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On March 31, 2020, Salafi-jihadi ideologue Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi shared a post on his Al-Tawhid Awalan channel on Telegram stating: "There is nothing wrong with a Muslim praying for the deaths of infidels and wishing that they contract coronavirus or any similar fatal disease." The post included an image from a news report on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's self-quarantine after one of his top aides was diagnosed with coronavirus.
The post appears also to be in response to a "Muslim doctor's" suggestion that the death of any person, Muslim or not, is a loss for the mankind because person might someday become a believer.
It should be noted that Jordanian Salafi preacher and pharmacist Eyad Qunaibi shared a YouTube video on March 23, 2020 expressing the same argument, warning Muslims not rejoice at the deaths of unbelievers who might die of the virus and noting that Islam values every human being and Muslims should seek to save people's lives and, later, seek to guide them to Islam.
In his lengthy Telegram post, Al-Maqdisi disputes Qunaibi's argument, claiming that even though there is wisdom in the creation of everything in this universe including infidels, their deaths can be celebrated. He wrote:
"Allah had a certain wisdom when he created infidels, the same as when he created animals, insects, and everything else. Yet this should not be a reason for us to think, or for leading people to think, that because Allah had a wisdom of creating infidels... we should not rejoice their disappearance, if they were killed or crushed or died because of the coronavirus."
Condemning views that urge Muslims not to gloat over infidels' grief or loss, he goes on to say: "Denying [Muslims] their wish to see others [i.e. infidels] perish or be destroyed... is a view that lacks knowledge," he says.
He then cites the Quranic verse "If you meet them in a battle, cause their example to scatter those behind them, so that they remember." He adds: "If Allah allowed Muslims to fight the infidels, it is then self-evident that Allah will allow them to rejoice over [the infidels'] diminishment."
Al-Maqdisi disputes those who think that every individual can become a believer if Muslims show them kindness or who believe that it is allowed to pray for and guide every human being. This kind of argument is "too kind and absurd," he says, adding that it is "unreasonable to wish divine guidance upon the whole of humanity, and to assign us [the Muslims] this kind of task" – that is, guiding them to the path of Islam.
Citing another Quranic verse, "He is the one Who created you, and among you is a disbeliever, and among you is a believer," Al-Maqdisi adds that it is not possible for Muslims to provide such guidance because doing so would contradict the wisdom of Allah.
"I say these wishes and this kindheartedness should not nullify the classification of the infidels into warriors that we should fight and wish destroyed. Rejoice at their deaths, whether at our hands or by the coronavirus," he stresses.
As for infidels he considers "non-combatants or "kind to Muslims," Al-Maqdisi says it is permissible to wish that they find their way to Allah and to pray for them to do so.
He then backtracks, saying that while "there is no dispute over the fact that every infidel who acknowledges the faith of Islam has a notable status among us, this does not prevent us from rejoicing at his death, since he not did become a believer [i.e. did not convert to Islam] or was among those who fight against the Muslims."
Buttressing his arguments with Quranic verses and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, he concludes by emphasizing that Muslims "should not be ashamed to pray to Allah for Him to diminish all those who fought [against] Islam, and kill them, and not save any one of them. Oh Allah, tighten your grip on them; Oh Allah, punish them by our hands and inflict them with coronavirus, plagues, and diseases."
Image of news report about Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's self-quarantine in Al-Maqdisi's post.