Islam and Science for a COVID-19-Free World: The Case of Nigeria and Understanding Prophetic Traditions and Islamic Health Practices
Keywords:COVID 19, science, Islamic health practices, epidemics, prophetic traditions
This paper draws references from some selected prophetic traditions to examine Islamic health practices in respect of plagues and epidemics including the COVID-19 global pandemic that has impacted the conduct of Islamic daily, weekly and even annual worships. It asks the following questions: Are their lessons of past disasters such as plagues and epidemics, and responses to them in the prophetic traditions and other Islamic texts that can be of benefit for the present health challenges of COVID-19? What are the Islamic provisions for containing and mitigating against these health challenges of the deadly pandemic? How should Muslims embrace the new health regulations and restrictions such as social distancing and other related challenges? This paper engages these questions by interrogating the prophetic traditions on plagues and epidemics. It employs the historical and descriptive methods to explain the rich Islamic literature on health practices. It concludes that though many Muslim communities, especially in the northern parts of Nigeria have violated the lockdown restrictions, the WHO and federal government protocols on containing the spread of the COVID-19 in order to allow the observance of Islamic public prayers, this is at variance with essential Islamic health practices as embedded in Islamic classical texts.