"Quran" by Habib M’henni / Public Domain

Muslims ‘immune to coronavirus’ some imams in Somalia say, putting public at risk

May 14, 2020

By Emily Judd

Some imams in Somalia are saying Muslims are immune to COVID-19, going against senior Muslim scholars who have insisted the coronavirus pandemic is a severe threat to all people around the globe.

A medical worker in the country told Al Arabiya English the rumor is putting Somalis at risk and working against efforts to try to educate the population of 15 million about the threat of the outbreak.

“Some mosques spread this rumor that this disease is only for non-believers,” said the medical worker, who wished to remain anonymous in fear of societal backlash, in an interview with Al Arabiya English.

“People are very religious in Somalia and we believe what our imams tell us more than any doctor or any government,” the medical source added.

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

26 comments on “Muslims ‘immune to coronavirus’ some imams in Somalia say, putting public at risk

  • This Imam is not following Islamic teaching

    Muslims are just people and can be infected by the virus.

    we are been taught by Mohammed (1400 years ago) a procedure to deal with any virus, a procedure that nowadays all governments are doing it. 


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  • Abdulsalam

    we are been taught by Mohammed (1400 years ago) a procedure to deal with any virus, a procedure that nowadays all governments are doing it. 

    Would you care to share that procedure with us? I’m very interested to hear about it. Is this procedure explained in the Koran or is it from haddith or other source?


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  • Abdulsalam, #3

    Abdulsalam, welcome.

    Your first comment above seems to be suggesting that there is something astonishing and inherently super-human in the fact that the Koran refers to quarantining in the event of plague, 1400 years ago – that the knowledge could only have come from a divine source.

    And yet there have always been plagues and epidemics. Bacteria and viruses are as much a part of the natural order as humans are, so even the earliest humans would have been exposed to them and known how devasting major infectious outbreaks were, even if they didn’t know yet about the bacteria and viruses that caused them.

    And even though those early societies didn’t have our modern scientific understanding, they were able to watch and observe as well as we are – probably even better, in fact, since their survival depended on it to a far greater extent than it does today.

    So they would have noticed that some diseases spread much faster when people were close together, and much slower (or not at all) when people stayed far apart, and they would have been able to draw the obvious conclusions from that. This didn’t require either modern scientific understanding or divine revelation. Just the ability to observe.

    In fact, we know that even the Ancient Greeks and Romans practised some form of quarantine in times of plague. There’s an interesting and straightforward article about that here:

    https://classicalwisdom.com/science/medicine/quarantine-in-the-ancient-world/

    It explains very clearly that the Ancients were aware that some diseases are highly contagious, and practised some form of social distancing in order to help slow down the spread. It also refers to evidence that some city leaders in the ancient world used their powers to enforce quarantines, and that all ancient societies were aware of the need to keep the sick separate from the healthy.

    Ancient Greece is the term used for the period between 700 and 480 BCE, and Classical Greece refers to the period from 480 to 323 BCE. So that’s between 2343 and 2720 years ago, a good thousand years before Mohammed and the Koran.

    The Roman Empire came a little later (27 BCE to 476 CE), but even this latest date is 1544 years ago, a good 140 years before Mohammed and the Koran.

    What’s more, we know that there was a considerable amount of contact between the civilisations of the ancient world, including in those parts of the world that later embraced Islam. Trade, culture and – crucially – knowledge moved between them, so ideas and practices were able to spread across huge distances.

    Even though there is some scholarly disagreement about the extent to which this happened, there is none about the fact that it did happen:

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/jul/11/ancient-greece-cultural-hybridisation-theory

    And, because of this contact between different societies and cultures, medical texts from Ancient Greece and Rome were available in translation in what became the Islamic world too. The following quote is from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine_in_the_medieval_Islamic_world#Ancient_Greek,_Roman,_and_late_hellenistic_medical_literature)

    Ancient Greek and Roman texts
    Various translations of some works and compilations of ancient medical texts are known from the 7th century. Hunayn ibn Ishaq, the leader of a team of translators at the House of Wisdom in Baghdad played a key role with regard to the translation of the entire known corpus of classical medical literature. Caliph Al-Ma’mun had sent envoys to the Byzantine emperor Theophilos, asking him to provide whatever classical texts he had available. Thus, the great medical texts of Hippocrates and Galen were translated into Arabian, as well as works of Pythagoras, Akron of Agrigent, Democritus, Polybos, Diogenes of Apollonia, medical works attributed to PlatoAristotleMnesitheus of AthensXenocratesPedanius Dioscorides, Kriton, Soranus of EphesusArchigenesAntyllusRufus of Ephesus were translated from the original texts, other works including those of Erasistratos were known by their citations in Galens works.[15]

    So, as you can see, there is a perfectly natural, human explanation for the Koran being able to recommend quarantine in time of plague, 1400 years ago. It didn’t require any kind of divine revelation, just humanly acquired knowledge, acquired and transmitted in entirely human ways.

  • Abdulsalam

    Thanks for posting the Bukhari Haddith. Although I agree with Marco’s perspective on the problem in comment 6, that the ancients did know about contagious diseases and that the best strategy for them was to avoid people that show symptoms, (In some parts of the undeveloped world it’s still possible to see people with leprosy on the sidewalks begging. Pedestrians cut a wide swath around around them!) I really wish that verse could be printed on leaflets and dropped from a plane over the entire dar al-Islam.

    We all have a formidable problem with Christian preachers, Jewish Rabbis and Muslim Imams all begging their own version of God and the prophets to fight what is a very real and earthly threat.

    These religious leaders are causing great harm to their flocks. People who are poor and uneducated and living in regions with strict adherence to the dogma all around them have no way to know how disastrous the commands of the clerics really are.

    When rational thinking has no effect on brainwashed and ignorant people, isn’t it ok to use their own holy books to save their lives?

    Fight fire with fire I always say!

    Let’s send that Hadith out on the intertubes! I’m on it!


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  • @Marco

     
    Hello Marco, thanks for interesting comment.

    My first comment actually was just to say that we are not immune to the virus as the Imam suggests, but since you are trying to say that Quran is not the word of God and there is no God. I will have respond. 

    let me show you some events that Muslims knew about, 1400 years ago without scientific tools. Which justify God existence

    1- The Stages of fetal growth mentioned in Quran, which has not been discovered until 20 century. Who else would tell Muhammad about such thing other than the Creator himself !! Allah said : 

    “And certainly did We create man from an extract of clay. Then We placed him as a drop of sperm, firmly fixed. Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood, and of that clot We made an embryo; then We made out of that lump, bones, and clothed the bones with flesh. Then We developed another creation out of it. So blessed is God, the best of Creators” (Qur’an 23: 12-14).

    this is an interesting article explaining that https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068791/  

    2- The Quran mentioned the Big Bang 
    Allah said : [Quran 21.30] “ Do not those who disbelieve see that the heavens and the Earth were meshed together then We ripped them apart? And then We made of water everything living? Would they still not believe?” .

    Who else would knew about Big Bang 1400 years ago!!

    this is an article illustrating that : https://rationalreligion.co.uk/how-the-quran-really-does-predict-the-big-bang-the-expansion-of-the-universe 

    Quran also mentioned the expansion of the Universe, there are lots of miracles in Quran for those who wants to read more.

    To conclude, this is an Atheist asked Allah for a sign  https://youtu.be/18N2qbhtYCI 

    I am happy to hear any comment 🙂 
    and many thanks to Prof Dawkins

  • Hi Abdulsalam

    Just to be clear: whatever my personal thoughts may be, my post simply explained that no divine revelation would have been required for people in 7th century Arabia to understand that quarantine could help combat infectious disease.

    It took some time to hunt out all those links for you, so before I spend any more time on the additional claims you’ve made in #8, can I just check that you do now accept that the reference to quarantine in the Koran is not of itself evidence of divine revelation?


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  • @Marco

     

    Marco I didn’t say that the quarantine procedure is a miracle, I just mentioned it to show that we are following  scientific procedures to be protected from the virus and not as the Imam suggest. Yes we pray to Allah to protect us as well as we do take action.

    Also it is not from Quran as you say, it is Hadith, which means Muhammad said it.


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  • Marco

    The reference he made to quarantine was from the hadith which is a far cry from the Koran. Hadith is only word of mouth information passed down through time. Koran is considered to be divine revelation.

    The hadith he presented is by (a guy) Bukhari which is considered by many to be the most reliable. But still, only a man saying what the prophet said.

    can I just check that you do now accept that the reference to quarantine in the Koran is not of itself evidence of divine revelation?

    Abdulsalem must answer no to your question.


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  • Abdulsalem

    “And certainly did We create man from an extract of clay. Then We placed him as a drop of sperm, firmly fixed. Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood, and of that clot We made an embryo; then We made out of that lump, bones, and clothed the bones with flesh. Then We developed another creation out of it. So blessed is God, the best of Creators” (Qur’an 23: 12-14).

    I honestly recommend that you read a biology textbook. Nothing in that paragraph bears the slightest resemblance to actual human conception and fetal development.

    Clay is not involved whatsoever.

    “Placed him as a drop of sperm firmly fixed” – Huh? No meaning.

    Sperm doesn’t ever turn into a drop of blood. Two different substances entirely.

    There is no way that an embryo spontaneously forms from a clot of blood,

    This account is completely contrary to science knowledge of this event.


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  • Hi Laurie,

    Abdulsalam beat you to it! He already corrected me on the Koran/Hadith issue in #10. Thanks anyway, though.

    I’m sure you understand why I’m labouring the point. We’re all familiar with believers turning up making various claims for whichever god it is they believe in and then, as each claim gets answered and shown not to be true, simply parking it and moving on to the next and then the next and then the next, without ever acknowledging or apparently taking on board the arguments they’ve already been presented with. And there doesn’t seem much point in that kind of discussion, so I’m just trying to make sure it’s really worth engaging before spending any more time on it.

    It’s late here and I’m tired so I may well be missing something, but I don’t see why Abdulsalam must answer no to my question? For the concept of quarantine to have required divine revelation, it would have to have been unknown before the alleged divine revelation took place. And I hope I’ve shown above that that’s not the case.

    Off to bed now and have a full day tomorrow, so it may be a day or two before I can respond to any further replies, but I will when I can. Good night!


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  • Marco

    Again you mistaken what I said, the quarantine concept is not from Quran.

    so, it is not something that cannot be known before Muhammad

    Thank you LaurieB for the clarification.


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  • LaurieB

    it is not surprising that you don’t understand the verse and so you say “No meaning”

    first you might not be aware that even me speaking Arabic, I can’t understand each verse in Quran.

    It is the words of Allah, so we have a subject called interpretation of Quran based on interpretation of reliable imams such as Al-Tabari, Ibn Kathir, and, Al-Saadi and many. Those spent years trying to understand the meaning of each verse, whereas you want to understand it just by one look at a verse !

    Another point to mention is that Quran is in Arabic and when translated to English, it is not that easy, because English is a modest language and not as sophisticated as Arabic, which for example have over 70 names for a “lion”

    again Quran is words of Allah, whether you like it or not


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  • Abdulsalem

    first you might not be aware that even me speaking Arabic, I can’t understand each verse in Quran.

    If you don’t understand the Arabic of the Koran then it’s probably because you speak a modern dialect of Arabic and haven’t been educated in classical Arabic which one can only learn in school nowadays. I can speak some Maghreb dialect and I have here next to me on the couch someone who has been educated all the way through a B.S. in physics in classical Arabic so if you need help understanding any verse just let me know. Plenty of the Koran is understandable to people who speak local dialects and even to me who learned one of those dialects as an adult. Give the common folk some credit please. And if that doesn’t convince you then please be reminded of:

    Sura Maryam 19:97:

    {So We have made this (Quran) easy in your own tongue, only that you may give glad tidings to those who are God-conscious and warn with it the most quarrelsome people.} (19:97)
     

  • LaurieB

    I said I cannot understand each verse, I didn’t mean that I don’t understand all verses

    fortunately, this verse is understandable for me 🙂

    It seems that you are educated a bit in Islam, May Allah guid you to the right path

     


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  • Abdulsalam

     interpretation of reliable imams such as Al-Tabari, Ibn Kathir, and, Al-Saadi and many.

    Do you think it’s a good thing that you need “experts” to tell you what the word of Allah is? In the religion that I was brought up in that dependency only leads to corruption. Why bring a third party into the situation? Wouldn’t you rather have a personal relationship with your God?

    A translation of the Koran makes it possible for common folk to arrive at their own personal relationship with God/Allah. Keeping holy books in an antiquated language only serves the clergy well and nobody else.

    Your so called “reliable Imams” aren’t as smart as you think they are. They’re trying way too hard. Ask yourself why.

     Quran is in Arabic and when translated to English, it is not that easy, because English is a modest language and not as sophisticated as Arabic, which for example have over 70 names for a “lion”

    When the Koran is translated into another language it does lose its poetry. There’s no avoiding that. But what happens then is that we are left with a book that is so repetitive and threatening that there’s no beauty left at all. A good editor would leave the Koran at half the length that is currently is and the Bible would be reduced by 90%. A gift to us all if only it could happen.

    I’m aware of the many names of “lion”. What’s so great about that? I mean, how many names do we really need? I’m happy for you that you appreciate your language but I, as an outsider find it to be harsh, cumbersome and not practical at all. The emphasis on Arabization in the Maghreb has had the effect of isolating students from literature in other languages and there have been consequences for that. But who cares what I think about it? Everyone favors their own native language. Hardly surprising. English has its strengths and practicalities and has spread far and wide but who knows what will happen in the future? We may all be speaking Chinese in the next century. ha

    Instead of being proud of 70 words to describe a lion, wouldn’t it be more impressive to be capable of saying “lion” in ten other languages? That would serve the Arabic speakers better in this world.

    again Quran is words of Allah, whether you like it or not

    I understand that you desperately need to believe that.


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  • Abdulsalam

    It seems that you are educated a bit in Islam, May Allah guid you to the right path

    This may come as some surprise to you but even after a detailed reading of Koran and Hadith and other sources that provide information about the life of the Prophet and his followers, none of it is impressive and much of it is repugnant to our modern understanding of good and bad, right and wrong. Your prophet was only a man (which you must agree with) and he was a successful tribal warrior who sure did appreciate a substantial amount of sexual variety. Just a man.

    Allah does not guide me because he doesn’t exist. (whether you like it or not)


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  • LaurieB

    if you think rationally, Why would there be a word such as God or Allah if there is no one ?

    I am been taught in my religion that anyone is free in his believe and we don’t force anyone to believe the same,

    But You will find out the truth when you die

     

    My closing statement : ” O disbelievers, I do not worship what you worship, Nor are you worshippers of what I worship, Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship, Nor will you be worshippers of what you worship,  For you is your religion, and for me is my religion” [Al-Kafirun]


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  • Abdulsalam.

     

    Why would there be a word unicorn, when there is no such beast?

    When you were being taught your religion, when was the moment you were allowed to choose whether to believe or not? Would it have been a fair choice?


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  • Good Morning Abdulsalam

    if you think rationally, Why would there be a word such as God or Allah if there is no one ?

    This proposition doesn’t hold. I could say to you – If you think rationally, why would there be such a word as Santa Claus if there is no one? Why would we have the word Fairy is there is none?
    Why would we have the word Satan if there was none?

    I understand that you believe in the invisible entity you call Allah, but do you also believe that there is an invisible entity you call Shaytanne? Does he move amongst us? Is he as powerful as Allah? What is the relationship between Allah and Shaytanne?

    Never underestimate the creative power of the human mind to invent fantastic solutions to something they can’t explain in any other way. We have an endless ability to create stories and other forms of art seemingly without limit.

    Wherever you come from in this world, you must have been in the presence of certain people who have a great talent for storytelling. These people are great favorites in any family gathering for their entertainment value. If you’ve seen them in action you will understand how stories travel down the generations with minor alterations every so often either by design or by mistake. This is exactly how mythology is created. The Bible and the Koran are just collections of poetry and mythology that had been passed down in storytelling traditions and then at some point someone who was capable of writing collected the myths and fables and combined them into one volume. None of that is any proof that it’s true. Those stories inform us as to what was valued in those cultures but as time goes by, they are increasingly a bad source of right and wrong, good and bad.

    In the present time, the Bible and the Koran have little to nothing of value to offer us when we want advice on how to live well.

    I am been taught in my religion that anyone is free in his believe and we don’t force anyone to believe the same,

    This idea is very important to me too! Very important. I only wish the whole world agreed with us and wars would be a rare thing. So many problems are caused by people who think that they have the only correct beliefs and everyone else is a dirty stupid kaffir. We all know people like this no matter what religion we were raised in, isn’t that right, Abdulsalam?

    The most disappointing thing about this statement of tolerance is that I can hardly find it to be popular in any location. I try to tell myself that we are tribal creatures by nature and it takes a great force to avoid favoring our own family and group and persecuting others who are unrelated and different. People often say that they believe in tolerance in religion but very few actually behave in a way that proves it.

    If I may remind you of a well known verse from the Koran:

    Sura II Al Bagara

    256

    Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error; whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks, and Allah hears and knows all things.

    This must be the most misunderstood and badly used sentence in the Koran. On the one hand you have a statement of tolerance right away. But just keep reading a few more lines and it becomes clear right away that the tolerance on offer is a very limited one indeed. Threats of hell for nonbelievers follows pretty quickly and this does apply to Muslims who are off the halal path too!

    Abdelsalam, you must know what happens when an otherwise good Muslim tries to avoid doing Ramadan or tells the family that they don’t want to pray five times every day or says that drinking alcohol is fine in moderation or that eating pork is basically harmless. When that person says to the family – There is no compulsion in religion, by the word of Allah, what do you think happens then? There will be compulsion and plenty of it! I despair to think of all the good people who were raised in the religion of Islam who said that verse from the Koran which they believed to be the word of Allah and then were immediately punished and abused for a simple request for tolerance.

    As someone who reads the Koran and other histories of the life of the Prophet, there was plenty of forcing others to convert to Islam. Prophet Mohammed was a military tribal warrior. He conquered lands and made it impossible for the indigenous people to retain their own religions. The Prophet may have spoken for tolerance but he definitley did NOT act on that statement!

    If you like, I can direct you to instructions on how warriors are to deal with the Kaffar in lands that have been conquered. I’m sure you are capable of finding it yourself too.

     


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  • 26
    Michael 100 says:

    Abdulsalam #22.  What jumped out at me was your closing comment:  “But you will find out the truth when you die.”  By “find out” I assume you mean “learn” or “know.”  My understanding is that the ability to learn or know resides in the brain.  Learning/knowing is a physical  cognitive process involving neurons and chemicals, etc all of which can be tested and measured, and even seen with the aid of brain scans.  At death, those processes cease to function.  How then can an individual find out — learn or know — anything without the necessary equipment?  Before the days of neuroscience, I suppose it was reasonable to think that our cognitive ability was something ethereal or spiritual, but in the 21st century, is that an idea to which we want to cling?

    It’s always seemed strange to me that clerics, particularly Islamic and Christian, make their demands based on promises of reward or punishment after death.  I doubt that any priest or imam has ever been forced to cough up a refund.  In other words, I think they are all frauds.  Religion was a good racket whose time has passed.  We no longer live in a demon haunted world.  

    The cosmos existed for billions of years before I was born and will exist for billions more after I make my exit.  For a few decades, I have the privilege of being aware of the grandeur of it all.  When I die, I expect the party will be over, but there is no need to be afraid of the dark. I will not exist after death just as I did not exist before I was born.  And, I think that’s more than enough, don’t you?


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