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:
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.
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.
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:
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.