Do Muslims believe that diseases do not spread from one person to another? If so, how are contagious diseases explained? Is this the case with every illness?
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
Two types of hadith can be found regarding the aforementioned issue.
The first is a tradition narrated by Saaiduna Anas Bin Malik Radiallahu Anhu narrate that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said: “There is no adwa (spreading of contagious disease without the permission of Allah) and no tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens), but I like optimism.” They said, “What is optimism?” He said, “A good word.” (Sahih Bukhari p.856 v.2 & Sahih Muslim)
The second is a hadith where the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said: “Flee from the leper as you would flee from a lion.” (Sahih Bukhari p.850 v.2)
Islam does not deny the existence of contagious diseases. However, the two hadiths do not contradict each other as we as Muslims believe that it is Allah, and not the other infected person, who causes the disease to afflict someone. The statement “no contagious disease” means that a contagious disease will not affect a person except with the permission of Allah, for indeed Allah is the one who causes all natural causes. (Mazahirul Haqq p.293 v.5)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham