Pandemic: What Should I do?

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Wednesday, 01 April 2020 09:16

Q: The Covid-19 pandemic has gripped the world. Please advise as to what we should do in these trying times.

A: AIndeed these are very trying times. In trying times, one must not remain casual and carefree. A carefree and heedless attitude in such situations is in fact dangerous, as it indicates indifference to Allah Ta‘ala. While it is necessary to take the necessary precautions within the limits of sharee‘ah, that alone is not going to take away the virus. There is much more to do. Hereunder are some aspects to undertake in order to treat the root of the issue:

Shed Tears before Allah Ta‘ala

Repent… repent… and sincerely repent. Shun all sin. Repeatedly make deep, heartfelt taubah and istighfaar, and shed tears of remorse and regret. Allah Ta‘ala has declared in the Quraan Majeed: “Indeed Allah loves those who constantly repent...”. (Surah Baqarah, v.222) Rasululah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has said: “The one who cries out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala will not enter the Fire”. (Sunan Tirmizi #1633) If all of us repent sincerely, the rahmah and blessings of Allah Ta‘ala will descend upon everyone and the hardships will insha-Allah be uplifted.

Talk about Allah Ta‘ala

More severe than the challenge to life and health is the challenge to imaan. In times of hardship, a person of weak imaan is in great danger of slipping further away from Allah Ta‘ala due to wrong actions and reactions. Therefore, during challenges and hardships, we are much more in need of boosting our imaan than at other times.

This requires that we talk much about Allah Ta‘ala. Talk about His Greatness, Power and Might. Talk to our families, neighbours, friends and everyone else. Repeatedly discuss His qudrat (power), that Allah Ta‘ala made the fire a garden for  Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) and He brought Nabi Yunus (‘alaihis salaam) out of the belly of the fish. He controls the heavens and the earth. He has full control over every virus and every atom in the universe. We must therefore turn to Him. Keep talking about Allah Ta‘ala until His greatness settles deeply in the heart. 

Also, talk to them about the loving advice of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to Sayyiduna ’Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma): “O lad! Safeguard the commands of Allah Ta‘ala (by fulfilling His injunctions and refraining from sin) and He will protect you. Safeguard the commands of Allah Ta‘ala  and you will find Him with you (by assisting you in your time of need and giving you solutions to every problem)... And know that whatever missed you was never meant to reach you, and whatever reaches you could never have missed you”. (Sunan Tirmizi #2516)

Bow to Allah Ta‘ala

Whenever there was the slightest concern about anything, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) immediately hastened towards salaah. In trying times, one should perform much salaah. There can be no question of missing the five daily salaah at any time whatsoever. In challenging times, one should try to perform as many of the nafl salaah as well, such as tahajjud, ishraaq, duha, awwaabeen, etc. Regularly perform salaatul haajah (salaah of need) and engage in earnest du‘aa.

Calla towards Allah Ta‘ala

Among the major reasons for calamities is abandoning the duty of amr bil ma’roof and nahi ‘anil munkar (enjoining the right and forbidding the evil). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “You must certainly enjoin what is right and forbid the evil, or else Allah Ta‘ala will inflict you with a calamity. You will then beg of Him but He will not answer your prayer”. (Sunan Tirmizi #2169) Therefore, sit and reflect – what is lacking in your own household? What wrongs are being perpetrated? Advise them with wisdom and guide them with love. Keep enjoining the right and forbidding the evil. It will pave our pathway to salvation. 

Be Loyal to Allah Ta‘ala

This is a time to shun all sins and adopt taqwa (Allah consciousness). The Quraan Majeed declares: “He who fears Allah (adopts taqwa), Allah will give him a solution (from every problem) and grant him sustenance from sources he cannot imagine”. (Surah Talaaq, v.3). The essence of taqwa is to give up all sin. This is our greatest need – to give up sin and become loyal to our Creator and Most Compassionate and Most Merciful Allah Ta‘ala.

Give Sadaqah for Allah Ta‘ala

With utmost sincerity, give for Allah Ta‘ala. Give as much as you can – and give without any fear of a decrease in wealth. Sadaqah (charity) repels calamities and in fact increases wealth. Give to anyone in need, Muslim or disbeliever.

Nevertheless the first priority is to give to relatives in need. Also, in lockdown time, when many will not be earning their salary for the weeks ahead, it will be more rewarding to give one’s own needy workers before giving others. They are the apparent means of helping one to earn one’s wealth and hence deserve special consideration in these trying times.

Remember Allah Ta‘ala

Engage in much zikr and tasbeehaat. Keep a tasbeeh or tasbeeh counter in your hand all the time. Keep reciting istighfaar, durood shareef, the third alimah, etc. He who remembers Allah Ta‘ala, Allah Ta‘ala remembers him—i.e. He showers His favours upon him. 

Talk to Allah Ta‘ala

Daily … repeatedly … TALK to Allah Ta‘ala. Talk to Him through du‘aa. Beg of Him. Beseech Him. Cry unto Him. Knock at His door. Humble yourself before Him. Allah Ta‘ala declares: “Or who is it (besides Allah) who responds to the call of the distressed one and removes his calamity...? Is there any deity besides Allah? (Surah Naml, v.62)

Join for the Sake of Allah Ta‘ala

If family relationships have been broken, join them for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala. Breaking family relationships results in deprivation of barakah in life and wealth and prevents one’s du‘aas from being accepted. The community that does not advise such people to refrain from such actions is also deprived of the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala.

Once, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) addressed those who were seated in his gathering: “I plead in the name of Allah Ta‘ala to those who have severed family relationships to please leave the gathering. We wish to make du‘aa to our Rabb, whereas the doors of the heavens are closed to the one who cut ties”. (Al-Mu’jamul Kabeer #8793)

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has also warned: “The one who breaks family ties will not enter Jannah (until he is cleansed from the filth of this sin in Jahannum). (Bukhaari #5984)”

Turn to Allah Ta‘ala

In short, turn to Allah Ta‘ala. Turn to Him in all sincerity and earnestness by means of all the actions advised above... and much more. Become His, and He will become ours. He alone has power over everything and He alone will remove all calamities and difficulties. 

May Allah Ta‘ala protect the entire Ummah from every hardship and bless all with the best of both worlds, aameen.