Raising public awareness on polio through Mosques
What is the legal ruling on raising public awareness on the dangers of polio through mosques after prayers? The refusal of some imams to help in this respect has resulted in the spread of the disease and halted its eradication. Please take into account that only five countries worldwide, including Egypt, remain polio-endemic.
Raising public awareness on the dangers of polio falls under the quality of sincerity, which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) considered the essence of religion. He said: "Religion is sincerity (Nasihah)." We said, "To whom?" He said, "To God; His Book; and His Messenger, and to the leaders of Muslims and their common folk" (Narrated by Tamim al-Dari and reported by Muslim).
Raising public awareness
It is established in Islamic law (Shari'ah) that harm is to be removed. Based on this legal maxim, if the matter is concerned with a widespread epidemic such as polio, then educating the public on its dangers is a communal obligation (Fard Kifayah) to the extent required to remove its harm. But if this duty is designated upon mosques in the villages, where it is the only means the residents can be made aware of this danger, then it is an individual obligation (Fard 'Ayn) upon mosque imams and preachers, because they are then entrusted with the village children's health.
Cooperation towards averting an epidemic is a must
Using mosques as an effective channel for raising public awareness does not fall under the prohibition of announcing lost items in mosques. This is because the former benefits the community at large, while the latter only benefits the individual.
And God, the Most High, knows best