Before the coronavirus disease had reached the Palestinian Authority, a preacher on official Palestinian Authority TV taught that the virus is “one of Almighty Allah’s soldiers” and that Allah is punishing the sinners - “those who attack His believers”.
In his sermon that was broadcast on official PA TV and discovered by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the preacher further explained that epidemics are “a trial for the believers and a punishment for the sinners.” To underscore this religious view – that epidemics are a punishment - the preacher quoted Islam’s "prophet" Muhammad and his uncle Ibn Abbas who both explained that plagues are the punishment for people in places where “abomination” and “corruption” occur.
However, since Muslim believers are also dying from coronavirus, the preacher added that believers who die from the epidemic are being tested and “if they have stood firm and place their trust in Allah, then they will receive an enormous reward, and whoever dies in the epidemic merits the reward of Martyrdom.”
PMW Senior Researcher Nan Jacques Zilberdik said: The PA preacher’s message is that because of the corruption and abomination in the world, “Allah’s soldiers” – in this case the Corona virus – is bringing retribution on humanity. While this preacher was not identified, his sermon was broadcast by official PA TV.”
Just last month, in an article in the PA-run daily Al Hayat Al Jadida, the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs recently reiterated that it is responsible for appointing Imams in the mosques.
The preacher in the video said:
"The true meaning of the epidemics is a trial from Almighty Allah and a punishment. A trial for the believers and a punishment for the sinners… If they have stood firm and place their trust in Allah, then they will receive an enormous reward, and whoever dies in the epidemic merits the reward of Martyrdom…
"If the epidemic harms non-believers, from among the abusers and the aggressors, then that is punishment… This virus is one of Almighty Allah’s soldiers, and He is unleashing it on those who attack His believers… The Sunna has indicated that acts of abomination and corruption cause epidemics… Ibn Abbas said: 'Corruption has never appeared among any people without mass death reaching them'.”