30th of January, 2017 the world commemorated the day of leprosy disease in the world. The origin of this commemoration was to remember the death of the leader of India, Mahatma Gandhi who is alleged to know the imperativeness of handling the disease. The west claim this day that was initiated in the year 1954 is to highlight the people suffering from the disease so that they can be understood and known as human beings who deserve respect and opportunity to participate in the society with their respective talents.
Leprosy has affected humanity for the last thousand years. The disease got the name Leprosy from a latin word ‘lepra’, which means have a scar on the skin. Also it is known as ‘Hansen’s Disease as a result of a doctor’s name. This disease is caused by bacteria known as ‘Mycobacterium leprae and M. lepromatosis’
After an infection there is a period through which the sick does not have symptoms of leprosy. That duration can continue up to 5 years or above. Symptoms to be observed are for nerve cell tablets of the breathing system, skin and eyes.
When symptoms start to be observed the ill person does not feel cold, warm or pain. Therefore s/he cannot easily realize if they have gotten an injury. The wounds that come afterwards can be big due to the fact they are not treated or late treatment. That is why people suffering from leprosy lose their body parts like the fingers, leg or hands and other recurring injuries.
Dr Erwin Cooremen the head Global Leprosy Programme said in a Leprosy conference organized in China on September, 2016 “Leprosy is not declining at the pace we would like to see,” and continued to say: “Our strategy involves leadership and coordination, focuses not only on medical or public health interventions but also on personal and social aspects – factors that important for a disease that is still so stigmatized.” Based on that it clearly confirms that the capitalist deliberately have not adopted the issue of leprosy disease. That is why up to date the disease is ravaging India alone at 60% across the world.
Capitalists’ sideshow in tackling diseases: Fixing such days and the like is an attempt to hoodwink the people to believe that the Capitalists’ really care for the ummah. The Capitalists despite making progress in manufacturing medicines of which is a good initiative and promoted by Islam; but, according to them their viewpoint on the health issue is based on benefits which is their measurement of human activities and their behaviors. They do not look at health as a basic need for humanity instead they view it from an economic aspect; do these people’s health bring any economic benefits. Therefore people who are not economical beneficial to capitalists their health is deteriorated by being denied treatment and medicines. That is why the slogan for World Health Organization (WHO) ‘Health and Development’. Also, the capitalists and their governments take the health service as a favor to its citizens not as their responsibility to the ummah.
Enlightened understanding on health and disease: According to Islam, health is viewed as a great grace to a human being who is supposed to thank Allah (swt) for. That is why in the teachings of Islam we were encouraged to seek for medicine as it was reported from Usama bin Shareek from the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) who said:
فعن أسامة بن شريك عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال ((تداووا يا عباد الله فإن الله لم يضع داء إلا وضع له شفاء إلا داء واحدا الهرم))
“Seek medicine oh servants of Allah (swt) indeed Allah (swt) has not put a disease without its cure with an exception of Old age has no cure.”
Islam also categorizes health services as one of the basic needs of society/ummah and it is the responsibility of the government to ensure its citizens of this right.
One of the Islamic thoughts on human actions is that there are actions that occur on a human being involuntary in other terms against his will; these actions are known as Qadhaa meaning Allah (swt) alone decreed e.g disease. A Muslim therefore is expected when suffering from a disease to seek medicine while at the same time to be patient knowing that is Qadhaa from Allah (swt) and his patience will earn him great rewards. In a hadith reported by Abu Sa’ed Al-Khudriyy that the Prophet SAAW said
((مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُسْلِمَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ وَلاَ وَصَبٍ وَلاَ هَمٍّ وَلاَ حُزْنٍ وَلاَ أَذًى وىَ غَمٍّ حَتَّى الشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا إِلاَّ كَفَّرَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ خَطَايَاهُ))
“A Muslim shall not face problems, or diseases, or urginess or sorrow or persecutions or restless even a thorn that stuck him Allah (swt) erases his sins due to the same” Al-Bukhaariy and Muslim
It is important to understand that entrenchment of corruption and committing of immoralities in general has led to people to be infected with diseases. Today we live under the invalid capitalist ideology which has open a door to blasphemy against Allah (swt) we should not expect to be safe. Furthermore, the invalid capitalist ideology has given rise to economic turmoil, political and societal to an extent the society is confused and this leads to cause diseases that were never there before the era of Islam when it was leading the world via its Khilafah (Caliphate). For instance the World Health Organization has confirmed that depression today has caused ulcers and pressure. Reported that the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:
((من كثرَ همُّهُ سقمَ بدنُه))
“The one with high urginess then his body will ail”
Diseases as tests to us:Most families today fail to realize that diseases are part of tests from Allah (swt). This belief is very imperative and when it lacks most people end up in blaspheming and sorcery due to diseases. In Islam we are called up on to be patient. It is at that stage that the issue of stigmatization of the person suffering from leprosy, AIDS etc. This problem has come out open as confirmed by the discrimination of patients suffering from leprosy by separating them into different camps. In India such camps are more than one thousand. Also in China and Africa such camps are in hundreds. In the history of Leprosy you will see that the infected persons are the most highly discriminated for years. The said discrimination has promoted the infected persons to hide and miss on early treatment. What I mean in such discrimination of the leprosy patient is whereby the sick is not taken cared for in terms of treatment and is despised. As for being careful with those suffering from the disease to avoid being infected is not part of stigmatization; instead is part of the teachings of Islam when Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:
((فر من المجذوم كما تفر من الأسد))
“To run away from a person with leprosy is like running away from a lion”
For these we say that the Ummah will continue to be ignored whenever it is faced with diseases by being duped with capitalist ‘organizations’ that themselves want people to suffer instead they help in spreading the diseases to ordinary people in order for them to sell medicines which in essence are not for treating but to relieve for some time. The resumption of Islam via its genuine state of Khilafah based on the Prophetic Methodology is the only solution to the problems facing the ummah today.
Shabani Mwalimu – Media Representative
Hizb ut-Tahrir Kenya
From UQAB Magazine Issue 1