Contagious Diseases (Hadith No. 1807)
Hadith no. 1806 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 311:
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu):
‘Ukaz, Majanna and Dhul-Majaz were markets in the Pre-lslamic period. When the people embraced Islam they considered it a sin to trade there. So, the following Holy Verse came:- ‘There is no harm for you if you seek of the bounty of your Lord (Allah) in the Hajj season.” (2.198) Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu) recited it like this.
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 312:
Narrated ‘Amr (radiallaahu `anhu):
Here (i.e. in Mecca) there was a man called Nawwas and he had camels suffering from the disease of excessive and unquenchable thirst. Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) went to the partner of Nawwas and bought those camels. The man returned to Nawwas and told him that he had sold those camels. Nawwas asked him, “To whom have you sold them?” He replied, “To such and such Sheikh.” Nawwas said, “Woe to you; By Allah, that Sheikh was Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu).” Nawwas then went to Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) and said to him, “My partner sold you camels suffering from the disease of excessive thirst and he had not informed you.” Ibn ‘Umar told him to take them back. When Nawwas went to take them, Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) said to him, “Leave them there as I am happy with the decision of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) that there is no oppression.”
The last words of the hadith are لاَ عَدْوَى in Arabic. Due to variety in the meaning of this phrase, we can understand the hadith in two ways:
- Ibn `Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) changed his mind about returning the sick camels to Nawwas because he remembered the words of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) where he said: “there’s no contagious disease”. So he settled with what he had and left the matter in Allah’s Hands.
- Ibn `Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) had the right to take the matter to court to settle scores with the seller of camels, but he said he’d rather let it be and not dwell over the matter. And so he kept the camels.
The scholars favor the first opinion, and Allah knows best.
As far as contagious diseases are concerned, what should we believe about them? Does the saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) contradict with Science? Read this for an abridged answer.