Traveling to China due to SARS
Fatwa No: 85932

  • Fatwa Date:16-6-2003 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 16, 1424
  • Rating:

Question

Can I travel to China? What is the view of our religion in this case, with the new disease SARS which appeared in China. I have an office in Shanghai, China and all my business is based on exporting goods from China to some other countries. Since the beginning of this year due to SARS I didn't work at all. In Shanghai, there has been no cases of SARS.

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. It is unlawful to travel to places where this disease is widespread. The evidence is the Hadith reported by Al-Bukhari that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "When you hear that the plague is in an area do not enter that area and if you happen to be in a land where the plague appeared, do not get out of that place" . Plague here stands for any epidemic disease. So, SARS in this meaning takes the rule of the plague. Some scholars believe that there is a difference between the plague and the other epidemic diseases. Since they establish that people are not to enter a land infested by the plague for fear of death, although the person who dies because of the plague is Shaheed (martyr), then it is more emphatic that they not enter a place infested by any other epidemics. This is also backed by the fact that warding off the evil and the danger is given priority to getting the benefit. In fact, one must try to protect oneself. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {…and do not throw yourselves into destruction (by not spending your wealth in the Cause of Allâh), …}[2: 195]. So, anything which will very probably cause death should be avoided. This is why the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) prohibited that the sick be brought to the healthy. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Run away from the leprous as you run from the lion" [ Al-Bukhari and Muslim ]. Muslim also reported from Amr Ibn Al-Shirreed that he said: "Among the delegation of Thaqeef there was a leprous man, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) sent to him saying: We have accepted your oath of allegiance. So, go back" . If the place you intend to travel to is free of this disease, then you can go there, although we prefer that you do not, unless you will incur a big loss if you do not travel. Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa