MNA | Morteza Rahmani: While the world has been grappling with the rapidly-spreading coronavirus for the past two months, the new pandemic is now unmasking new phases of challenges.
The new coronavirus (COVID-19) started in China late last year, claiming over 3,000 lives and infecting more than 90,000 people around the world so far.
Besides China, the virus has spread in many countries, including Iran.
While the theories suggesting that the potentially deadly coronavirus is a biological warfare weapon made by the US are gaining traction day by day, the virus has entered a new phase of the controversy.
Amidst the calls by the Iranian authorities to heed the hygienic measures, some people presenting themselves as true believers began publishing videos showing kissing and licking of doors and grids of shrines to prove that such places are immune to the disease.
In a video, an unnamed man condemns the government’s call for taking hygienic measures in holy places and starts licking and kissing the grids of a shrine to show they are harmless.
In another video, a man filming himself at the Hazrat Masumeh shrine in Qom says, “Stop scaring the people with coronavirus so much. Look at me; I am licking the shrine. Coronavirus has no effect at Shia holy shrines.”
The perpetrators have been arrested.
The Judiciary said, “What the detainees did was anomalous, and investigation into their case is underway.”
Footages from the past show one of the arrested men in a session with a religious figure, who is popular for his rigid opposite stances to the policies of the Islamic Republic’s establishment and also is known as the leader of an English Shia cult in Iran.
The videos have prompted reactions by religious scholars and Shia Marjas, who say such “irrational acts only serve to the weakening of the Islamic beliefs”.
In an interview with Mehr News Agency regarding the recent incidents, Hojjat al-Islam Mahdi Masaeli, a professor and researcher at the Islamic Seminary of Qom, said, “The weakening and annihilation of religion is resulted from the irrational actions under the name of beliefs.”
“Such behaviors will result in nothing but inflicting harm upon the religion,” he said.
Noting that some may adopt such extreme positions out of negligence, Masaeli said, “But, some others are meticulously organized and guided by religious groups and think tanks.”
In the meantime, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called on all Iranians to help boost the country’s battle to stem the growing epidemic by paying close heed to the directives and guidelines issued by health officials.
He said the country’s entire medical community is “engaged in jihad on the path of God” with their precious and selfless efforts.
Cleanliness and purification is an essential part of Islamic life, and in fact, the philosophy behind it in Islam is much beyond the superficial concept of the conventional cleanliness.
Islam deals extensively on both the spiritual, as well as the physical well-being of its adherents. God Almighty said in the Holy Quran, “…Indeed Allah loves the penitent, and He loves those who keep clean.” (2:222)
Similarly, one of the injunctions that were revealed unto Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) following his call to rise and warn was the purification of his garments. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the infallible leaders have instructed the Muslims to maintain cleanliness and have seriously frowned at dirtiness and untidiness.
Here is a saying by Prophet Muhammed (PBUH): “Cleanness is next to godliness.”