We are living in unprecedented times, at least for a larger percentage of the world. The new COVID-19 virus has brought everything and everyone to a halt, and honestly, it is understandable if you are feeling depressed, anxious or scared about coronavirus and the state of our lives right now. It’s scary to know that one can be afflicted with something like this virus and that it will cause us to not be able to go to our favorite places or hang out with our favorite people. Many of us live near our parents but cannot visit them because of the fear of being an asymptomatic carrier of the virus and putting our aged parents in danger.

All that is going on right now can be confusing. But we are Muslims, and as cliché as it may sound, now is the best time to reach deep within ourselves and remind each other of all the ammunition that Islam has given us to cope with trials.

Or did you think that Islam hasn’t given us a way to cope, and even thrive during times like this?

“Be sure We shall try you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and life and the fruits (of your labour); but give tidings of happiness to those who have patience,”

“Who say when assailed by adversity: “Surely we are for God, and to Him we shall return.” (Quran 2: 155-156)

As Muslims facing a global pandemic, our strength should come from the words of Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (ﷺ). It should come from remembering the Muslims before us, the trials that they faced, and how they overcame them.

Here are a few points to hold on to during this pandemic

Afflictions are a means of purification

‘A’isha reported: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: There is nothing (in the form of trouble) that comes to a believer even if it is the pricking of a thorn that there is decreed for him by Allah good or his sins are obliterated. (Muslim)

One of the most beautiful things about being a Muslim is how you can get rewarded for something that is seemingly negative that has happened to you. Imagine this; your company missed out on a major contract that you were a part of, and even though this hurt your company’s finances, the CEO praises your efforts and even gives you a pay rise. Not something that you’d see often, right?

But look at Islam. We have been promised by Allah (SWT) that every hardship that we face is a means of purification for us. Did you get cut by a knife? It is a means of forgiveness of sins, in sha’a Allah. Did you lose your child and was patient and accepting of the trial? It’s a means of earning reward.

Whatever has happened to us that hurts us is a chance to receive something good from Allah (SWT).

Maybe you or a loved one have been afflicted with the coronavirus. Or you are immunocompromised and living every day in fear of getting the virus, or you have an ailment that is even more serious. Or maybe you don’t have an ailment, but the way the virus has brought the world to a halt has affected your lifestyle and that of your family. Whatever side of the coronavirus coin that you are right now, always remember that the hardship that we face is a means of purification for us in sha’a Allah, and the hope of attaining this purification should give us the strength to be patient with our trials.

Reliance on Allah Brings Ease and Breakthrough

It is probably not the first thing that you would think of when you are worried about contracting a respiratory disease, feeding your family while your job is on hold, paying the bills, etc., but remembering this little detail is one of the easiest ways to change your mindset from anxious to hopeful.

Do you know how medical practitioners tell us that a person with positive thoughts may have a better immune system and be able to overcome a disease? So also does a person who shifts their mindset from anxious, to hoping for protection and reward from Allah (SWT). This person, through the hope that they place in Allah (SWT), their anxiety is eased, and they become less restless and worried and better able to face their trial.

Let’s look at the example of Prophet Moosa (AS). He was faced with a sea in front of him and an enemy closing in behind him. To an onlooker, and even the people of Israel, he was basically trapped. His plans had failed, and he had reached a dead end. For the average person, this is a source of panic and anxiety. When you don’t know what to do next or how to handle a situation, anxiety quickly takes over.

But Prophet Moosa was not anxious. Why? Because he had placed his hope in Allah (SWT). Rather than focus on the dead-end in front of him, he focused on Allah (SWT), and by Allah’s will, Prophet Moosa (AS) was granted one of the mind-blowing miracles in the history of human existence.

In another event in Prophet Moosa’s life, he arrived in a town where he didn’t know anyone, and he needed help. He made a dua to Allah (SWT) and went about his regular activities. Just as soon as he made the dua, the two young girls that he had helped prior, invited him to meet their father who gave him a job and one of the girls to marry.

What can we take away from this? Make dua and rely on Allah (SWT) even when your heart is anxious. Remember the stories of Moosa (AS) and remind yourself that the Rabb who looked out for Moosa will look out for you too.

The dua of Moosa (AS): رَبِّ اِنِّیۡ لِمَاۤ اَنۡزَلۡتَ اِلَیَّ مِنۡ خَیۡرٍ فَقِیۡرٌ

“My Lord, I have need of whatever good you send me.” (Quran 28:24)

Dua is a weapon for the believer

There was a group of sahabahs (companions of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) who traveled to a foreign land to spread the message of Islam. The people of that town were not welcoming, and they basically turned them away. Before the sahabahs left though, something happened. A man from the town was bitten by a scorpion and there was no antidote or anything. The sahabahs offered to heal him in exchange for payment, and the people agreed.

One of the sahabahs then proceeded to recite suratul fat’hah on the place where the man was bitten, and he was immediately healed. The people were of course very surprised. There is a lot more to this story, but the power of dua is what we should hold on to. The knowledge that we have the whole Quran as a source of healing for us, that we have a lot of dua that have been recorded from Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) as duas for healing and protection should give us succor.

The same way that we are all now protection ourselves against the coronavirus by washing our hands, using a face mask or staying several feet apart from other people in public, is the same way that we should use the duas at our disposal to protect ourselves.

Recite your morning and evening adkhaar, make dua after every salah and invoke Allah (SWT) for protection in the early hours of the morning before fajr. Take physical protection for your body while also seeking protection from Allah (SWT).

If you have been feeling depressed, anxious and sad about the coronavirus, or even any ailment or trial in your life, know that it is human to do so. You are not a weak Muslim for having these feelings. But rather than dwell on these emotions and have them consume us, let’s be the people who exchange depression for hope in Allah (SWT), anxiety for reliance on Allah (SWT), and let us be the people who instead of giving in to the fear in their hearts, remind themselves to hold on to the rope of ar-Rahman with the belief that whatever is happening right now will pass and we will be better for it in this life and the next.

Related Video: Seven Lessons from the Crises of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

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