Hadith: Anyone in an area afflicted with plague who stays therein patiently hoping for Allah's reward and believing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has foreordained for him will get a reward similar to that of a martyr.
عن عائشة -رضي الله عنها- أَنَّها سَأَلَت رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- عن الطَّاعُون، فَأَخبَرَها أَنَّه كَان عَذَابًا يَبعَثُه الله تعالى على من يشاء، فَجَعَلَه الله تعالى رحمَة للمؤمنين، فليس من عبدٍ يقع في الطَّاعُون فَيَمكُث فِي بَلَدِه صَابِرًا مُحتَسِبًا يعلَم أَنَّه لايُصِيبُه إِلاَّ مَا كتَب الله له إلا كان له مِثلُ أجرِ الشَّهيدِ. [صحيح.] - [رواه البخاري.] المزيــد ...
`A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported that she asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, about the plague. He told her that it was a torment that Allah would send upon whom He willed. Then Allah made it a mercy for the believers, so anyone in an area afflicted with plague who stays therein patiently hoping for Allah's reward and believing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has foreordained for him will get a reward similar to that of a martyr.
`A’ishah asked the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, about the plague, so he informed her that the plague was a torment that Allah, the Exalted, sends upon those He willed of His slaves.
Whether it is plague itself or any similar epidemic, such as cholera, this plague is a torment that Allah sends down. However, the plague is mercy for the believer if it broke out where he resides and he stayed there, patiently seeking Allah’s reward and knowing that nothing would harm him except what Allah had decreed for him. If he does so, Allah gives him the reward of a martyr. Therefore, in a Sahih/Authentic Hadith reported by `Abdur-Rahman ibn `Awf, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said: "If you know that a plague is in a land, do not go there; and if it occurs in a land where you are, do not run from it."
So if the plague occurs in a place, one must not go to that place, because going there means exposing oneself to destruction. However, if the plague occurs in a place where one is already in, then he must not leave the place. Escaping will not save a person from his destiny; there is no escape from the decree of Allah except to the decree of Allah.
Why the martyr's reward? It is because life is so precious, and the outbreak of a plague urges a person to run for his life. So, if he stays with patience, seeking reward from Allah, and believing that nothing will befall him except what Allah had decreed for him, and then he dies of the plague, he will get the same reward of a martyr as a favor from Allah in return for his patience and good expectation of Allah.
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