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Coronavirus – an Islamic perspective

By Musa Bukhari

The reset button has been hit. Across the world, millions of people are now in self-isolation and practising social distancing. In the UK, we’re living under a lockdown, only leaving our homes for necessities. Because of COVID-19, this is our new reality.

Allah, the Exalted, states in Surah al-Baqarah:

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return." Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided. [Quran 2:155-57]

Hoarding and the dunya

Long ago, Allah warned us that we would be tested, as this is the purpose of the dunya. With the current pandemic, many people are scared, anxious and uncertain. Some have resorted to hoarding supplies, an act which goes against our religion as it is grounded in selfishness and excess, when we are taught the opposite.

“He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbour to his side goes hungry.” (Al-Albani)

Many people have lost their jobs, and many more are struggling for money. Indeed, it is truly a trial that affects us all. But Allah has given us a the opportunity to prove to Him what we are made of, to prove that we can be selfless, giving, united people.

In Surah al-Baqarah, we were warned that we must be patient and steadfast through our trials, and resist our love of the dunya. Our lives are a gift from Allah, and whatever comes from Him, returns to Him. Now is the time to think about how our actions affect our hereafter, our permanent abode. If we succeed, we have the chance to be in a state of perpetual peace, comfort and nourishment.

Even if we will not all be infected with this virus, we will be affected, so must think about our states, the way in which we have been living, examining all of our pursuits, public and private. In this reminder we are being guided to reorient ourselves. To turn back to Allah, before we return to Him.

Shaheeds of the plague

The Messenger (PBUH) said of the plague, “It is a punishment which Allah sends upon whomsoever He wills, but Allah has made it as a mercy to the believers. Anyone who remains in a town which is plagued with plague maintaining patience expecting the reward from Allah, and knowing that nothing will befall him other than what Allah has foreordained for him, he would receive a reward of Shaheed (martyr).” [Bukhari].

This hadith is a powerful reminder of how we should respond with the current trial. It is certainly a hardship for many, but we can also see it as a mercy from Allah for those who trust in Him and wish to be forgiven. We must reflect, and ask ourselves how this calamity can help us to be closer to Allah. How can we overcome this trial, with Allah’s guidance?

Here are some ways you can seek protection and help you to endure this hardship:

  1. Recite your morning and evening athkar.
  2. Use prophetic remedies daily.

    The Prophet (PBUH) said: "Use the Black Seed for indeed, it is a cure for all diseases except death." (Bukhari)

    “Honey is a remedy for every illness and the Quran is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies, the Quran and honey.” (Bukhari)

  3. Praying all of your salahs on time.
  4. Sending blessings upon the Prophet (PBUH).

    When the companion Ubai Ibn Ka’ab asked the Messenger what would happen if he dedicated all of his supplications towards sending blessings on the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The Prophet replied “Your needs will be satisfied and your sins will be forgiven”.

  5. Giving in charity to those who are most affected.

    “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Tirmidhi)

  6. Make Dua, especially during Tahujjud (between Isha and Fajr).

    “Dua made at Tahajjud is like an arrow which does not miss its target”. – Imam ash-Shafi (RA).

  7. If you’re able to, use the time at home to sit in solitude and unplug from the world. Reflect on the state of your heart and your actions.
  8. Follow the state’s medical guidelines, and stay indoors to contribute to stopping the spread of the virus, and help to save lives, inshaAllah.

May Allah protect us, our families, those working to stop the virus, and the entire ummah. Ya Allah, remove this virus from the earth, allow us to stay patient and selfless through this trial and grant us forgiveness and nearness to You. Ameen.

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