“Quarantine between Islamic law and statutory laws”
Written by Professor Amina Radwane
Researcher in legal sciences
The objective of the Quarantine is to prevent a person from leaving a certain area where the epidemic has spread, and to prevent people from entering that area for the same reason. The quarantine has been introduced to reduce the spread of a contagious disease or a specific epidemic. Quarantine, then, is a way to prevent the spread of a contagious disease or infection from a specific epidemic among people.
Quarantine is dated back to various religions, and it has been endorsed by different countries, according to their different paths and diversity within their systems.
This paper aims at perceiving quarantine in Islamic law (Part 1) and in statutory laws (Part 2), as follows:
How Islamic law deals with quarantine
Islam was the pioneer in dealing with the issue of quarantine as many epidemics spread during the era of the Messenger (PBUH), such as the plague. The following is the hadith of the Messenger, (PBUH) , “If the plague falls on a land, do not enter it..”. “Plague is a gland like a camel’s gland, residing in it like a martyr, and escaping from it as a fugitive from crawling.” So,acknowledging the following jurisprudence: “Lighter harm is committed to pay the greatest harm,” given that if a Muslim is ill with an infectious disease there is a risk for others et contaminated.
A good number of honorable companions died because of the deadly plague. As the hadith says: “If you have heard of it on land, do not approach it, and if it falls on land while you are on it, do not go out to escape it.”
In order to avoid infection from epidemics, the congregational prayer may be prohibited as a measure of the spread of the epidemic among the worshipers.
In the Umayyad era, the Umayyad Al-Walid bin Abdul Malik ordered the construction of the first hospital in Damascus and issued an order to isolate the leprosy from other patients in the hospital, and that was between the years 706 and 707.
Islam established quarantine from the standpoint of self-preservation based on the following Qur’anic verse: “Do not throw your hands into perishing”( Verse 195 of Surat Al-Baqara ) .
By this we can say that the quarantine is a preventive measure, whose main goal is to reduce the spread of a specific epidemic infection, and it was approved by our Islamic law, which was a forerunner in establishing its principles from the Qur’anic verses as mentioned above.
Quarantine through statutory laws
After the outbreak of the deadly Corona virus, various countries have taken some drastic measures. In this respect, China closed the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak of this virus by stopping transportation and closing other places in the country, which affected the lives of tens of millions of people.
After the deterioration of the health situation in Italy, it has decided to follow the health prohibition measure because of the high number of deaths in it. As it became the second country in the outbreak of the disease after China, Italy, together with other countries, has adopted the quarantine system.
Morocco was not an exception. As soon as the decree of Law No. 2.20.292 issued on 28 Rajab 1441 (March 23, 2020) related to the enactment of provisions related to the state of health emergency and the procedures for its announcement, and the decree were enacted N: 2.20.293 Issued on Rajab 29, 1441 (March 24, 2020) relating to the declaration of a state of emergency Health care throughout the national territory to deal with the outbreak of Corona Covid 19 , which came with a set of measures to avoid the spread of the disease.
By means of an attentive reading of these two decrees, we find that the legislator has made the health emergency imposed on all Moroccan territory, considering that the Corona epidemic threatens the lives and safety of people, and the Moroccan legislator has set a period of time for a health emergency that starts from 03/20/2020 and ends on 04/20/2020 with the possibility of extending the period of its effectiveness, adding that these measures do not prevent the continuity of vital public facilities and the provision of services to citizens, and that individuals must abide by orders and decisions issued by public authorities.
The Health Emergency Law also authorized public authorities to take a set of measures that do not leave people for their homes, to prevent any movement of every person outside of their place of residence except in the most necessary cases, and to prevent gatherings, gatherings, and meetings for people unless they are for a professional purpose and take into account preventive measures and the closure of shops and Who is equal in her rule that receives the public? He was also empowered by the government in the event of extreme necessity to take – on an exceptional basis – any measure of an economic, financial, social or environmental nature that is of an urgent nature that would contribute directly to facing the negative effects of declaring a state of emergency.
In sum, the imposition of a state of health prohibition is a necessity for every society in order to preserve its human components and ensure their physical safety, in order to avoid any infection that may be brought by an infectious disease. Islam was a forerunner to impose a health ban, which is what successive societies have gone through nowadays as a result of the outbreak of the Corona pandemic so as to reduce the spread of infection between individuals and groups.