˹the consequences of˺ some of their deeds and perhaps they might return ˹to the Right Path” (Surah Ar-Rum: 41)

Imam ibn Abi Jamrah said:

فَالْبَلَاءُ إِذَا نَزَلَ إِنَّمَا يُقْصَدُ بِهِ أَهْلُ الْبُقْعَةِ لَا الْبُقْعَةُ نَفْسُهَا فَمَنْ أَرَادَ اللَّهُ إِنْزَالَ الْبَلَاءِ بِهِ فَهُوَ وَاقِعٌ بِهِ وَلَا مَحَالَةَ فَأَيْنَمَا تَوَجَّهَ يُدْرِكْهُ.

“When a calamity comes, those intended are the people living in the land and not the land itself. Whomever Allah wants to send a calamity to, it will happen to him, wherever he goes, it will reach him.” (Fathul Bari li ibn Hajar 10/189)

With clarifying the religious status of the precautionary measures, we prescribe reliance and trust in Allah, repentance and seeking forgiveness, performing strictly the obligatory actions, reciting the words of remembrance of the morning and evening, the recitation of the Quran and night prayer, and we recommend in particular the following invocations:

  • «بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي لَا يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَيْءٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ».

“In the name of Allah with Whose name nothing can harm on earth or in heaven, and He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing”

  • «اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْبَرَصِ وَالْجُنُونِ وَالْجُذَامِ وَمِنْ سَيِّئِ الْأَسْقَام».

“O Allah! I seek refuge in You from leucoderma, insanity, leprosy and evil diseases” (Sunnan Abi Dawud: 1554)

  • «لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ».

“There is none worthy of worship save you; glory be to You, far removed are You from any imperfection; I have been among the wrongdoers” (Sunnan At-Tirmidhi: 3505)

  • «لَا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ إِلا بِاللَّهِ».

“There is no power and no strength except with Allaah” (Sahih Al-Bukhari: 6384)

  • «اللهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ زَوَالِ نِعْمَتِكَ، وَتَحَوُّلِ عَافِيَتِكَ، وَفُجَاءَةِ نِقْمَتِكَ، وَجَمِيعِ سَخَطِكَ».

“O Allah I seek refuge with You against the declining of Your favours, removal of Your protection, sudden infliction of Your anger, and all Your wrath.” (Sahih Muslim: 2739)

  • «اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ، اللَّهُمَّ أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي دِينِي وَدُنْيَايَ وَأَهْلِي وَمَالِي، اللَّهُمَّ اسْتُرْ عَوْرَاتِي، وَآمِنْ رَوْعَاتِي، وَاحْفَظْنِي مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيَّ، وَمِنْ خَلْفِي، وَعَنْ يَمِينِي، وَعَنْ شِمَالِي، وَمِنْ فَوْقِي، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أُغْتَالَ مِنْ تَحْتِي»

“O Allah, I ask You for forgiveness and well-being in this world and in the Hereafter. O Allah, I ask You for forgiveness and well-being in my religious and my worldly affairs. O Allah, conceal my faults, calm my fears, and protect me from before me and behind me, from my right and my left, and from above me, and I seek refuge in You from being taken unaware from beneath me” (Sunnan ibn Majah: 2871)

We invoke Allah (Ta’ala) to protect all the Muslims from this contagious disease and to make this test a mean of success in this world and in the hereafter.

Noble Muftis

His excellence Shaykh Abu Muhammad AbdusSattar Hammad (President of the Lajnah)

His excellence Shaykh Abdul Haleem Bilal (may Allah preserve him)

Note:This is a translation of the original text of the fatwa which was issued in the Urdu language.

Translator: Ali Hasan Khan