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Abū Sulaymān Al-Khaṭṭābī (D. 388h) on Contagion

Posted by Abu Iyaad
Written October 2020
Filed under Tawḥīd

This is a very valuable contribution from Abū Sulaymān al-Khaṭṭābī (رحمه الله) in the discussion regarding “contagion” because it clarifies the misconception of those who claim that the Pagan Arabs—as a whole—denied that “contagion” occurs through Allāh’s decree, and that they believed “contagion” moves on its own, outside of Allāh’s creative power and that the answer of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to the bedouin who had a doubt regarding the spread of scabies in his camels was upon this basis.

Abū Sulaymān al-Khaṭṭābī (d. 388H) (رحمه الله) said:

His saying: “There is no contagion”, he means by it that nothing transmits [what it has] to anything else such that harm comes from its direction. Rather, it is through the decree of Allāh, the Majestic and Mighty, and from His prior ordainment. For this reason he said: “So who passed it to the first one?”

He is saying that the first camel to get scabies among the camels, there was no camel with scabies before it which could pass the disease to it through contagion. Rather, when the scabies first appeared in the first camel, it was by the ordainment and decree of Allāh. So it was likewise with the disease that appeared in all of the camels thereafter.

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Abū Sulaymān al-Khaṭṭābī (d. 388H) on Contagion
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(26 pages)

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