Plague is a type of epidemic disease; an evil inflammation, fatal in outcome, accompanied by a very fierce and painful burning that exceeds the norm.
The surrounding area of inflammation becomes black, green or dusky color and the condition quickly turns to ulceration. Mostly this appears under the arm in the armpit, behind the ear and on the tip of the nose, and in the soft flesh.
Prophet (pbuh) said ‘Plague (ta’un) is the swelling of a gland like that of a camel, which affects the soft places and the armpit.‘ [Ibn Hanbal]
- Bad blood which tends to putrefaction & corruption, and transforms into a poisonous substance. It corrupts the organs and changes what is adjacent to it; sometimes allowing blood and pus to leak out; and it produces an unhealthy condition in the heart.
- The most harmful is the inflammation which occurs in the armpit & behind the ear, because these places are near the principal organs. Black inflammation allows none to escape.
- The least harmful are the red inflammation, then the yellow inflammation.
- Corruption of the air. This happens because its essence changes into an unhealthy state; one of the negative qualities predominates over it, such as putrefaction, decay or poison.
- Occur mostly in the later part of summer, and most frequently in autumn.
- This is because the sharp, bilious superfluities and others collect during the summer season, and they are not dissolved at the end of summer. In autumn, the miasma occurs because the air is cold, and the vapours and superfluities, which were wont to dissolve freely during summer now become thick & murky. Thus they become constricted, heated and putrefy, bringing about putrid diseases.
The most healthy season in this respect: Spring.
The one whom God assists, as soon as he feels the approach of causes of evil, hastens to seek those things that will defend him against evil. This is a most beneficial remedy for him. So make prayer and dhikr (remembrance of God), supplication and entreaty, almsgiving and recite the Qur’an. These are the ways in which the Prophets seeked refuge with God.
Prohibition on leaving the plague-stricken land (Quarantine)
- This brings one to have complete trust & confidence in God, to endure patience & accept with contentment what He decrees.
- It is necessary to rest the body and to quieten the disturbance of the humours.
- Authorities in medicine have said that, anyone who takes precautions against pestilence must expel from his body the superfluities moisture, must take little food, incline towards a drying regime in every way except for exercise and bath, for these two should be avoided.
- The body is not generally free of hidden corrupt superfluity, which exercise and bath stir up and mix with good chyme, and this mixing brings on a severe illness.
- Leaving the plague-stricken land requires a great deal of energy and activity and this can have a damaging effect to the body.
- The one leaving the land where there is pestilence could be a carrier of the disease & the disease might be in incubation stage, hence could carry the disease outside the land and further spread the disease.
Ban on entering a plague-stricken land
- Avoid harmful causes and distancing oneself from them
- Preserving health, which is the very essence of life here and the hereafter
- Avoiding intake of air which putrefied & polluted causing disease
- Avoiding of proximity to the sick who have fallen ill of plague, for by such proximity infection is inevitable