Are you worried? Maybe scared? How about both?
We are constantly being bombarded with BBC news on the death count, exam cancellations, school closures and let’s not forget the ‘greed measured in toilet rolls’ (as the BBC describes).
Yes, you know what i’m talking about: Covid-19.
So, what do we know so far?
- We know there is a virus, it comes from the coronavirus family and is a branch/type called Covid-19.
- It had initiated in China, where it has now spread worldwide.
- It is estimated to affect 80% of our population, of which the elderly, pregnant and those with a weak immune system are most vulnerable, and are thus likely to be more severally affected.
Now that we’ve covered the facts, let’s look at this from an Islamic perspective.
The Islamic perspective
Firstly, the government has advised us to wash our hands. This should be a habit instilled already in you and I. It is the teaching of our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to wash our hands both before and after we have eaten, after we use the bathroom and to maintain cleanliness throughout as:
الطهور شطر الإيمان
‘cleanliness is half of faith’ (Muslim)
Cleanliness is an important factor in our religion and a Muslim should never be found dirty or impure.
So, whilst we practice upon these sunan of our beloved Muhammad ﷺ, it is important for us to understand that it is Allah سبحانه و تعالى and ONLY Allah سبحانه و تعالى that can remove this calamity.
Look at the world we live in today, where anyone would agree that our technology is up to scratch, we are highly advanced and we think we can do anything. There is a feeling of being invincible, untouchable even. Did we ever imagine that in our ‘progressive’ lives we would ever have to limit the workings of our daily lives? Did we ever think that a microscopic, non-living creation of Allah سبحانه و تعالى can cause so much distraction and we would be left helpless? Did we ever think that before three weeks or so ago, this would be the state of the world?
Should this not then make us aware of the power of Allah سبحانه و تعالى ?
But, why did Allah ta’ala send this calamity?
There are two ways to look at this and thus our actions should coincide with whichever reason we believe it to be sent:
- as a punishment
- as a blessing
For a Muslim, our Nabi Muhammed ﷺ has informed us:
“The martyrs are five: Those who die of plague, stomach illness, drowning, being crushed under debris, and the martyr in the cause of Allah.” (Tirmidhi)
All the sins of a martyr are forgiven (except those that are between two people such as debt).
If we look at the kind of lives we live: purposefully oblivious to the poor, neglectful of our parents, unfaithful to our partners, disrespectful to our elders, harsh to our youngsters and a life which is driven by the love of this temporary world. A life where we have forgotten the rest of the Ummah and adopted an attitude of ‘me, myself and I.’
The extent of our corrupted hearts are highlighted at this time, when we stock up so much, oblivious to the fact that others also need food, oblivious to the fact that there are poor out there that are starving and oblivious to our elderly, where at this age they have to walk from shop to shop for a pack of toilet roll or a tin of beans.
Our hearts have become so corrupt that at a time when my brother and your sister are struggling, we increase our prices; doubling, tripling them and hence exploiting the desperateness of our brothers and sisters.
So then aren’t we deserving of this punishment to clean our hearts? To clean our corrupt, money-loving, selfish hearts?
Or an awakening call?
Or maybe it is not a punishment rather an awakening call from Allah سبحانه و تعالى as Allah سبحانه و تعالى Himself says:
وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ
“And Allah will not punish them as long as they are seeking forgiveness.” (8:33)
My dear sister, now is not the time to bargain and gain benefit from others (wrongfully), nor is it the time to blame anyone; whether it is China, or your neighbour who has contracted the virus. Rather it is an opportunity for you and I to change. To change who we are and cleanse this filthy, greedy heart.
It is time for us to turn back to our creator, back to Allah سبحانه و تعالى who is the only being that can remove this calamity.
My dear sister how much longer are we going to avoid the truth?
How much longer are we going to convince ourselves that we are perfect? That this is not a result of mine and your sins?
My dear sister it is time we turned to Allah سبحانه و تعالى . It is time we fell into sajda, even if it’s for the first time. It is time we change.
My dear sister, I leave you with a beautiful Hadith Qudsi to ponder upon:
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
يا عبادي إنكم تخطئون بالليلِ والنهار ، وأنا أغفر الذنوب جميعا فاستغفروني أغفر لكم
Oh my servant you sin night and day, and I forgive all sins. So seek forgiveness from me and I shall forgive you.
يا ابن آدم ، إنك ما دعوتني ورجوتني غفرت لك ما كان منك ولا أبالي ، يا ابن آدم ، لو بلغت ذنوبك عنان السماء ، ثم استغفرتني غفرت لك و لا ابالي
Oh son of Adam, as long as you remain calling me and having hope in me I will forgive you and it will lot matter to me.
Oh son of Adam, if your sins reaches the skies, then you ask for my forgiveness, I will forgive you and it will not matter to me.
It’s as if Allah ta’ala is asking us:
So where are you going? (81:26)
Come, it’s time to answer His call. Come, it’s time to come back.