First of all, let us stress the fact that Islam lays great emphasis on man as Allah’s Vicegerent on earth. Islam cares for the health of man and considers any aggression against his honor a punishable sin and a heinous crime. Man himself, as far as Islam is concerned, is ordered by the Shari`ah to protect himself, which is a trust from Allah, against all evils whether those evils are physical or not. He is to seek proper medication the moment he feels sick, and before falling ill, he is required by Islam to preserve himself from all health hazards as prevention is better than cure.
Therefore, Islam obliges Muslims to resort to medical preventive measures that specialists advise for the protection against dangerous diseases such as AIDS. On the part of doctors, they bear a huge responsibility of fighting this serious disease throughout trying their best to discover a cure for it as soon as possible. At the same time, they have to launch awareness campaigns that may help lessen the opportunities of the spread of this disease in the community. In such campaigns governments, organizations and individuals must cooperate in order to protect the community against this disease by all possible means.
In the same line, Islam waged a total war against all forms of illicit affairs. It prohibits a Muslim to even come closer to Zina, Allah Almighty says: [ …and do not come near Zina; indeed, it is an abomination and an evil way.] (Al-Israa’ 17: 32)
There are three measures recommended by Islam, as part of its moral code, which are essential for the protection against AIDS or acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. These measures include marriage, proscription of sexual promiscuity and deterrence.
Marriage: This is an effective means to protect individuals especially young people, from indulging in illicit sexual activity. The teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) urge Muslims to make marriage affordable and easy for all members of society. He is reported to have said: “When a man comes to you seeking your daughter’s hand, and you are happy with his religious and moral integrity and honesty, give him your daughter; otherwise, immorality and corruption would spread among you all.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi)
Proscribing Promiscuity: This is achieved through the following measures:
1-Urging men and women to control their sexual urge and avoid the lewd gaze which could arouse sexual desires and lead to unlawful sexual contact.
Allah says in the Quran: [Tell the believing men and women to lower their gaze and protect their chastity, for that is bound to render them purer. Allah is aware of all that they do.] (An-Nur 24: 30)
2-Advising women to wear Hijab.
Allah instructs the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to tell believing women: [Not to show their adornments, except those that are ordinarily outward, and to cover their bosoms with their veil.] (An Nur 24: 31)
they are also urged: [..Not to walk tantalizingly, with the intention of revealing their beauty…] (An-Nur 24: 31)
thus, Muslim women are taught to wear loose, plain and non-transparent clothes that preserve and enhance their dignity and modesty.
3-Discouraging men and women who are marriageable, from being together in private, in order to avoid the temptation of sexual attraction.
4-Fighting permissiveness and loose social mingling between the sexes outside the inner family circle.
5-Urging boys and girls as they come of age not to invade the privacy of their elders and peers without their permission. Allah says in the Qur’an: [Believers, do not enter the dwellings of others until you announce your presence and have greeted those inside them.] (An-Nur 24: 27)
6-Forbidding all provocative activities such as pornography, provocative singing, dancing, music and films, that tantalizes and arouse sensual feelings. Allah says in the Qur’an: [And of mankind is he who payeth for mere pastime of discourse, that he may mislead from Allah’s way without knowledge, and maketh it the butt of mockery. For such there is a shameful doom.] (Luqman 31: 6)
When education and upbringing fail and other preventive methods prove ineffective in stamping out permissive behaviour in society, resort must then be made to punishment, as a deterrence to others. However, such punishments must be prescribed under very stringent conditions of proof. In case of illicit sexual acts, for example, punishment cannot be meted out without either a full admission by the accused, or the unanimous testimony of four eyewitnesses who must agree on every detail of the misdemeanour.