Author: Dr. Imam Kamaldeen Ajijolakewu
Department of Microbiology
University of Ilorin
(A compilation of our Sheik message to the WhatsApp group of SanRab Madrasah)
As-Salaamu’alaykum warahmatuLLaahi wabarakaatuh!
Dear all, it is my pleasure to be here this evening to share some beneficial tips on the management of the now pandemic novel coronavirus disease code-named COVID-19 under the title “Combating the Covid-19 pandemic- the Muslim households’ antidote”.
May Allah guide us through the discussion.
Your attention will be highly appreciated.
During the discussion, any question will be welcomed.
It is necessary that I mention that this is my first time to use this medium for important discussions as this. May Allah guide us through!
Firstly, I must thank the admin of this respected group for giving me this opportunity- although at very short notice considering other commitments- to shed light on this ravaging global problem, the COVID pandemic. I hope this little input will provide succor to inquiring minds and will serve as shield and correctives against further spread of the disease.
During this discussion, we will try to talk at the ordinary level in order that every member of the group benefits. Otherwise, the jargon of the discipline of Microbiology is enough a disease that could cause global pandemic when it tries to pronounce or decode the meaning of each word used to qualify disease-causing organisms. Escherichia coli; Pseudomonas aeruginosa etc. are few examples among the easy-to-pronounce names of microorganisms!
Note= You try to pronounce
Despite, some registers will be used but explained where necessary!
Sirs and Mas, it is no news that in the world today, the COVID-19 is the most dreaded disease of global concern. The statistics of the reported cases increase by the day globally. More than 160 countries are being affected and far above 600,000 cases have been reported and sadly, with more than 27,000 deaths.
As it is now, no one is immune from the virus spreading like wildfire all over the world and top and technologically sophisticated countries in the world are the worst-hit. The U.S. now top the world global incidence as reported cases are more than 100,000 while Italy tops death rate (9,163) as it is several thousand ahead of close Spain (5,690)!.
Ironically, the cases in Africa, except few countries like South Africa, are still between 10 and hundreds. The reason is not yet known, but it is believed that the lack of diagnostic kits to detect the viral antigen is most responsible. Not the black magic power as was being peddled in some quarters. In other words, given our level of preparedness and lack of facilities to combat the spread of the disease, we are actually sitting on a time bomb in Africa! May Allah protect us all and our families and the entire Muslim nations.
Sirs/Mas, the problem of this disease is so grave that it is only Allah that can save the entire human race! I do hope that it is not a permanent curse from Allah on the entire human race! The world economy is heading towards recession; countries are locked down. In fact, all major gatherings in all forms are locked down, and most painfully the Holy Mosques where prayers are accepted are locked! Coronavirus is so named due to its crown-like shapes on its surface which is rendered in Latin as the corona, the crown.
Religiosity and repentance beget forgiveness and Mercy from Allah! Regrettably, we are barred if not for the Allah’s Mercy! The only succour is that Allah accepts prayer everywhere we are if we sincerely return to him. Moreso, the sun has not rise from the West and we are still alive to seek repentance. Laa ilaaha illaa anta subhaanaka innaa kunnaa minadh-dhaalimeen!
The armies of Allah are so numerous! Imagine a virus, yes the smallest known living organism! A virus that can never be seen by naked unaided eye tormenting the entire human race. Allah is the greatest! Human are so helpless but are full of pride and pomposity!
Allah says: ” wa maa anzalnaa alaa qawmihi min ba’dihi min jundin minas-Samaai wa maa kunnaa munzileen” Q36 vs 28. Meaning.. ” .(..to destroy the rebellious nation), no army was sent from the sky…
May Allah save us all from His Punishment!
Back to the main issue…
In disease management, the following are disease indices that must be discussed etiology of the disease (the causative agents), mode of disease transmission, pathogenicity (how the disease condition is established), symptoms, the diagnosis, and the prevention and control regimes. However, important summary of all these indices without details will be highlighted.
Generally, human diseases are caused by microorganisms. These are mainly, bacteria, fungi, protozoans and viruses which, based on its features and characteristics is the deadliest of all the organisms. Incidentally, the COVID-19 disease is caused by virus!
Viruses are the deadliest etiological agents of diseases. They exist as particles outside of leaving host but elicit diseases as soon as they get in contact with susceptible hosts. The worst is that as soon as they get into their host they go into hibernation (an eclipse or incubation period) during which no viable technology can detect their presence. This hibernation period varies with type of virus involved. Also, viral diseases are regrettably self-limiting, meaning that once you are infected by the virus, the virus must complete its cycle. That is, it must elicit disease!
So the best way is that viral disease must not happen. Yes, you must avoid all viral disease as much a you can!
Otherwise, it may cause untimely death if not properly managed.
Some viruses also are site-specific. This implies that they have target sites in human body where they cause diseases. Some attack the reproductive sites and the leaps as in the herpes-simplex virus (popularly called Isihun). Some on the other hand, like the COVID-19, affects the respiratory tract to cause problems in the lungs affecting breathing and causing death. COVID- 19 is a type of coronavirus.
Coronaviruses typically affect the respiratory tracts of birds and mammals causing diseases which show same symptoms as pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and MERS. They can also affect the gut system to elicit diseases such as diarrhea.
Corona virus is so named due to crown-like shapes on their surface which is rendered in Latin as corona, the crown.
Coronavirus has been known to cause disease for more than 70 years ago in domestic animals such as birds, dogs, cats, pigs, horses and other animals. The first identified case was in 1937 when researchers found that a coronavirus was responsible for the devastating contagious bronchitis in domestic birds such as turkeys, hens etc. Unfortunately, these animals may sometimes serve as vehicles to facilitate the spread of the virus to humans. The first case of human coronavirus code-named (HCoV) was first discovered in the nose of people with common cold in the 1960s. Here, I will be forwarding a video with details about the transmission, symptoms, prevention and control Please do watch.
However, the SARS, the middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS) and more recently the COVID-19 are all popular strains of deadly coronavirus which have caused a global pandemic. There are a host of other strains of coronavirus.
A unique feature of coronavirus among humans is that corona infection often occurs during the winter months and early spring. During this period people frequently become ill due to cold from coronavirus.
Sadly, this viral infection may reoccur after 4 months because the antibodies of these viruses do not stay for long time in the body system. Moreover, the antibodies against one may be inefficient against the other. In essence, if someone is discharged of corona virus-associated ailment, the chances of re-infection are as high as getting treated of the ailment. This is like what we do experience with the common cold
Antibodies are defensive mechanisms which help to fight disease
Here, I will be forwarding a video with details about the transmission, symptoms, prevention, and control… Please do watch!
As highlighted in the video, preliminary symptoms generally include dry cough, cold, and sore throat. These three are not unique only to coronavirus but common to most respiratory diseases.
However, when these symptoms are accompanied with body aches, headache, difficulty in breathing, fatigue and high temperature especially when a contact or travel to a high-risk area is established then they are ready signs of coronavirus infection.
I don’t know if we are still within the time…
There is still a section of the topic yet unaddressed.
Now, the Muslim household’s antidote…..
So what do we do as Muslims?
Firstly, we must as Muslim believe that the epidemic of this disease and indeed every other disease is not without the Knowledge of Allah. This is not the first time as Allah has used it to, according to the Prophet, punish past nations from among the people of the book and others
Tribulations and Problems as is presently witnessed all over the world now are definitely a product of our disobedience and sins. When sins aggregate, punishment ensues. The Prophet said, no nation will refuse to give Zakat except that they will be denied rain. In another narration, no nation will permit Zinaa except that Allah makes diseases not known to their forefathers descend upon them.
Hence, the first thing as Muslims is that we must return to Him and seek forgiveness
Secondly, there is a glad tiding. Whoever dies in this situation (Indeed, not by his own cause), there is no doubt that he will be admitted as a SHAHID (Martyr) into Jannah.
Many among the great companions of the Prophet like Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal, Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn Al-jarraah, 40 members of the household of Khaalid ibn Al-Walid and a host of others among the companions and the Taabi’een died in Ta’uun Amwaas. In fact, more than 30,000 of the Muslim army died not in the war front but in that pandemic disease. (Details are available in books of seerah!)
Shall we all die and leave the situation as it is….?
Islam is a complete religion with guidance clearly stated in the Qur’an and Sunnah on how to manage this kind of situation.
I will just highlight the recommendations without details….
- It is permissible to isolate diseased individuals.
- it is permissible to avoid where diseases are in order not to be infected.
- It is permissible to isolate infected or sick individuals.
- it is permissible to avoid where disease epidemics are reported in order not to be infected
- It is permissible to avoid congregational prayers, and by extension, all gatherings incase of FEAR of death or what leads to it
All those assertions are backed up by evidence from the Quran and Sunnah
May Allah forgive us and lift these tribulations from us!
Please stay safe and advise others to do the same. Stay indoors. Read much from the Qur’an and seek forgiveness. May be Allah will lift this problem in a very short time by our sincere and fervent prayers.
May Allah overlook my shortcomings and accept this little as a contribution to His Path.
Was-Salaamu’alaykum warahmatuLLaahi wabarakaatuh!