By J Ali
The epidemic of Corona Virus and the near total standstill it has brought the world to needs a renewed look into the threats posed by viruses to human life. Dr. Javed Jami,l renowned thinker, physician and writer and Chair in Islamic Studies & Research, Yenepoya University, Mangalore has warned that the world has been facing a long term threat from viruses of various kinds and if Islamic guidelines about various practices are not strictly applied at the world level, the viruses will continue to emerge as epidemics sickening and killing millions. In a research paper, entitled, “Long term war against viral diseases — Islam provides major arsenals”, he has shown that most of the deadly viruses in recent times have spread rather due to indulging in the practices prohibited by Islam or not following the practices supported by it. He has given details about the destruction of life caused by the viruses in or around the last century. He says that while the origin of the Corona viruses has not yet been established, most of the deadly viral diseases in the recent past have been spread through pigs, dogs and sexual misdemeanors, especially homosexuality, promiscuity and prostitution. In addition, he tells that Alcohol has made a big impact on the spread of diseases. The biggest killers caused by viruses include Swine Flu, HIV/AIDS, Rabies, Cervical Cancer caused by Human Papilloma Virus and Hepatitis B. He has quoted WHO and other international agencies to highlight the damage they caused to human life.
Below is the few findings from his research paper
1-During the 1918 Pig (Swine) Flu pandemic, approximately 20% to 40% of the worldwide population became ill and an estimated 50 million people died. Nearly 675,000 people died in the United States alone. Although the 1957 pandemic was not as devastating as the 1918 pandemic, about 69,800 people in the United States died. About 203,000 people around the world died of flu and respiratory problems during the 2009 H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic, according to a new study funded by the World Health Organization. Deaths from heart failure and other secondary consequences of the flu pushed the overall toll to about 400,000.
2-76.1 million [65.2 million–88.0 million] people have become infected with HIV/AIDS since the start of the epidemic. 35.0 million [28.9 million–41.5 million] people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.
3-Rabies caused by Dog bites has killed millions of people in the past. Even till now despite heavy investment on vaccination of dogs and human beings, according to the WHO, the global burden of rabies is 60000 deaths per year. More than 20000 deaths take place in India alone.
4-Human Papilloma Virus too has killed millions, mainly women. In 2018 alone, 570,000 cases of cervical cancer were estimated to have occurred, with over 300,000 deaths.
Hepatitis B too has killed millions. In 2015 alone, hepatitis B resulted in an estimated 887 000 deaths, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (i.e. primary liver cancer).
Dr. Jamil explains that while Swine Flu and Rabies are caused by contacts with animals (pigs and Dogs), HIB, HPV and Hepatitis B have direct relation with sexual promiscuity, especially homosexuality and prostitution. In addition, alcohol plays a highly dangerous role in the spread of HIV and HPV.
Dr. Jamil has enumerated various Islamic guidelines, which become a big wall between these infections and human beings. Apart from extraordinary hygienic measures that Islam takes (including a minimum of 5 time washing of exposed parts every day for prayers and extraordinary care for Urogenital hygiene), Islam totally bans alcohol, drugs and pork; warns against keeping dogs in houses and residential areas; and totally bans any sex outside marriage between a man and woman, which means a total ban on homosexuality, prostitution and promiscuity. In addition, the Prophetic messages clearly point to strict quarantine steps during epidemics. Meat of only healthy, certain permitted animals is allowed and the hunting of animals through wild animals is also not allowed. Dr. Jamil quotes reports arguing that circumcision plays a highly protective role against viral infections including HIV, HPV and Hepatitis B and therefore needs to be popularized at the international level.
Dr. Jamil stresses that if these measures are applied at the world level through legal and social steps, the deaths and diseases caused by most infections, especially viruses, will go substantially down. But he fears that these the international community will not take these steps because of the dominance of the market economics. His concluding pargraph is worth reproducing:
“while in the modern world, practices are banned or promoted according to their impact on economics, in Islam, what is good for health is promoted and what is bad is either expressly forbidden or discouraged. The day the world adopts Islam’s Dynamic Paradigm of Health and makes life and healthiness of life as the chief criteria for developing legal, social and economic policies, the world will become a healthier and more peaceful place. But this is not likely to happen because the current world first commercializes the causes of the problems and then commercializes the solutions. Sex, alcohol, dogs, pigs – all are big industries and their solutions including vaccines and management are also big industries. Why would they then take steps that jeopardize market economy?”