All praises are due to the One that created every things that exist either visible or not; white or black; rich or poor. We seek His continuous mercies and blessings on the one who taught us all the things needed to survive in this world of uncertainty, prophet Muhammad (Sala Lohu ‘alayhi wa salam).
My respected brothers and sisters, I hope we’re faring well in this hard time. May Allah safeguard us all.
It’s no doubt that the whole world is sick with the spread of a deadly contagious disease – Covid-19- which got worsened by the effects of civilization and globalisation.
As Muslims, we should be concerned about the wisdom surrounding this situation. Has it happened before in the history of humanity? Did anything of such happen during the era of the best of creatures – prophet Muhammad (Sala Lohu ‘alayhi wa salam)? Is this a punishment for our sins? And so many similar questions.
Definitely, yes! There are tens of epidemic and pandemic diseases that have been recorded in the history of humanity.
In one of his books, Al Alamah Ibn Hajar Al ‘Asqolani mentioned sixteen major outbreak of epidemic diseases that occurred during Umayyad dynasty alone not to talk of other eras. The first epidemic recorded in the era of Prophet Muhammad (Sala Lohu’ alayhi wa salam) was the Shirawayh plague which claims a lot of lives. The prophet advised for the companions was that “If you hear that it (the plague) is in a land, do not go there, and if it breaks out in a land where you are, do not leave, fleeing from it.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim) which helped to flatten the curve then.
Certainly, if there’s an outbreak of a disease like this, it’s either a punishment for His creatures and/or trials for them. In most cases, it’s a combination of both.
An outbreak of a disease can be a consequence of the bad actions of people on the surface of the earth, this is evident from one of the five things that was said by the Prophet to the muhajirun.
It reads “O Muhajirun, there are five things with which you will be tested, and I seek refuge with Allah lest you live to see them: 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.” (Narrated by Imam Abu Daud)
It was also narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Great reward comes with great trials. When Allah loves a people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it attains His pleasure, whereas whoever shows discontent with it incurs His wrath.”
Nevertheless, one of these two reasons may be more apparent in some kinds of tests than the other. That may be understood by looking at the circumstances of the calamity.
If the one who is affected is a kaafir, then his calamity cannot a stepping stone to raise him in status, because the kaafir will have no weight before Allah on the Day of Resurrection. But there may be a lesson and a reminder for others in that, not to do what he did.
In the same vein, Allah explains in the verses below how He punished some people because of their misdeeds. Allah subhanahu says :
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا ادْخُلُوا هَٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةَ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ رَغَدًا وَادْخُلُوا الْبَابَ سُجَّدًا وَقُولُوا حِطَّةٌ نَّغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطَايَاكُمْ وَسَنَزِيدُ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
And (remember) when We said: “Enter this town (Jerusalem) and eat bountifully therein with pleasure and delight wherever you wish, and enter the gate in prostration (or bowing with humility) and say: ‘Forgive us,’ and We shall forgive you your sins and shall increase (reward) for the good-doers.”
فَبَدَّلَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا قَوْلًا غَيْرَ الَّذِي قِيلَ لَهُمْ فَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا رِجْزًا مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ
But those who did wrong changed the word from that which had been told to them for another, so We sent upon the wrong-doers Rijzan (a punishment) from the heaven because of their rebelling against Allah’s Obedience. (Tafsir At-Tabari, Vol. I, Page 305).
This Covid-19 has again established the supremacy of its Creator – Allah. None of the creatures has been able to defeat this invisible threat. Even if they later did, it has won the race.
Where (is the refuge) to flee? Who is capable amongst the creatures to rescue us? Can Trump do anything to stop the tiny thing? Xi Jinping who is always intoxicated with power is no where to be found? Is it the president of a whole country who said the pandemic did not give them notice that it was coming would be our saviour? Even Putin who thinks he’s the master of words is nagging. Where’s the tech guys? Elon Musk should have used his Artificial Intelligence knowledge to rescue the whole earth. The virus ought to have been fitted & mapped in the Silicon Valley. Now, who is the Supreme Being?
My respected brothers and sisters, if you are still doubting your submission to the Supreme One, this current situation is enough for you to turn to Him in an absolute way. Your worship to Him is for your own sake. Either you worship Him alone or otherwise doesn’t intrinsically benefit Him.
Allah says :
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).
مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ
I seek not any provision from them (i.e. provision for themselves or for My creatures) nor do I ask that they should feed Me (i.e. feed themselves or My creatures).
إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ
Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong. (Ad-Dhaariyah 51:56-58)
This is the time to get closer to your Creator. Spend more time for tahajud (night prayer) & increase your du’a to the Supreme One.
The outbreak of the virus is a reminder for us. We must wake up from our slumbering and negligence. It makes no sense to know the answers to a question before the examination and still fail it. The context becomes clearer with the below verse :
وَفِي الْأَرْضِ آيَاتٌ لِّلْمُوقِنِينَ
And on the earth are signs for those who have Faith with certainty. (Ad-Dhaariyah 51:20)
That being said, we should all take the necessary precautions to stop the spread of the virus. We should stay at home! Epidemic is no respecter of anyone. If it could claim hundreds of the best of the generations (the companions of Prophet Muhammad), then who are you and I? Abu Ubaydata Ibn Jarrah, Al Fadlu Ibn Abbas, 80 children of Anas Ibn Malik amongst others have been reported to have been pandemic victims, serving as the “sabab” (means) of their deaths.
Observing salah in a state of tranquility at home with your family is better than a congregational one with the fear that your neighbour is a carrier of the virus. Please, don’t follow the ignoramus fellow. A whole nation is currently paying the price of an ignoramus action observed by some brothers all in the name of religion. Again, please observe all the necessary precautions to stop the spread of the ravaging deadly virus. In fact, doing that comes with a reward.
Aishah رضي الله عنها mentioned The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “There will not be a man whom during a plague if he patiently remains in his home, seeking reward, whilst knowing that he will not be afflicted except with what Allaah has written for him, that for him will be the reward like that of a Martyr.” [Saheeh, Reported by Ahmad]
However, after someone has observed all the necessary precautions and exceeded his possible limit, then if he got infected by the plague, he should know that it has been decreed for Him by Allah. He should see it as a test and should be patient till Allah free him from it.
Allah says :
قُل لَّن يُصِيبَنَا إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَنَا هُوَ مَوْلَانَا وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ
Say: “Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Maula (Lord, Helper and Protector).” And in Allah let the believers put their trust. (Surah Tawbah 9:51)
We ask Allah, may He be exalted, to have mercy on us and forgive us all, to take away this pandemic from the earth and reward us for our calamities, for He is All-Hearing and answers prayers.
Written by : RidwanuLlah HasbiyaLlah Al Manbahiy
©️ Assoutudeen Prophetic Medicine Foundation