The latest update on Covid-19 cases in Malaysia once again raises the worry of the people. We have seen the decrease in trend of the cases post-Movement Control Order (MCO) before, but recently, we are shocked by the surge of the daily number of cases. On 6th October 2020, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announces that our country recorded the highest number of cases in daily statistics since MCO to Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) is applied which are 691 of positive cases. Besides, the high rates of infection in certain states is giving a signal that our country’s effort in breaking the chain of infection for this pandemic does not end yet.
In this sense, let us together make du’a for health and recovery of the Honourable Minister of Islamic Religious Affairs, Senator Datuk Dr. Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri, other significant people of the country who are tested positive and many others who are undergoing self-quarantine to prevent the higher risk of infection. Some are even under a follow-up treatment. The same is for our country leaders, the frontliners as well as all Malaysians, may we all be protected and safe from the pandemic. May we all always be under His protection.
Based on the latest announcement by the Most Honourable Prime Minister which was broadcasted live through Facebook, he mentioned the official stand of the government which is this pandemic is still under control and he is certain on the readiness of frontliners and the health system of our country in preventing all possible circumstances. Among the content of his announcement in the effort of restructuring the economic recovery plan is for the government to not reinforce MCO as a whole and to only focusing on the regions which are categorised as red zones. Therefore, sectors like economy, education, social and others will still operate as usual while fully subjected to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). He also relayed an advice which portrays an advice from a father to his child which is, “I beg your pardon if this Abah (Dad) has started to use cane now”. The positive side of this advice is how serious it is and it is a must for us to follow the SOP.
Given the recent situation, even with all effort and cooperation given before which are so good, but our country still does not demonstrate an actual stable condition yet. We often utter phrase like ‘We Haven’t Won Yet’ to express this situation. This phrase is a reflection to our situation in which we haven’t won yet in breaking the chain of Covid-19. In Islamic Shari’a, the effort of preventing the spread of a pandemic is a commandment upon all individuals. Islam forbids the people from cutting loose, being passive as well as throwing ourselves into destruction.
Allah SWT says:
وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ
And do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]
Surah al-Baqarah (195)
The Prophet PBUH said:
It is narrated by Abu Sa’id al-Khudri that the Prophet PBUH said:
لاَ ضَرَرَ وَلاَ ضِرَارَ
“There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.”
Sunan Ibn Majah (2340)
At the same time, the principle as well as the Islamic legal maxim also have provided a set of guidelines for the Muslims to ensure all sorts of harm and destruction especially through pandemic is lifted. Among them is:
Harm is put to an end
The maxim is then detailed further through a submaxim which is:
الضَّرَرُ لاَ يُزَالُ بِالضَّرَرِ
Harm cannot put to an end to by (other) harm
It means that each threat towards a harm should be handled in togetherness. Amidst the pandemic befalling this country, selfishness by not abiding by the SOP like not practicing quarantine, does not wear face mask, does not maintaining the cleanliness, shaking hands and etc. are the main risks of the spread of the pandemic.
“We Haven’t Won Yet”, this phrase is indeed accurate in the sense of it refers to human efforts in preventing the spread and it seems that we haven’t been able to reduce the risk of infection to zero level. So, indeed, we haven’t won yet. These efforts are aligned with what Islam commands us. Islam prohibits people from doing nothing in facing any crisis. In fact, all efforts done by each party will be rewarded by Allah taala.
However, the phrase “we haven’t won yet” may become a threat towards one’s aqidah (creed) in which Islamic aqidah dictates that every calamity is from Allah and only Allah taala is able to erase it. Therefore, this phrase should be addressed in the correct framework so that it will be in line with our Islamic aqidah.
Allah taala says:
وَإِن يَمْسَسْكَ اللَّـهُ بِضُرٍّ فَلَا كَاشِفَ لَهُ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ وَإِن يَمْسَسْكَ بِخَيْرٍ فَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
And if Allah should touch you with adversity, there is no remover of it except Him. And if He touches you with good - then He is over all things competent.
Surah al-An’am (17)
The above verse means that for all calamity, only Allah taala holds the power to erase it whether to test His servants for a longer period of time or erase it by a blink of eye without needing of any human effort.
At the same time, effort is also commanded by Allah taala as mentioned in the Prophet PBUH’s hadith regarding the method of confronting the plague and etc.
Among them is the saying of the Prophet PBUH:
إذا سمعتم الطاعون بأرض، فلا تدخلوها، وإذا وقع بأرض، وأنتم فيها، فلا تخرجوا منها
"If you get wind of the outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it breaks out in a land in which you are, do not leave it."
Sahih Muslim and Sahih al-Bukhari
Therefore, correct understanding will be resulting in actions and efforts which combine physical efforts like preparing ample medicinal need, aid supplies, restriction of SOP and etc. with the spiritual efforts which can be manifested through practicing the Shari’a, making du’a as well as munajat to Allah taala.
So, the phrase ‘we haven’t won yet’ is a phrase with meaning that we should be careful with and be understood in the context of true Islamic aqidah which will resulted in doing the right action and effort. May our country be free from this pandemic.
DR. LUQMAN HAJI ABDULLAH
Mufti Wilayah Persekutuan