بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Covid 19 is both spiritual and material. It has affected Muslims in both ways in the sense that Islam is about spirituality, which has to do with our faith and its practices one hand, and materialism, which has to do with dealings with one another, on the other hand. In other words, Islamic scholars would term Islam to be Deen with all its ramifications and Dunyaa with all its ramifications also. Going by this perspective, Deen goes in line with spirituality while Dunyaa goes in line with materialism.
COVID-19 has hit the two components whereby affecting the whole world spiritually and materially. To us as Muslims, if nothing at all, Allah has driven us away from His Houses where- without fear of contradiction- we find some level of comfort, increase of ‘Imaan and to some extent change of character. Where students of Islamic Studies like the writer get the opportunity to talk to the youth in general and the cultured in particular. The closure of Mosques by Allah through COVID-19 is a very big blow to the Muslim ummah worldwide.
Secondly, on the issue of materialism, the economy of the whole world is under threat to the extent that economists are beginning to project a worse economic situation in the aftermath of COVID-19 which bi izni llaah will not happen. Individuals economy is broken due to so many things like; non-payment of salaries in some places, restrictions on movement and so on.
Looking at lessons to be learnt from this turbulent morally and practically, the writer would like to mention one or two things even though they are many. The lessons are as follows:
For the moral aspect:
It is about time Muslims reflect deeply on their life in general, because Islam covers everything in one’s life. Muslims have to repent and be upright somehow before an event severe than COVID-19 takes us by surprise. People have to put a stop to so many elicit acts. This alone is enough of a lesson. Allah causes things to happen for people to think twice. Allah says: (Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of that the hands of men have earned, that Allah may give them a taste of some of their deeds, in order that they may turn back from evil). Rum 41. In essense, COVID-19 is a taste of our own deeds so we may go back to Allah ta’aalaa.
COVID-19 has also revealed in clear terms that Islam has a lot for the world to learn from. So it is now up to us as Muslims to make use of this golden opportunity as regarding evil to stick firmly to our religion by knowing it well, applying it well and relating it well to others.
COVID-19 has broken the egoistic nature of the human race by proving beyond reasonable doubt that we are all equal regardless of status. But as Allah ta’aalaa would put it: “Indeed the most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is the most pious).”
And as for the practical aspect, COVID-19 has come to affirm for us as Muslims an existing standard in Islam that needs to be emphasized more and more, and it has to do with cleanliness which by all standards is part and parcel of Islam. All the places, as we are told by the experts, that the virus takes refuge in to launch its attack on a person has been taken care off by the ablution we observe at least five times a day. The palm, mouth, nose and the face in its entirety are cleaned when ablution if performed. This goes to call our attention into reviewing how we go about with this significant act of Ibaada, in terms of doing it and doing it well.
Further more, COVID-19 has come to confirm a magnificent practical approach given by Islam to an epidemic or a pandemic declared airborne or not, which sums up to be: “Stay home, stay safe.” <<Hadeeth>> This goes to affirm that Islam, as far as the its origin is concerned, has practical solutions for everything except that Muslims, but the scholars in particular, are not being proactive. Islam has what it takes to lead the world. But that will not happen until Muslims understand their religion very well, practice it very well and disseminate it very well to others. There and then Muslims as an Ummah will take their rightful position in the commity of peoples of a unique religion that ensures a balance between spirituality and materialism. Q 7 : 31-32
COVID-19 has also displayed it clearly to us that situations as well as status can change at any given time and for that matter we have to learn to be humble, meek and imbibe the spirit of sacrifice in giving to others out of the bounties that Allaah ta’aalaa has bestowed upon us, regardless of colour, race, ethnicity and religion. You could be the giver today and in the next moment the receiver. Respect for one another is the lesson, because “In a twinkle of an eye, Allah ta’aalaa changes a situation to another” a poet says. Before our very eyes, COVID-19, whether spiritually or physically created, has come and humbled all the advanced countries with all their physical military might.
Fellow Muslims, let us make good out of this COVID-19 pandemic predicament and quagmire by coming out of it very focused on the positivity away from the otherwise.
May Allah see us through and replace this evil with goodness. For He is the All knowing, the All Wise
والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
©Dr.(Ninche) M. S. Husein
Department of Religions
University of Ilorin, Nigeria.