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Some people deny the existence of the contagious nature of diseases and by taking a literal meaning of of the authentic hadith:

"There is no contagious disease (la adwaa)..." (Bukhari)

If one studies the full wording of this hadith and other similar narrations they would find it is not denying the contagious nature of some diseases but stating the contagious nature is from Allah.

There are several versions of this hadeeth.

Narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (ra) the Prophet (saw) said:

"There is no 'adwa (transmission of infectious disease without the permission of Allaah) and no tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens), but I like good omens." They said: What is a good omen?" He said: "A good word." (Bukhaari (5776) and Muslim (2224))

Narrated from Abu Hurayrah (ra) the Prophet (saw) said:

"There is no adwaa (contagion), no tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens), no haamah (a jahil Arab tradition), and no Safar (the month seen as unlucky)" (Bukhari, 5316)

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani argued it was a refutation of the disbelievers who claimed disease is infectious by its inherent nature (bi tab'ihi) telling them the contagion appears by the will of Allah.

This understanding is quite apparent if one read ahead in a version of the hadith where a man said to the Messenger (saw) his healthy camels will catch the disease if they mix with unhealthy camels, to which the Messenger (saw) replied, "And who infected the first one?" (Bukhari), suggesting it did not come by itself but by the will of Allah.

The point is to rely upon Allah that contagious diseases (adwaa) along with things like hamaa (superstitions of omans) and safar (superstitions in the month of Safar) will have no effect in and of themselves. It however does not mean not to take precautions - that is expected.

This is supported by numerous other ahadith requiring the separation of the contagious person from the healthy, where the Prophet (saw) said:

"Do not put a sick one with a healthy one"


"Flee from the leper as you would flee from a lion."

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