Umer Sharif is a well known Pakistani stand-up comedian, actor, director, producer, writer, composer, author, poet, and TV personality. He’s done it all in the showbiz industry throughout his whole career.
Recently, Umer has been posting his views about the spread of the novel coronavirus. In his first tweet, he suggested that people stand united, for this is a test for the strongest of nations.
Difficult times present themselves as a test for the strong nations; a nation that does not stand united vanishes.
We should put our differences aside and help each other as Pakistanis. Allah has given us an honest Prime Minister; Let’s pray we move towards betterment.
مشکل وقت مضبوط قوموں پر امتحان بن کر آتے ہیں جو آپس میں یکجا نہیں رہتی ان قوموں کا نام و نشان بھی نہیں رہتا
صوبائیت،لسانیت یا مسلکی فرق سے بالاتر ہوکر ہمیں پاکستانی بن کر ایک دوسرے کا ساتھ دینا ہوگا اللہ نے ہمیں ایماندار وزیراعظم دیا ہے دعا کریں اللہ اسکے فیصلے ہم پر بہتر فرمائے
— Umer Sharif (@UmerSharifReal) March 24, 2020
We agree with Mr. Sharif on the notion that we should stand together and help those in need.
Sharif, in another tweet, quoted a Hadith,
پیارے رسول اللہﷺ نے فرمایا
ترجمہ: "جب کسی قوم میں اعلانیہ فحاشی ہونے لگ جائے تو ان میں طاعون اور ایسی بیماریاں پھوٹ پڑتی ہیں جو ان سے پہلے کے لوگوں میں نہ تھیں"
سنن ابن ماجہ 4019
اس حدیث مبارکہ سے سبق ملتا ہے جہاں فحاشی نہیں ہوگی وہاں کورونا نہیں ہوگا یہی کورونا کی ویکسینیشن ہے
— Umer Sharif (@UmerSharifReal) March 25, 2020
Basically Umer opines that:
Our beloved Prophet (PBUH) said,
When a nation begins to spread obscenity, it spreads plague and diseases that were not before them. – Sunan Ibn Majah 4019
This hadith teaches us that where there is no obscenity there will be no corona. This is the vaccination for corona.
While the first problem with this tweet is that it was taken out of context and only a part of it was shared. One might see it as biased and misguiding.
Here’s what the Hadith actually says,
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) turned to us and said: ‘O Muhajirun, there are five things with which you will be tested, and I seek refuge with Allah lest you live to see them: Immorality never appears among a people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but plagues and diseases that were never known among the predecessors will spread among them. They do not cheat in weights and measures but they will be stricken with famine, severe calamity and the oppression of their rulers. They do not withhold the Zakah of their wealth, but rain will be withheld from the sky, and were it not for the animals, no rain would fall on them. They do not break their covenant with Allah and His Messenger, but Allah will enable their enemies to overpower them and take some of what is in their hands. Unless their leaders rule according to the Book of Allah and seek all good from that which Allah has revealed, Allah will cause them to fight one another.
Science vs Religion
If you have been watching the news coverage regarding the spread of coronavirus, you’d know that this is a problem that is best left for science to handle. The role of religion in these trying times can’t be ignored as well, as people turn to prayers to find solace.
The coronavirus doesn’t discriminate what kind of people it infects. According to news reports, Pakistan fell prey to this virus due to pilgrims coming from Iran, and also from citizens who performed Umrah. The Raiwind Ijtimah was another gathering that has resulted in coronavirus positive cases in the country. Two people would not have died in Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest shrines.
Perhaps Umer Sharif spoke out of turn here. As one of the most influential showbiz stars in the country, his words reach a lot of people.
As other countries race against time to battle this virus, scientific concepts like social distancing, vaccine development, and medical knowledge are the best tools we have to ensure that we don’t fall victim to it. Mr. Sharif might do well to reconsider his stance in light of the available information out there.