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[Sharh Muwatta Imam Malik – Shaikh Zubair Ali Zai] – Hadith No.63 –:– It is not Allowed to go to an Area Where There is a Plague and to Run Away From it (if you are There When the Plague Breaks Out)

Itihaf ul-Basim Fi Tahqiq Muwatta al-Imam Malik [Talkhis al-Qabisi] Riwayah Abdur Rahman ibn al-Qasim

Tahqiq, Takhrij, Sharh

Muhadith Zubair Ali Zai

Translated Abu Ubaydah
Translated, Checked & Additional Notes
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

It is not Allowed to go to an Area Where There is a Plague and to Run Away From it (if you are There When the Plague Breaks Out)

Abdul Hamid Ibn Abdurahman: One Hadith

[63] From Malik from Ibn Shihab from Abdulhamid Ibn Abdurahman Ibn Zayd Ibn al-Khatab from Abdullah Ibn Abdullah Ibn al-Harith Ibn Nawfal from Abdullah Ibn Abas that Umar Ibn al-Khatab (Radi Allahu Anhu) set out for ash-Sham and when he was at Sargh, near Tabuk, the commanders of the army, Abu Ubaydah Ibn al-Jarah (Radi Allahu Anhu) and his companions, met him and told him that the plague had broken out in ash-Sham. Ibn Abas (Radi Allahu Anhu) said, “Umar Ibn al-Khatab (Radi Allahu Anhu) said, ‘(Call) all the first Muhajir unto me.’ He assembled them and asked them for advice, informing them that the plague had broken out in ash-Sham. They disagreed (had a difference of opinion). Some said, ‘You have set out for something, and we do not think that you should leave it.’ Others said, ‘You have the companions of the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) and the rest of the people with you, and we do not think that you should send them towards this plague.’ Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) said, ‘Leave me.’ Then he said, ‘(Call) Summon the Ansar to me.’ They were summoned and he asked them for advice. They acted as the Muhajirun had and disagreed (had a difference of opinion) as they had disagreed. He said, ‘Leave me.’ “Then he said, ‘Summon to me whoever is here of the aged men of Quraysh from the Muhajirun of the conquest.’ He summoned them and not one of them differed (had a difference of opinion). They said, ‘We think that you should withdraw the people and not send them towards the plague.’ Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) called out to the people, ‘I am leaving by camel in the morning,’ so they set out. Abu Ubaydah (Radi Allahu Anhu) said, ‘Is it flight from the decree of Allah?’ Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) said, ‘Better that someone other than you had said it, Abu Ubaydah. Yes. We flee from the decree of Allah to the decree of Allah. What would you think if these camels had gone down into a valley which had two slopes, one of them fertile, and the other barren. If you pastured in the fertile part, wouldn’t you pasture them by the decree of Allah? If you pastured them in the barren part, wouldn’t you pasture them by the decree of Allah?’ ”(then Ibn Abas (Radi Allahu Anhu) said) Abd ar-Rahman Ibn Awf (Radi Allahu Anhu) arrived and he had been off doing something and he said, ‘I have some knowledge of this. I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) say, “If you hear about it (a plague) in a land, do not go forward to it. If it comes upon a land and you are in it, then do not depart in flight from it.” (Ibn Abas (Radi Allahu Anhu) said) ‘So Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) praised Allah and then set off.”


Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri clarified hearing (this hadith from Abdul Hamid Ibn Abd ur-Rahman) in Bayhaqi (7/217, 218)


Al-Muwatta (Yahya’s narration 2/894- 896 hadith no.1720, book 45, chapter 7, hadith no.22, and in it: (the words) fadaaw tahum (is present) instead of fadaaw hum) at-Tamhid (8/361 – 363) al-Istidhkar: (no.1652)          

Transmitted by Bukhari (no.5729) and Muslim (no.2219) from the hadith of Malik.


1) There are some points of wisdom in people not going to the place where a plague (epidemic) has broken out and occurred in that area and for the people to not run away from there who live in that area where the plague has occurred (and stay there instead) for example:

a. If this illness (plague) spreads and affects someone who is outside the affected area then his aqidah can become corrupt that this illness is infectious and has the capability to cause many people to become ill. This situation is the same for the person who gets infected by coming into the area where the plague is, therefore this prevents bad and corrupt aqidah.

b. Chaos, turmoil and fear is not spread.

2) Even if an authentic hadith is a Khabar Wahid, it is a proof because Umar (RadiAllahu Anhu) acted upon the hadith narrated by one companion Abd ur-Rahman Ibn Awf (RadiAllahu Anhu). See hadith (no.9)

3) Those who are in power should act upon the advice of the people of solution and agreement in ijtihadi affairs (matters).

4) The general Muslims should consult their reliable and upright brothers in important matters.

5) If there is no clear proof for an issue in the Qur’an, Sunnah or Ijma then a general proof can be used as evidence or ijtihad can be done.

6) The real knowledge is the Qur’an and hadith.

7) It is possible that a smaller scholar has knowledge of a proof which a bigger scholar doesn’t have.

8) Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyani (the false Prophet) writes in contradiction to this authentic hadith that, “And I know that the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said when a plague occurs in any place then the people of that city should leave the city without stopping otherwise they will be amongst those who fight against Allah the Most High.” (Majmu’ah Ishtiharat vol.2 pg.713) Mirza’s explanation here is a complete and utter lie.

9) After acquiring knowledge of the Hadith of the Messenger’s (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) one should submit and accept it immediately instead of saying he said and such and such said.

10) In the blessed era of the noble companions there was nothing called taqlid (blind following).

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