U.K.-based Islamic scholar Sheikh Abdul Rahman Dimashqia said in a video that was uploaded to the Internet on March 7, 2020 that Shi'ite Muslims have claimed that Aisha, one of the Prophet Muhammad's wives, had made a religious ruling that permitted the consumption of rats and that this ruling is the cause of the coronavirus outbreak. He said that the spread of the virus in Iran is divine punishment for their accusations against Aisha, and he claimed that Iran is deliberately sending infected Iranians into Sunni cities and into countries like Lebanon in order to spread the virus among Sunni Muslims. He also said that the Iranians belong to a cult of hatred and that they spread destruction wherever their hands reach. Sheikh Dimashqiah has studied in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United States and is a prolific writer and speaker on issues such as theology and deviant Islamic sects.
Sheikh Abdul Rahman Dimashqia: "I've seen those Shi'ites claiming that the real source and cause of coronavirus is Aisha, the wife of the Prophet. Why? They say because she allowed eating rats, and eating rats caused that coronavirus. Amazing.
"They claimed that Aisha is the cause of coronavirus. Not coronavirus is in Iran. And because of this scandal, they deliberately send Iranian people to the Sunni cities in Iran to spread the virus there.
"They're sending Iranians to many Sunni countries, and one of them is Lebanon, to let people there be infected. See? What hatred. What hatred.
"This is a divine event against the Iranians, who took advantage of coronavirus, to accuse the wife of the Prophet, and now Allah sent coronavirus into their country. The source of hatred. This is a cult of hatred. Look at what they're doing in Syria. Look at what they're doing in Yemen, in Lebanon, in Iraq, wherever their hands reach, destruction reaches [there] with them."