Ramadan 2020 – How Muslims historically dealt with epidemics in the month of Ramadan?

Ramadan 2020 – How Muslims historically dealt with epidemics in the month of Ramadan?

December 2019. A question arises about the Muslims ’previous dealings during the month of Ramadan with epidemics.

And the newspaper “Arabi 21” published a report on the history of epidemics in Islamic times, during the month of Ramadan.

    Researchers and historians said that “two pandemics passed on to Muslims during the month of Ramadan.

    The first of which was the plague of Muslim Ibn Qutaybah in the Umayyad era in the city of Basra in Iraq in 131 AH.

    And the second was what was called the Great Epidemic, which occurred in the Levant in the year 749 AH, and moved to Egypt.

    Ramadan epidemic of the Umayyad era

    In his book, “The Plague in the Umayyad Period: Unidentified Pages from the History of the Umayyad Caliphate”.

    The researcher Ahmed Al-Adawi observed about 20 plagues and epidemics in the Amorite period.

    He pointed out that the only plague that afflicted Muslims in Ramadan was the Umayyad era in AH 131 / AD 748.

    Ramadan 2020 - How Muslims historically dealt with epidemics in the month of Ramadan?
    Mamluk Era

    Explaining that it started in Basra, Iraq and that it appeared in the month of Rajab, continued in Shaaban and Ramadan and ended in Shawwal.

    He said that “he used to count every day in the al-Murbid railway in Basra a thousand funerals, and that the most famous of those who died in this plague was Abu Bakr Ayyub bin Abi Tamima Kisan, whom Imam Al-Hassan Al-Basri said was the master of the people of Basra.”

    Ramadan 2020 - How Muslims historically dealt with epidemics in the month of Ramadan?

    The cover of the book published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies.

    Ahmed Al-Adawi discussed the demographic disasters caused by the plague that had subsequent political repercussions and pointed out that the successors of the Umayyad Caliphs abstained from residing in Damascus due to the succession of the plague’s outbreaks on the city and to prevent the epidemic as well.

    “Ramadan and the Great Epidemic”

    For his part, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the former General Authority of Cultural Palaces, Saad Abdel-Rahman.

    Referred to what Ibn Katheer mentioned in “The Beginning and the End”, about the death of the poet Salah Al-Din Safadi, the author of the book “The Ticket” in the plague of 749 AH / 1391AD,

    Which invaded the Levant, Palestine and Egypt, And arrived in Europe, called “The Great Epidemic.”

    Abdul Rahman added, through his Facebook page, that Al-Safadi died in the plague that struck Egypt during the month of Ramadan in 764 AH / 1362 AD,

    And this plague claimed the lives of thousands of its people, especially the Jewish community.

    The hadith of the Prophet {S.A.W}

    The Salabi historian gave an account of the most famous epidemics and plagues in the periods of Islamic history,

    Saying that “the plague of Emmaus at the time of Omar ibn al-Khattab in the Levant (18 AH / 693AD), and the plague of the sweeping time of Abdullah bin Zubair in Basra (69 AH / 688AD), and the plague of girls in Iraq and the Levant (87 AH) (705 AD),

    And the plague of Muslim ibn Qutaybah in Basra for a period of three months, which intensified in Ramadan, and a thousand funerals were counted daily (131 AH / 748 AD).”

    He considered that the Muslims dealt with the epidemics by talking about isolation from the Prophet, and pointed out that the second role of the caliph Omar bin Al-Khattab,

    and the role of the leader Amr ibn al-As, the governor of the Levant, who ordered people to move to the mountains until the epidemic ended.

    He explained that the Muslims developed methods of confronting plague and epidemics,

    and in the Mamluk era some sultans and well-off build “bimarstanas” and shops or washbasins of the Levant, closed wine shops and left people immoral and evil.

    Where do people go during the epidemic time?

    A lecture on Islamic history at the Faculty of Dar Al Uloom, Cairo University, Sumaya Fathi, confirmed that

    “We must ask the question ‘Has the Muslims experienced epidemics in the month of Ramadan historically?'”

    This requires deep historical research, not only in historical sources but also in fiqh books and others.

    Fathi added that “It came in the book (The Behavior) of al-Maqrizi, on the plague of the year (749 AH / 1348 CE and 787 AH / 1385 CE),

    that people rushed to the mosques to pray and prayers and to pray to God to raise the calamity, with the reading of Sahih Al Bukhari in the Al-Azhar Mosque days, and then pray to raise the plague.”

    And she continued that “in the plague of the year (833 AH), the Sultan gathered 40 honourable men from the nobles and sat them in the Al-Azhar Mosque,

    so they read the Qur’an, and called on God Almighty, and called people with them and the mosque was filled with them,” explaining that

    “People used to go out to the desert and pray with them behind their imams and Cry out to God to raise the calamity. “

    In this regard, professor of Islamic history and civilization at Al-Azhar University, Dr Saad Al-Halawani said,

    “The cataclysms and pandemics affected the whole earth dozens of times, and overthrew many of the people of the earth, including the Islamic world.”

    And about their occurrence in the month of Ramadan, he pointed out that “some of them actually took place in Ramadan, but despite that, the mosques were not closed by the ruler’s decisions,

    but that the people were themselves moving away from the mosques, and they went to the mountains and the desert until the epidemic ended.”

    He explained that “the prohibition of fasting was not proven in light of any pandemic that occurred during the month of Ramadan.”


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