A Sufi ritual video falsely shared as ‘Muslims being trained to sneeze to spread COVID-19’

Muslims-sneezing

video is being shared widely on social media with a claim that it shows Muslims being trained to sneeze purposefully to spread Coronavirus across the country. Let’s try to analyze the claim made in the post.

Claim: Video of Muslims being trained to sneeze purposefully to spread Coronavirus.

Fact: It is an old video. While the first Corona positive case in India was reported on 30 January 2020 in Kerala, the video was found being shared, in the context of Pakistan, on the internet at least since 29 January 2020. Also, the people in the video were not being trained to spread Coronavirus. They are doing a type of ‘Zikr’, a Sufi ritual, which involves body movement and heavy breathing. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

When the screenshots of the video were run through the Yandex Reverse Image Search, many similar videos, posted in January, were found in the search results. While the first Corona positive case in India was reported on 30 January 2020 in Kerala, the video was found being shared, in the context of Pakistan, on the internet at least since 29 January 2020. Many people on social media have shared the same video as related to Pakistan, which can be seen here and here.  Also, a TikTok star from Pakistan has posted the same video on his Facebook account on 30 January 2020. So, a two-month-old video that went viral in Pakistan is being shared now in India in the context of the Tablighi Jamaat incident. A Facebook user has posted the same video with the title – ‘Sufi people doing strange rituals.

Muslims-sneezing

When searched if there is any such Sufi ritual, it was found that there are various orders among Sufis and each of them follows various rituals. One of those rituals, ‘Zikr’, is similar to the one shown in the video. Videos related to ‘Zikr’ can be watched hereherehere and here. But, even ‘Zikr’ is followed using different methods by different Sufi orders. In a ‘Zikr’ method called ‘Pan Anfas’, a combination of concentration, body movement, and heavy breathing is followed. More information regarding it can be read here.

Muslims-sneezing

To sum it up, a Sufi ritual video falsely shared as ‘Muslims being trained to sneeze to spread COVID-19’

The story first appeared here