Preventive Guidance in Hadith from HIV/AIDS
In the previous part of this article, we have presented an introduction to the epidemic of HIV/AIDS followed by some verses of the Glorious Qur’an that prohibited adultery in an unique style, now we mention a Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) coupled with some explanatory notes.
One of the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is more specific regarding the diseases that are resulted by unlawful sexual intercourse, as it has pointed out to some epidemics with name. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“Never does (Al-Fahishah) indecency emerge within a nation to the extent that they publicize it except plague and (Al-Awja’a) torments spread within them, the likes of which have not passed in their predecessors who have passed away.” (1)
There are two words in this Hadith that need to be explained with some detail; the word Al-Fahishah refers to every bad word or deed that exceeds the limit and makes a person feel shame, mainly what involves the sexual activities.(2) It includes all types of prohibited sexual acts and those acts have been declared by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the cause of pains and diseases, while the modern experts as well have explained that HIV is spread when blood, semen, or vaginal fluids from an infected person enters another person’s body, usually through sexual contact.
One of the experts says in this regard: “Sex is the major mode of transmission of HIV worldwide.”(3)
The word in the Hadith is Al-Awja’a which is a plural form of Al-Waj`a, that means pain and disease. Thus the Hadith indicates to the direct relationship between unlawful sexual intercourse and different types of epidemics, diseases and infections that include HIV/AIDS. The plural form of any word in Arabic according to its grammar denotes more than three up to unnamed numbers.
Furthermore, Islam has laid down a complete system of purity and cleanliness and every Muslim is ordered to take bathe after intercourse, especially when he wanted to perform prayer or touch the Glorious Qur’an or enter the mosque, where people gather for prayers and meet each other. Most of the encyclopedias of Hadith such as Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim and others include an extensive chapter on purity and cleanliness and every book on Islamic jurisprudence assigns a separate chapter titled ‘the book of Purity’ as well.
Circumcision of Male Child in Islam and Hinduism
Islam regarded circumcision for a male child an obligatory and meritorious act that is more helpful on purity and cleanliness. However, Hinduism has no ruling on this subject. There is no reference to male circumcision in the Hindu holy books and they do not practice circumcision at all. Hindu brothers oppose this tradition; though, some latest researches regard this procedure as a treatment that lowers the possibility of infection with HIV/AIDS.
American Academy for Pediatrics says in this regard: “According to a systematic and critical review of the scientific literature, the health benefits of circumcision include lower risks of acquiring HIV, genital herpes, human papilloma virus and syphilis. Circumcision also lowers the risk of penile cancer over a lifetime; reduces the risk of cervical cancer in sexual partners, and lowers the risk of urinary tract infections in the first year of life.”(4)
Niyoga in Hinduism
There are many sects in Indian society like Cholimargi and Bijmargi, Gossain or Gosain, Shakti Mat and others who have some strange ideas regarding sexual intercourse. I do not want to mention them in detail because they go against the public taste and defy the good behavior. Perhaps, many Hindus may not accept them, but they are a part of the Hindu society in India. Those sects and their unnatural and disgusting practices and ideas have been pointed out by a most famous Hindu writer Dayanand Saraswati (1824 –1883) in his book Satyarth Prakash in its eleventh chapter (from page No.365 to 524) that is devoted for the Hindu sects that emerged across the Arian history. I will refer to it in a brief manner that does not defy the Islamic principles of ethics. However, the practice of Neyoga is an acceptable custom to most of the Hindus and they defend this issue.
The Shakti sect of Hindus believes that none can achieve salvation unless he commits intercourse with one thousand women. And the Hindu sect Cholimargi gather in a secret place and bring there their wives, daughters and mothers and eat meat and drink wine together and then the men undress a present woman and worship her private part; the woman is named Durga Devi then the women undress a man of them and worship the private part of him. Afterward, they have sex with each other.(5)
The tradition of Niyoga is also permissible according to Dayanand Saraswati who allows it for a childless woman or widow from one up to ten men in order to get boys. Niyoga is a sexual relationship between a strange Hindu man and woman without any marriage contract which is permissible for men and women alike if one of them is infertile or incapable or bad manner.(6)
After looking in the rules and regulations of Islam on the issue of sexual intercourse, we can conclude without doubt that the observance of these rules is a guarantee for human health and a protection from diseases and e
pidemics. At the same time, these rules bear in their folds the ample evidence and proofs on the genuineness of the message of Islam.
Islam has permitted marriage and called members of the community to help the poor and needy who cannot afford the costs of marriage. Islam has prescribed fasting for those who can not marry as fasting makes a person nearer to His Lord and keeps him away from falling into adultery. Allah (Glory be to Him) says:
And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty, and Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. (An-Nur24:32)
We pray Allah Almighty to guide us to the straight path and protect us from diseases and epidemics, both visible and hidden.
(1) Sunan IbnMajah, edited by Muhammad Fu’ad `Abdul-Baqi, Dar Ihya’ Al-Kutub Al-`Arabiyyah, Cairo, 1902, Hadith No. 4019, vol.2, p.1322.
(Last accessed on 3-12-2013).
(4) http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/New-Benefits-Point-to-Greater-Benefits-of-Infant-Circumcision-But-Final-Say-is-Still-Up-to-parents-Says-AAP.aspx. (Last accessed on 4-12-2013).
(5) See: DayanandSaraswati, SatyarthPrakash, an authentic Urdu translation by PanditRimal Das, AryaPatr, Lahore, 1899, pp. 377, 378.
(6) Ibid. 157.