(Ramadan under coronavirus)
We have created man from a mixed sperm-drop to put him to a test; then We made him able to hear, able to see. We have shown him the way to be either grateful or ungrateful. (Surah Al Insan, Verse 2-3)
It has become a casual experience, where the number of people suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic keep hiking. Every time I look around, there is a new story to add to this on-going crisis. Some have lost their loved ones while others struggle to keep their loved ones safe and healthy. Whether on a global or individual level, the two questions running through everyone’s mind – what will be the outcome of this situation and how/when will all this end?
While the outcome is completely upto Allah (swt), I personally believe that our reaction to this situation can make things easy for us or further worsen our situation. I strongly believe that COVID-19 is a reminder – a reminder to pause, think and reflect about the actual purpose of our existence. Those who are able to see this fact have started viewing life differently, are responding to this crisis in the best manner possible. As for me, I too have begun to understand alternating scenarios and have adopted varying thought process.
Earlier, I was like those who are always in a hurry to achieve everything this world has to offer. I always needed it quick – my dream job, the perfect house, the perfect car, the perfect life! And all I could do is make never ending ‘dua’ for all of this and more everytime.
So, is it wrong to make ‘dua’ for these things? Off course not. But to sulk and get depressed when these ‘duas’ don’t get answered is definitely wrong. To forget that the most blessed gift that Allah (swt) has bestowed on us is the understanding of our ‘deen’ (religion) is wrong. To forget that this alone will give us everlasting happiness and those luxuries we all dream about is ignorance.
“Therein you shall have (all) that your inner‑selves desire, and therein you shall have all for which you ask. An entertainment from Allah, the Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Surah Fussilat, Verse 31–32)
Now that, there is plenty of time to live luxuriously (when I say plenty, I mean forever), first we need to understand that worry in times of crisis is totally unrequired. What is required, is that we react patiently towards the form of test sent towards us during this covid-19 situation.
- Financial set-back: If you are among those whohave suffered financial loss during this pandemic then here are somethings you need to reflect on. How is your relationship with Allah (swt)? If it’s weak then strengthen it and if it’s strong then try and understand why Allah chose to test you with this specific trial. Generally, any kind of loss is Allah’s call – a wake-up call where He expects us to turn to Him). It can also be that He expects you to overcome a certain undesirable quality and the only way that can happen is by sending this hardship your way. For example, I left my job during this crisis situation and just about immediately, started this blog. I was procrastinating on it for years and Allah (swt) knew that the only way I would take action is if I have the luxury of time. What is important here is taking action. Many people have started their own businesses during this crisis situation. They didn’t sit, sulk and complain about losing their job. Instead, they saw this luxury of time as a blessing from Allah (swt) and started working towards the other door He opened for them. Find that door in your life and enter it!
- Coping with stressful health issues: Some of us are infected by this disease or have family members suffering due to this. Why did Allah (swt) send this affliction your way? Again, to reset His relationship with you and give you higher place in ‘Jannah’. Maybe now that you or your family member is ill, you are constantly turning to Allah (swt) through prayers, zakah, zikr etc. Maybe you are reading Quranic, Sunnah duas catering to health issues and gaining closeness to Allah (swt). You are learning patience and the beauty of isolation [the art of getting close to Allah (swt)]. You are learning that instead of talking to people, talking to Allah (swt) is more helpful in combating this illness. You are reminded of Prophet Ayub (AS), who suffered intensely in this regard and you decide to react in similar manner.
- Distant from Loved ones: Some of us are away from our loved ones and only now understand how important they are to us.For those who are facing this, now they know that every minute spent with family and loved ones is precious. Taking ones family for granted might just become a less known factor in the post-corona world. Less screen time and more family outings might just become the new trend. People might learn to value each other more than before.
Out of all the lessons this pandemic has taught us, most important was understanding the concept of ‘Barakah’ (continuous growth). Where earlier four people in a household were earning and that too felt less, now there is a sole bread earner and it is enough for all. Where earlier no matter what we had – it was never enough, now even a little suffice. Where earlier people believed that owning branded items and spending on luxury was the only way to achieve happiness. Now people are realising that doing ‘sadaqa’ (charity) of everything extra in their home provides true, long-lasting happiness. The idea ‘end your troubles by helping those you can reach out to’ has found its’ place back into societies.
Last year, when the pandemic led to the world’s longest lockdown, I had many worries about the future. But as days passed and the situation began teaching me how I should make the most of my time, energy and other resources, all worries faded. Now, I feel more blessed, happy and satisfied. I have begun to see ‘Barakah’ in every aspect of my life and I have accepted that trials and tribulations are an on-going process. We can’t fast-forward them. We have to go through it and wait for things to fall in place. But what we can do is make the most of whatever Allah has given us – which is always more than what he hasn’t.
I have managed to develop a strong, positive, self-motivated environment at home too. (Read here about it) I feel calm and stable knowing that Allah will take care of everything as He is the provider. I know that an eternity of bliss is waiting for those who have patience and, what I or anyone else is going through in this world, will eventually come to an end. But the best aspect of it all, is how this situation has given me the time to improve my worship and connect to Allah (swt) more than I could ever do.
Surely We will test you with a bit of fear and hunger, and loss in wealth and lives and fruits, and give good tidings to the patient. who, when a suffering visits them, say:
إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّآ إِلَيْهِ رَٰجِعُونَ
“We certainly belong to Allah, and to Him we are bound to return.” (Surah Baqarah, Verse 155-156)