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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 News & Comment
A Coronavirus Pandemic may Test the West more than Others


According to the World Health Organisation, cases of the Coronavirus may be at the point of dramatically increasing outside of China. According to an article by STAT:

The World Health Organization’s director-general cautioned Saturday that transmission of the new coronavirus outside of China may increase and countries should prepare for that possibility.

“It’s slow now, but it may accelerate,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference in Geneva. “So while it’s still slow there is a window of opportunity that we should use to the maximum in order to have a better outcome, and further decrease the progress and stop it.”

Tedros’s warning came after health authorities in Singapore announced they had diagnosed the infection in a man with no travel history to China and no known link to other cases in Singapore.

“The question remains as to whether we’re in a lag phase and the rate of infection [outside China] may pick up, or whether we’re seeing what is the natural history of the disease. It’s way too soon to tell,” Ryan said.

Infectious diseases expert Michael Osterholm warned that it is unwise to conclude that just because the world hasn’t yet seen outbreaks in other countries they won’t happen. It takes several generations of transmission — an imported case passed on to two others, who then infect two others and so on — before an outbreak takes off, he said.

“What we’re watching is the public health community trying to catch up to the speed of the virus,” said Osterholm, who is the director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy.


We ask for Allah’s mercy for the Muslim Ummah from this disease. However, while many are expecting developing countries to be the least prepared, it may actually be the developed Capitalist Western countries that suffer the most from any worldwide pandemic for the following reasons:

Firstly, Capitalism prioritises material benefit over all other concerns. Intellectually, they consider it rational only for man to act in his self-interest. Humanitarian, ethical or spiritual concerns are considered to be irrational, a consequence of sentimentality or superstition. As a consequence, the West fails to mobilise resources effectively for non-commercial concerns. Pharmaceutical companies hesitate to fund research into new diseases when they are unaware of the potential market size. And although everyone knows that quarantine is essential to prevent epidemics, the West is slow to take such measures for fears of hampering economic growth.

Secondly, Capitalism, with its secular liberal creed, undermines social relationships. The biological family is not given any special consideration over other types of organisations, and people are not legally obliged to support family and relatives, except to a degree for young children. Without strong social relationships, the weak in society are left without effective social support, and their burden is transferred to governmental ‘social services’. But with the ongoing decay in the Western family structure with every passing generation, the burden on state social services is constantly mounting despite the ever increasing budget revenues that are being allocated to such services. In all Western countries, the social budget is now by far the greatest budgetary allocation, far ahead of their defence budgets, even in the American superpower.

This is all in contrast to non-Western countries where Capitalism has yet to penetrate deeply. In the Muslim countries, in particular, although social relations have been eroded due to Western influence, social relationships are still much stronger and much more stable than in the West, and so those who are ill in society generally have strong social support from those around them to depend upon.

Islam has made the biological family the basis of permanent social relationships, and has added close friends and neighbours by analogy with it. Allah (swt) says in the Noble Qur’an:

(إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاء ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ)

“Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.” [an-Nahl: 90]

And in the hadeeth of the Prophet (saw):

Abu Huraira reported:

أَنَّ رَجُلًا قَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، إِنَّ لِي قَرَابَةً أَصِلُهُمْ وَيَقْطَعُونِي وَأُحْسِنُ إِلَيْهِمْ وَيُسِيئُونَ إِلَيَّ وَأَحْلُمُ عَنْهُمْ وَيَجْهَلُونَ عَلَيَّ، فَقَالَ «لَئِنْ كُنْتَ كَمَا قُلْتَ فَكَأَنَّمَا تُسِفُّهُمْ الْمَلَّ وَلَا يَزَالُ مَعَكَ مِنْ اللَّهِ ظَهِيرٌ عَلَيْهِمْ مَا دُمْتَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ»

A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, I have relatives with whom I try to relate but they cut me off. I treat them well, but they treat me badly. I am forbearing with them, but they are harsh with me.” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If it is as you say, it is as if you threw hot ashes at them. Support from Allah again them will be with you as long as you stay like that.” [Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: 2558]

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,

«خَيْرُ الْأَصْحَابِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَيْرُهُمْ لِصَاحِبِهِ وَخَيْرُ الْجِيرَانِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَيْرُهُمْ لِجَارِهِ»

“The best companion to Allah is the best to his companions, and the best neighbor to Allah is the best to his neighbors.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhī: 1944]

It is also well-known that Muslims established numerous trusts for the welfare of the people and many of these continue to function. All this helps explain why, even in the absence of state implementation of Islam, Muslim societies are often superior to the West in many respects. But Muslim society will achieve its full elevation with the re-establishment of the righteous Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) State on the method of the Prophet (saw) and provide leadership to the entire world in caring for the affairs of mankind.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Faiq Najah


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