Swine Flu (H1N1 Influenza A): Facts & Precautions | What is Your Local Muslim Community Doing About it?

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“He has only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name has been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced by necessity, without willful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits – then is he guiltless. For Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.” (Baqarah: 173)

Cases of Swine Influenza A (H1N1) viral infections have been confirmed across the United States, and around the world. The resulting disease, dubbed “Swine Flu”, is a contagious respiratory illness that can be spread from human to human, by coughing, sneezing, and coming into contact with virus-covered surfaces.

The following article aims to educate Muslims on both the Biology and Islam behind the latest influenza pandemic. It has been split into three main sections:

  • The Biology: What is swine flu, and why Muslims can catch it even if they don’t eat pork – written by our resident Biologist, Dr Mehzabeen b. Ibrahim.
  • Swine Flu, Islam & Muslims: The Islamic texts referring to pork consumption, and contagious disease.
  • Recommendations: How to stay healthy during this outbreak, insha’Allah. A MUST READ.

The Biology

by Dr Mehzabeen b. Ibrahim

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Everyone and their mum knows that Muslims don’t eat pork. It may, therefore, seem the ideal time to start doing the “we told you so” dance at all those pork-guzzling non-Muslim folk, who don’t trust in the divine wisdom behind our Islamic dietary restrictions.

But before we get our pointing sticks out, we need to get our biology straight. It is unlikely that the Swine Flu virus was originally transmitted from pigs to humans via the consumption of pork (especially as cooking would destroy the virus), but rather, via direct contact with live, infected pigs, and/or their excreta.

However, there is a theory that the large-scale breeding of pigs to satiate the ever-growing demands of pork-eating empires, both in the East and the West, may have a significant role to play in the development of new, disease-causing, influenza viruses. The biology is a little difficult to understand if you don’t have a working knowledge of virology, but I’ll try to keep it simple.

There are many different types of virus, that cause many different types of disease. Swine flu (H1N1), Bird Flu (H5N1), and the annual, seasonal flu, are all subtypes of the same species of virus: Influenza A. As the names “bird flu” and “swine flu” suggest, various strains of influenza A are capable of infecting multiple animal species, in addition to man.

There is reason to believe that all forms of the influenza A virus may be avian in origin – however, generally speaking, strains of avian influenza do not replicate well in humans. So how does the virus make the species jump from birds to people? This is where the pig comes in.

As pigs can be simultaneously co-infected with avian and human strains of influenza, they may act as “mixing vessels” in which new strains of influenza A develop, with the potential to cause disease in humans. In fact, this latest strain of H1N1 has been determined to be a genetic mix of four different flu viruses: two porcine, one avian, and one human. See another representation at the bottom of post.

Therefore, the theory is simple: if the world didn’t eat as much pork, then there would be less demand to breed pigs in such large quantities, reducing the number of “mixing vessels”, thus slowing the rate of emergence of new influenza viruses capable of harming human health. (This is where the “we told you so” dance is more justified).

Unfortunately, at this stage of the epidemic, the swine flu virus is traveling through the population via direct human-to-human transmission, i.e., one sick person passing the virus onto others. Therefore, Muslims are just as susceptible to infection as anyone else. To reiterate: the avoidance of pork will not be enough to prevent you from catching this strain of swine flu; you must take further precautions to protect your health (as described in the Recommendations section of this article).

We are all affected by what the World Health Organization considers a Level 5 pandemic, and we all have a moral responsibility to take care of ourselves, our families, and also the communities we live in – regardless of their pork-consumption habits.

References:

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Swine Flu, Islam & Muslims

by Amad

To begin with, a few verses of Qur’an on eating swine meat:

“Forbidden to you (your food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on wish hath been invoked the name of other than Allah; that which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; than which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety. This day have those who reject Faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [5:3]

“Say: I find not in the message received by me by inspiration any (meat) forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be dead meat, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine, for it is an abomination or, what is impious, (meat) on which a name has been invoked, other than Allah’s. But (even so), if a person is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, thy Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [6:145]

“He has only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and any (food) over which the name of other than Allah has been invoked. But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [16: 115]

It would also be prudent to mention a couple of prophetic narrations that refer to contagious disease:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar: Allah’s Apostle said, “There is neither ‘Adha (no contagious disease is conveyed to others without Allah’s permission)…”

What this means, according to Shaykh Yasir, is that diseases do not have ‘inherent’ powers to harm unless Allah wills it; contagious diseases harm by the permission of Allah. So, we always have to depend upon Allah first, but not become fatalistic. We need to “tie our camels” and then leave the rest to Allah. As Bilal Phillips wrote in his book, ‘Fundamentals of Tawheed’, “man proposes, and God disposes”.

There is another narration that we can take lessons from:

‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, reported: ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab set out for Syria. As he came at Sargh (a town by the side of Hijaz on the way to Syria), there met him the commander of the forces, Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah, and his companions. They informed him that a scourge [plague] had broken out in Syria.

[Umar rd consults with various people from the Muhajir and the Ansaar]

He again said: Call to me the senior persons of the Quraish who had migrated before the Victory (that is the Victory of Makkah), so I called them (and ‘Umar consulted them) and not even two persons differed (from the opinion held by the earlier delegates). They said: Our opinion is that you better go back along with the people and do not make them go to this scourge.

So ‘Umar made announcement to the people: In the morning I would be on the back of my side.

So they (set forth in the morning), whereupon Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah said: Are you going to run away from the Divine Decree?

Thereupon ‘Umar said: Had it been someone else to say this, O Abu ‘Ubaidah! ‘Umar (in fact) did not approve of his opposing (this decision) and he said: Yes, we are running from the Divine Decree (to the) Divine Decree. You should think if there had been camels for you and you happened to get down in a valley having two sides, one of them covered with verdure and the other being barren, would you not (be doing) according to the Divine Decree if you graze them in verdure? And in case you graze them in the barren land (even then you would be grazing them) according to the Divine Decree.

There happened to come ‘Abdul-Rahman bin ‘Auf and he had been absent in connection with some of his needs. He said: I have with me a knowledge of it, that I heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: If you hear of its presence (the presence of plague) in a land, do not enter it, but if it spreads in the land where you are, do not fly from it. Thereupon ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab praised Allah and then went back.

Shaykh Salman Oudah, explaining this incident in an answer to a different, but related question of Qadr, states that,

In this way `Umar explained what human effort is all about. It is not about surrendering to whatever we assume Allah has decreed for us, but rather to avoid misfortune by seeking what brings about good results.

It is true that everything happens by the decree of Allah. It is obligatory for a Muslim to believe this. The problem is how to understand it. Our belief should not lead us to a debilitating fatalism whereby the human being is disinvested of all responsibility, even with respect to good and evil.

Thus, it is important for Muslims to take precautions and help their communities avoid being affected by disease. This includes both the Muslim and non-Muslim community around them.

I’d like to know what your community is doing about it. And in this way also pull together some sense of what we collectively think our reaction to such issues should be, issues that concern our community that may not be of the religious nature.

In other interesting news related to Muslims and swine-flu:

  • Egypt ordered the slaughter of all pigs in Egypt, which was really news to me because I would never have believed that Egypt would allow these animals to be on their land in the first place. Good riddance. Note: the slaughtered meat can still be sold, Egyptian way!
  • The Deputy Health Minister of Israel, Yakov Litzman, is actually worried about Muslim sensitivities regarding the name “swine-flu”, saying that “we should call this Mexican flu and not swine flu” because it is offensive to both Judaism and Islam. I’d be really happy when Mr. Litzman starts worrying about Muslim sensitivities to being slaughtered, rather than worrying about what to name this flu.
  • The Ikhwaan is calling the flu “more dangerous than hydrogen bomb“. Talk about rushing to a conclusion! Potentially yes, but so far not that many people have died. It’s dangerous to making such dramatic assertions.

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Recommendations

The CDC recommends the following precautions to prevent the spread of the virus:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

CAIR issued an alert today (see below) calling on Imams to actively respond to this health threat. Since many of us gather in the mosques, especially on Fridays, there is even a greater risk of the flu spreading in our communities. Anyone who feels that they may have the flu or symptoms of it, should seek medical help immediately, and stay at home.

CAIR ACTION ALERT #576:

CAIR Asks Imams to Urge Swine Flu Precautions
Mosque leaders called on to offer health tips after prayers

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/29/09) – CAIR today called on imams to use daily and Jummah prayers in the nation’s mosques as a platform for providing information about preventing the spread of swine flu.

Imams are in a unique position to offer public health information to American Muslims because they lead congregational prayers every day in the more than 2,000 mosques nationwide.

CAIR is suggesting that imams stay up-to-date on the spread of swine flu in their areas and stress the possibility of temporarily avoiding Islamic cultural traditions such as handshakes or hugs of greeting during a local health crisis. Imams are also being asked to be aware of swine flu symptoms that include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue.

“In times of crisis, public health and safety takes precedence over normal actions and activities that could lead to the spread of infection,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Imams, because of their access to those attending mosques every day, are well-placed to offer advice to community members based on input from public health authorities.”

Awad added that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged actions designed to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. The Prophet told his community, if disease breaks out in a particular area, “do not leave that place, and when you hear of its spread in another place, do not go there.” (Al-Tirmidhi) Another hadith states: “A sick person (with a contagious disease) must not be brought among the healthy.” (Fiqh-us-Sunnah)

IMMEDIATE ACTIONS REQUESTED:

CAIR is asking imams to offer flu prevention tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which include:

CAIR, in consultation with Islamic scholars, is also suggesting that imams and mosque officials consider taking other preventive actions recommended by the CDC when swine flu is confirmed in a community, including:

  1. Worshipers who develop flu-like symptoms should be strongly encouraged to seek medical advice by phone and to self-isolate themselves in their homes.
  2. Cancellation of classes in Islamic schools should be considered if there is a confirmed or a suspected case of swine flu in the school population.
  3. Gatherings at mosques, even otherwise-mandatory Friday congregational prayers, should be temporarily canceled if there is a risk of spreading infection.

SEE: When Human Infection with Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus is Confirmed in a Community

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49 / View Comments

49 responses to “Swine Flu (H1N1 Influenza A): Facts & Precautions | What is Your Local Muslim Community Doing About it?”

  1. Amad says:

    Dr. Mehzabeen… you see, your extensive knowledge of biology is finally coming to good use :) Good job on simplifying complicated concepts into mental bite-size concepts!

  2. UmmeAmmaarah says:

    sigh! i didn’t know there were so many pigs in egypt either!………. and now that Iraq has allowed ‘foreigners’ to own property to ‘help’ it’s economy, are we going to see pigs there too?
    (sorry for the dumb comment, but i’ve been seething since i read that Iraq thingy this morning, and had to let everybody know, even at the risk of sounding silly :( )

    and subhanAllah…. “A sick person (with a contagious disease) must not be brought among the healthy.” (Fiqh-us-Sunnah)…never knew this one.

    it’s said that general hygiene and hand-washing is the best way to fight off the spread of this virus…. i guess it just emphasizes the fact that muslims must revive the ‘cleanliness is half of faith’ hadith.

    for those who will argue – “last time the avian flu spread, there were no pigs involved”…. well, this time there ARE!! :)

  3. Hidaya says:

    I came online to look for the symptoms?

    My brother is coughing blood and has severe cold…I am taking him to emergency. Please keep him in ur Duaas

  4. MashAllah ! I think this article takes muslimmatters to a whole new level. I dont know if a biology-based article (and so relevant to muslims) has ever been written before on MM, but its my first time seeing something like this… very pleased ! Keep up the good work guys and Jazzak Allah khair for such useful info.

  5. MR says:

    1000s of people die every year from the flu. Less than 50 have died from the swine flu.

    The point: keep healthy and fit so you don’t get any flu!

    • Amad says:

      Hidaya, sorry to hear about your brother. I have not heard anything about coughing blood as being a symptom of this type of flu… I suspect I’d have seen something when I was researching the subject (though by no means was that research comprehensive). I hope and pray that inshallah Allah gives shifa to your brother. Pls keep us posted.

      MR, I understand the point, but WHO doesn’t declare a Level 5 pandemic for no reason. It’s more about the trajectory and the possible consequences with mutating viruses.

  6. Amad says:

    Here’s some info on coughing up blood. Seems like this should not be a usual symptom. The 1918/19 flu pandemic had it as a usual symptom.

    One reader on this less-than-scientific yahoo answers site did comment that “Swine flu- H1N1 virus strain. Virtually the heir to the spanish influenza throne. This virus can cause pneumonia in some of its victims, one common trait of dying from pneumonia was coughing up a mix of blood and mucus”

    But I couldn’t find anything else to substantiate it.

  7. Amatullah says:

    May Allah protect your brother Hidaya.

  8. ar.m says:

    thank you

  9. Amad says:

    WHO yielding to pig industry pressures:

    “Rather than calling this swine flu … we’re going to stick with the technical scientific name H1N1 influenza A,” Thompson said.

    I think it’s kind of late to change names, and it will just cause more confusion. This is an example of business trumping all else.

  10. Abdul Malik says:

    Aslaamu alakum

    Swine Flu <<Fact or fiction.
    Below is a quote and link from a very interesting article.

    “To put things into perspective, malaria kills 3,000 people EVERY DAY, and it’s considered “a health problem”… But of course, there are no fancy vaccines for malaria that can rake in billions of dollars in a short amount of time.”

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/29/Swine-Flu.aspx

  11. […] Biology and Islam behind the latest influenza pandemic. It has been split into three main sections: The Biology: What is swine flu, and why Muslims can catch it even if they don

  12. Olivia says:

    Jazakallahu khair, that was a very informative article.

    Good point about staying home if you’re sick—this is includes your kids! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to juma’ and mothers are there with small kids (and im a mother of small kids too) with boogies leaking out of there noses and coughing and they’re too young to know how to avoid others (and juma’ isn’t even obligatory for women!). We should, when we are sick with anything, keep ourselves and our sick kids at home out of respect and consideration to others (sorry this is such a pet peeve for me!).

    May Allah protect us all, ameen.

  13. Algebra says:

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    I agree with Increase your Rizq ‘s comment. I enjoyed this article. Thanks for the different links as well. MASHALLAH went through all of them. I liked how you broke it down in Scientific terms, than Islamic terms, than solutions. Understood the scientific part :).

    Olivia………………. I sooooooooooooo agree with you it is a pet peeve of mine as well. If you are sick stay home with the kids. I mean seriously………….

    • Amad says:

      The one-line fatwa:

      A request was made to Sh. Waleed Basyouni for a fatwa regarding praying Jumah in times of epidemic. His reply is:

      “Those who appear healthy should go. Sick stay home.”

  14. Ayman Fadel says:

    1. It may become necessary to cancel gatherings such as jumu’a should the flu become prevalent in an area. A carrier may often spread a disease both prior to the appearance of symptoms and after their disappearance.
    2. It’s criminal that the Egyptian government is destroying pigs. There is no public health benefit, and it is ruining people’s livelihood. Egypt’s Christians do eat pork, and there is no shar’i reason to prevent them from raising pigs, slaughtering them and eating them.

    For more information, I suggest reading:

    Review of John Barry’s “The Great Influenza”

    Faith-Based & Community Organizations Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Checklist

  15. May Allah heal all those afflicted by disease. Ameen.

    Regarding couging up blood, at our company they made us take an online safety test about Swine Flu, where it mentioned that if you are coughing up blood, then go straight to the hospital. May Allah heal your brother. ameen.

  16. iMuslim says:

    Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah guys

    Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the comments… My internet connection was disrupted for the past 24 hours!

    Re: coughing up blood – I am no clinician, but that is never good. If anyone coughs up blood, with or without accompanying flu-like symptoms, they should seek urgent medical attention. May Allah heal your brother, Hidaya. Ameen.

    I was also in the “so what?” camp over this latest scare story of swine flu, but then I realized that a disease doesn’t have to be a big killer to cause a serious impact to society. If lots of people become ill at the same time, that will have very negative consequences on an already damaged economy. I don’t mean the big companies: I mean people desperately trying to cling onto their jobs, and living pay packet to pay packet.

    There have been several stories reported of desperate employers firing pregnant women, and disabled people, and hiring more ‘capable’ replacements. I can imagine the same thing happening to employees who take one too many sick days.

    Btw, iMuslim = Dr Mehzabeen b. Ibrahim :)

  17. Amad says:

    Seems Johann Hari is in line with iMuslim on pig breeding.

    Our Hunger for Cheap Meat Has Created Swine Flu

  18. Mezba says:

    They are blaming NAFTA’s relaxed rules on pig farms for the swine flu.

    http://www.healthzone.ca/health/article/627157

    As for pigs, there’s no law in Islam against owning pigs is there? (I am thinking of the Egypt case).

    All that is forbidden is eating pork, and the najas issue regarding their saliva. Unlike alcohol, the rearer, breeder of pigs etc. is not cursed, unless I am missing something.

    So those who are upset at Egypt having pigs should stop being upset, there are thousands of non Muslims there who eat pork. Pig is also one of Allah’s creatures.

    I laugh when I hear someone say “pigs are offensive to Muslims”. No, they are haram to eat, just like, say, tigers.

    • Amad says:

      The fact that Jesus (AS) will kill the pigs in the end-times may indicate something. But Mezba, its a good question, I don’t really know about all the regulations on owning pigs, or whether Muslim land should allow them. But there is no doubt in my mind that it is not allowed to engage in buying, selling or distribution of pigs… I don’t have the proofs handy, I hope someone can lay them out for us here.

      Shaytan too is Allah’s creation, but it is hated by Allah. So, Allah can indeed command something about its creation, and Allah is All-Wise about the reasons behind it.

  19. @Mezba

    a few issues:

    the najas issue regarding their saliva.

    I thought the entire pig is najas. Maybe you are thinking about dogs, where some scholars opine their saliva only is najas?

    Also, is it allowed to breed pigs? If they are being bred for consumption (even by non-Muslims), then they are being bred for haraam. Certainly a Muslim should have no part in that.

    And, I don’t see it as being out of line for a Muslim government to prevent non-Muslims from breeding or consuming haraam. I think there is a much deeper discussion to be had about whether or not non-Muslims living in a Muslim country must abide by the rules of shari’ah or not, and if so, which rules. It certainly requires scholarly discourse and isn’t something we can just speculate about…

  20. MuslimT says:

    I recall Shaikh Yasir saying that Scholarly opinion is that nonMuslims in a Muslim country can even drink alcohol, so long as they don’t do it publicly. Therefore by extension, I would assume the less serious offense of pork consumption is allowed too

    wallahu a’lam

  21. Umm Ibraheem says:

    My husband and I are really worried about this epidemic. Under normal circumstances we wouldn’t have given swine flu a second thought.

    However, our daughter is being treated for leukemia for the next year and a half ,and has zero immunity alot of the time,. If she were to contract this flu I am worried she may not be able to fight it, and the normal antibiotics may not work for her. Even a normal flu is dangerous for her so this has just added to the risks.

    So as you can understand I am trying to stay within my hometown, and avoid large public places as much as possible. I may get her a mask if it the outlook gets worse. We have increased our handwashing, especially before eating as this is the main source of germs passing.

    InshaAllah I pray Allah keeps us all in good health.

    • Amad says:

      Umm Ibraheem, may Allah make it easy upon you and your family, and give your daughter full and complete shifa’. SubhanAllah, i can imagine how hard it must be upon you all, but through all tribulations, there is forgiveness for sins and increase in rank.

      wasalam

  22. on my blog I write about the possible link between eating bread containing pig. All the more reason for not being complacent about swine flu

    http://londonmuslims.blogspot.com/

  23. rabialikhan says:

    asalamu alaykum,

    jazakAllah khayr, thank you so much for writing this article and for posting it. may Allah(swt) bless you all and continue to guide you in your efforts.

  24. @Muslim T

    I remember Sh. Yasir Birjas saying something to the contrary (basically, I believe he once said that non-Muslims abiding in a Muslim land still have to follow the Islamic laws, at least publicly). Besides, even if non-Muslims would be allowed to eat pork in private, does that mean they are able to domesticate and sell pigs to each other in public? I don’t the answer to be honest, but I don’t think it’s such a simple issue such that we can simply brush off the actions of killing pigs as being “criminal.” Allahu a’lam.

  25. Amad says:

    Egyptian pigs… they know how to dash… esp the last seconds of this video are priceless!

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2009/04/30/lister.egypt.pig.slaughter.cnn

    Haytham, any advice for the health authorities? I know you are not a vet, but you have seen pigs and are an Egyptian too… should be sufficient to give some solid advice… just kidding, couldn’t let that one go ;)

  26. monkeynurse says:

    @ Umm Ibraheem: my wife and i will keep you and yours in our dua inshallah. we have a daughter with immune deficiency as well, and know how hard it can be.

    @ Hidaya: i pray your brother is doing better. the suggestion to head to the e.r. was the right one.

    keep in mind everyone that simple things like washing hands & covering your cough/sneeze is the most efficacious thing you can do.

    also the phases of a pandemic do not refer to the severity of disease, rather the ease of transmission. the phases are a way of alerting organizations and governments to step up planning and coordination.

    as a last word, about 36,000 people die from regular influenza every year. thousands more end up in the hospital. then why does H1N1 make the news? because we’ve never seen it before. influenza is capable of rapid mutations and can be very unpredictable. because this is a new virus, we don’t know exactly what it will do. so we take precautions and pray for the best. so far, it seems to only cause mild disease.

    don’t freak out. don’t start spreading rumors on conspiracy theories (although there are some real juicy ones out there). make dua. wash your hands. make some more dua. go to work/school/eat/sleep/pray.

    oh, don’t forget to wash your hands.

  27. amazed says:

    Great article. It seems that the Americas and the West are fluttering the red flag over this ‘pandemic’ in a demonic flurry, whipping up despair and fear all around. Is it a red herring? Why is the flu so scary if the syptoms and the fatalities are not so scary? Granted all types of health issues are disturbing but to ‘CRY wOLf’ like this seems a little jumped-to-conclusions.

    @ Hidaya: I will pray for the quick and sound recovery for your brother. Coughing blood is never a good sign, swine flu or not.

    @Umm Ibraheem: I will also remeber you and ur daughter in mr prayers. InshAllah she will grow to be perfectly healthy.

    May Allah protect the Ummah from all financial, health and emotional problems.

    AMEEN

  28. J says:

    I agree with brother MuslimT. There were even Hanbali scholars who permitted Zoroastrians to marry their own sisters or mothers, since that particular Zoroastrian sect allowed such a practice in their religion. Such is the tolerance of the Islamic religion. I think this concept many Muslims have nowadays–that we will force Islamic laws on Non-Muslims–is very troublesome. For example, the Taliban force Non-Muslim women to wear hijab, yet Umar ibn al-Khattab [ra] discouraged Non-Muslim women from wearing it!

    I think the Ottoman Empire is a good example: they followed the millet system, allowing each religious group to rule by its own religious laws, have their own courts, and their own judges. The Non-Muslims would get their own quarters…we have a similar thing in Saudi Arabia, where Non-Muslims live in their own posh compounds, where they can dress half-naked as they please. Although I don’t think Saudi Arabia is a good example when it comes to the rights of minorities, nonetheless I think the general idea is that Non-Muslims can do as they please in their own quarters, including eating pork.

    Let us work towards La Convivencia.

    Fi Aman Allah

  29. UmmeAmmaarah says:

    @ Umme Ibraheem – dear sister,

    @ J ; plz don’t talk about those separate quarters for foreigners in KSA as a good thing. I’ve lived in one of them, my dad worked there… they are an example of a lot of things that shouldn’t be – the evil in there is not confined to it’s walls, it spils out big-time and has major repurcussions – most of them bad…plus the companies that set these up are the prime example of racial discrimination, where for the same job, the salary and perks you get go down in the following order: U.S. citizens–> U.K.—> Arabs—> “Other Arabs” —> S.E. Asians—-> Other Asians. DISGUSTING!!

    On a lighter vein: HOW TO RECOGNIZE MUSLIM PARENTS:

    The other day I was waiting with my 2 year-old in her Doc’s waiting room, when I saw another family enter the waiting roon, and though they seemed to be, I wasn’t sure….but I found out…and how?

    The mom fished out an animal pictures’ board book from her bag, and the dad started pointing out pictures to his son, and when he came to the one showing a pig, he was kind of disturbed and he tells his son: “oh…um….bete, this is just something dirty, let’s see what’s on the next page! “….and i had a strong feeling of deja vu. :D

  30. @J

    I was not saying it should be one way or the other. But I think you and others should be very careful about just picking one opinion because it seems more correct based on our limited understanding. It really is something that needs to be discussed by scholars, not us laymen. It really requires scholarly analysis. That is the point I was trying to make.

    I wonder how much this topic has been treated by the ulama in the first place? I imagine such works probably haven’t been translated into English, as it is not really relevant to our situation here anyways…

  31. […] via Swine Flu (H1N1 Influenza A): Facts & Precautions | What is Your Local Muslim Community Doing Ab…. […]

  32. amazed says:

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    Meet Beautiful Girls
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    How is this OK?
    Or is there a group of muslims that are now OK with dating etc?

    -Edited. The site has been added to blocked sites.

  33. Yusuf Smith says:

    As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    Christians have been around in Egypt longer than Muslims, remember. It would be different if they had arrived more recently, in which case they would probably not have been allowed to bring pigs with them, but that isn’t the case in Egypt. It’s also not the case that Egyptian pigs were the source of the outbreak – Mexican pigs were (and there surely can’t be any contact). If the flu arrives in Egypt, it will be from people coming from the USA or Europe who had been in contact with people who had been to Mexico. It is just a case of the Egyptian government making a populist point to the Muslim population.

  34. Yusuf Smith says:

    As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    Also, consider where the pigs came from, originally. Do we really imagine that they were imported for Christian consumption by Napoleon or the British? They were probably there for centuries under the Khilafa, so for Mubarak to slaughter them like he was better than all of them is hypocrisy.

  35. Why not slaughter all the pigs?…

    I’m sure we’ve all heard by now about the Egyptian government’s move to slaughter all of the country’s stock of pigs, kept by the Coptic Christian minority, supposedly in response to the outbreak of “swine flu” originating in Mexico. I……

  36. iMuslim says:

    @amazed – we continuously try to weed out the dodgy Google ads, and ask you to forward us the offending ads (with URLs) whenever you see them, so we can add them to the ban list: info[@]muslimmatters[dot]org

  37. ummOsayd says:

    The scientists fear that this mild attack of H1N1 can indicate something terrible coming like in 1918. I came across this article which made sense why so many people died in 1918 from ‘flu’ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16670768/

    It might sound wierd to many, but the whole mechanism how these viruses work and something so tiny can cause such great harm, it just makes me say SubhanAllah.

  38. […] Swineflu Is One Of The Reasons Why Allah Has Made Eating Pork Unlawful – 1 Minute Ago Swine Flu: Facts & Precautions | What is Your Local Muslim Community Doing About it? __________________ The status of the scholar over the worshipper is like that of the moon over […]

  39. i always advice my kids to wear face masks when going into crowded areas. swine flu is really scary and i dont want my kids getting infected by it.

  40. shahina says:

    interesting reading material. Some dua or prayers to be recited would have been highly appreciated

  41. Maverick says:

    Hey Amad, salams.

    what are your thoughts on this?

    Its a 60-Minutes clip from a few decades back, …. 16 minutes long. Watch it and lemme know.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x9mh9f_swine-flu-1976-propaganda_webcam

    • Amad says:

      wasalam
      very interesting. Thanks for sharing. Personally, I have always been leery of flu vaccinations- never got one in my life. There was no recommendation in the post for vaccinations, and I recommend that people check with their doctors before getting it done.

  42. Mano K says:

    thank u so much for this writting and posting it.

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