Within the last few weeks, the world has been experiencing an unprecedented event – a once in a lifetime pandemic that quite literally brought normal day-to-day life as we know it to a halt.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, we have been forced to step outside of our comfort zones and adapt to a reality that, for many people, is the cause of deep discomfort and distress. Life and the economy as we know it has come under great strain.
It is not unreasonable therefore to be experiencing feelings of anxiety, stress and even a lack of spirituality at a time like this. Questions have arisen about not only the virus itself, but what this situation also means on a deeper level.
For the believer, it is a time to reflect upon why this test has been placed upon us by Almighty God جل جلاله and more importantly, how we should respond. Below are some points to consider about the current global crisis.
1. We Are Not in Control, God Is.
God has brought the world to its knees through a tiny creation of His. He is once again reminding as He does over and over again in the Quran, that there is only One entity in charge - Him alone. The illusion that we were somehow in control of our lives, that institutions and selected people wield unbelievable power, has been well and truly shattered. If the One Who has caused the current situation with such a small creation of His, was to unleash something more powerful, would we stand a chance?
2. We Should Recognise God’s Majesty in Times of Crisis
God is merciful but is He is also Al-Qahhar (the Subjugator). God جل جلاله has chosen to manifest this name of His in order for people to fall in submission to Him.
3. Trials Come with Hidden Blessings
There is also a mercy in all of this for the believer. If he is patient with the current trial, seeks God’s reward and believes in His decree, he will be given the reward of a martyr, even if he doesn’t die from the current illness.
Aisha (r.a) reported: She asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ about plagues and he said, “It is a punishment that Allah sends upon whoever he wills, but Allah has made it a mercy for the believers. Any servant who resides in a land afflicted by plague, remaining patient and hoping for reward from Allah, knowing that nothing will befall him but what Allah has decreed, he will be given the reward of a martyr.” [Al-Bukhari]
4. Is God Sending Us a Message Through This Trial?
"Immorality never appears among a people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but plagues and diseases that were never known among the predecessors will spread among them.” [Ibn Majah]
What must have we done to be rejected by God? God has stopped us from visiting His blessed house in Mecca, and His houses locally i.e. our mosques. What is God communicating to us? What have we done collectively to be rejected in such a way? Are we living the way God has asked us to?
5. How We React Will Shape Our Outcome
God is giving us an opportunity to repent. He’s communicating with us, but we need to pay attention. He’s saying reflect, change your ways before you return to Him, turn to Him in forgiveness, be a grateful slave for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us, have patience and don’t complain.
6. It’s A Time Of Self Reflection
This isolation is also teaching us something important about ourselves. Many of us are finding it unbearable to be alone with ourselves, why? The isolation is showing us acutely who we are and our triggers. Through this we have an opportunity to reflect upon our character, recognise our deficiencies and improve ourselves. That’s God’s mercy at play again
If a small incident has brought out ‘nafsi nafsi’ (selfish) behaviour from panic buying, hoarding and actions which shows total disregard for others, how will it be on the Day of Judgement, where every person will be thinking only of themselves and their ultimate fate.
May God forgive us all, give us the ability to turn our lives around, envelope us in His mercy and save us from the following verse relating to us:
"But whoever turns away from My Reminder will certainly have a miserable life, then We will raise them up blind on the Day of Judgement
He will say: O my Lord! Why have you raised me up blind, although I used to see?”
He will say, “Just as Our revelations came to you, and you forgot them, today you will be forgotten.” (20:124-126)
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