Our Role In Handling AIDS
AIDS is a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system occurs after being exposed and infected with HIV, a virus that attacks the human immune system. This does not only threaten one's health, but it can potentially lead to death. It is easily spread when no strict control is enforced. Worse still, to this day,the cure for AIDS has yet to be found, even after extensive medical research has been conducted worldwide.
In addressing this issue, various efforts have been made by communities all over the world. Among these efforts is choosing 1 st of December each year as World AIDS Day, in order to raise awareness among the public, in the hopes that everyone will confront and stop the spread of the disease. In addition, it is also intended as an effort to correct and educate the society against discrimination towards AIDS sufferers. In fact, society should unite to defend and support them.
Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi once said that the main causes of the emergence of AIDS and its spread is due to the occurrence of aggression, namely the act against the order of nature and against the laws of Allah SWT, which is rampant illicit sex.
This is based on the words of Allah SWT in Surah al-Isra ', verse 32: Which means: “Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).
This is why the wisdom of Islam has chosen to prohibit illicit sex itself, in comparison to efforts of mere prevention based on a technical nature without banning such actions.
Rasulullah SAW has warned and reminded us in relation to the catastrophe that may befall us with the spread of wrongdoings and misdeeds in society. Ibn Majah r.h recorded a narration from Abdullah bin Umar r.a, where Rasulullah SAW once said:Which means: "There would not emerge vices or misdeeds of a people until they do so openly except, among them, the spread of disease and famine that has never happened to those before them"
This hadith indicates that with the spread of vices which are uncontained by the community, negative implications would follow and would ultimately destroy the community. On the other hand, obedience and conviction would be followed by righteousness, blessings and graces in abundance from Allah SWT.
The question is, how do we, as Muslims, act when faced with a person with AIDS? This is where our attitudes and behaviour will be tested. We need to realize that, there are among them, who are truly sorry and repentant, and want to start a new life. There are also among them victims of unavoidable circumstances. Therefore, we should not marginalize them. Always provide help, support and motivation, as well as assist and guide them to live a more meaningful life.
Islam encourages its followers to endeavour and continuously search for remedies for diseases and sickness. Imam al-Bukhari Rahimahullah recorded a hadith as narrated by Abu Huraira r.a, where Rasulullah SAW was reported to have said: ً ُ ِشفَاء ِإَّل ا َأنََْ َل لَه ً دَاء ُ َّ ه مَا َأنََْ َل الل Which means: “There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its remedy.”
Confidence in the righteousness of Rasulullah SAW’s hadiths has made Muslims resolute and never give up in the face of misfortunes or catastrophes. In fact, through many disasters and misfortunes, Muslims have generated so much intellectual advancements, where acquired knowledge are explored to the point of building civilisations that have shaped the world.
The roles and responsibilities in dealing with the spread of AIDS lies on the shoulders of Muslims, whether the leaders or ordinary citizens. Everyone is endowed by Allah SWT with various capabilities. These efforts would not be successful if there is lack of cooperation from all sides. As stated by Allah SWT in Surah Ali 'Imran, verse 104: Which means: “Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity.”
To end today’s sermon, let us ponder on some conclusions derived from it, as reflection and provision for all of us:
First: Blessings and misfortunes are tests of Allah SWT upon His servants, containing various blessings in disguise.
Second: AIDS is a disease arising from consequences of immoral conduct and activities. Therefore, Muslims are obliged to prevent and curb its growth and proliferation.
Third: It is the responsibility of all parties to sympathize and empathise with people suffering from AIDS, in order to correct the negative perception of them.
Allah SWT declared in Surah al-Nahl, verse 97: Which means: “Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.”