ndeed, in the messenger of God (Prophet Muhammad), there is a striking pattern in conduct for anyone who has trust in the divine guidance, who believes in life after death and who continuously focuses on the path God has shown to humanity. (Quran 33:21).
The Quran also describes the Prophet as a mercy to humanity.
How the Prophet of mercy whose life is a beautiful pattern in conduct for all of humanity might have handled this pandemic, we call coronavirus? The Prophet was not a physician. Nor was he a pharmacist. He was a Messenger whose primary responsibility was to relay the divine guidance in all aspects of life through words and actions to the community he lived in and to the people who would come after him.
One must find out the patterns in his life to understand his leadership in crisis, like the one we are facing in our times.
The Prophet always followed the divine guidance of consulting his companions on issues on issues of public concerns. “And take counsel with them in all matters of public concern; then, when thou hast decided upon a course of action, place thy trust in God: for, verily, God loves those who place their trust in Him.”
He would have formed a committee of experts and researchers to look into the pandemic and advise him and the people on precautions needed to deal with the situation. Some actions require common sense and other experts’ opinions.
He took some of the actions based on common sense. Even though he did not face a pandemic situation, yet he was quick to act in inconvenient conditions.
- On a rainy day, he advised the people to offer Friday prayers at home.
- During a plague, he asked people to quarantine them.
- He told them to maintain social distancing by not visiting or leaving the area.
- He ensured that during a time of social distancing, the community pool its resources to take care of the basic needs of people.
- He opened the state treasury for that purpose and appealed to the people to donate generously to help those who were in need.
- He also started a soup kitchen to feed those who were unable to take care of them.
- He appointed a team of volunteers to ensure that the necessities of life reach the people in time.
- He admonished traders and merchants not to hoard and not to price gouge during any crisis.
- He urged people to consult medical experts to treat the disease.
- He also advised people to follow hygienic rules in their everyday life. He did not limit them to wash their hands five times a day during the ablution but suggested total physical cleanliness.
- He also advised people not to throw the garbage in public places and dispose it in safe places.