Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

guarding against viruses

Recently, Wuhan virus broke out. Even prior to this, there has been fatal viruses found over the years, like SARS, Mad Cow, Bird Flu etc. We have been asked to put on masks and wash our hands regularly to avoid being infected. Cleanliness is key.

Some significant viruses are airborne - spread through breathing, talking, coughing, sneezing, raising of dust, spraying of liquids, toilet flushing or any activities which generates aerosol particles or droplets (Wikipedia - airborne). Wuhan coronavirus is said to be transmitted through sneezing and coughing (CNA :Wuhan virus: What we know about the outbreak so far - 24 Jan 2020 ).

Thinking about these different and new viruses appearing every other year, brings to mind this hadith from Sahih Muslim, KITAB Al-ASHRIBA (THE BOOK OF DRINKS):

Jabir b. 'Abdullah reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Cover the vessels and tie the waterskin, for there is a night in a year when pestilence descends, and it does not pass an uncovered vessel or an untied waterskin but some of that pestilence descending into it.

Initially, I imagined that the night it descends, the virus descends and settles in exposed water - but now I realise, it could be referring to the way it is being transmitted. Using the masks and washing of hands may be helpful, however, I find that the covering of our drinking vessels, e.g. jugs, glasses, cups etc is equally as important if not MORE important, but overlooked. You can wash your hands, however, if you don't cover your drinking containers, these airborne viruses can easily settle into your exposed drinks and then you consume it. Sounds like an obvious and definite way to get infected.

I am certain, masyaaAllaah, that God's words/advice in the Quran or through our Prophet S.A.W. is only for man's own good. It's just a matter of whether we know why or we don't. However, in God we trust. I believe it's important and advisable to learn and practise the sunnah, like not lying on your back, not blowing into your hot food and drink (wait till the food/drink is less hot before drinking) - wouldn't you be blowing carbon dioxide into your food and drink if you did?

Therefore, as an additional measure in protecting yourself against getting infected by these viruses, cover your drinking vessels (containers) amongst other known measures and tawakkal. May Allaah protect us all from unwanted illnesses.