“Stay at home. ”
It is a directive that has come as an order from the people at the helm, decision makers, medical practitioners and doctors to people around the world.
Soon, the order has become an important piece of advice shared among people internationally as the phrase spreads quickly on TV,on the internet, social media and even daily newspapers.
What is happening?
It's Coronavirus (Covid19)!!
Coronavirus transmission has been rampaging among people locally and internationally.
Thus, the World Health Organization (WHO) have tagged it global pandemic.
Coronavirus has affected more than 150 countries around the world, starting from China to continue spreading to the other parts of the world. countries like Italy, Iran, Spain, Germany, USA, France, S. Korea, UK and some other countries in Asia, Europe and Africa are not left out.
Coronavirus cases currently have spiked to reach 228.000; more than 9,000 deaths occurred and the number is constantly and rapidly increasing.
Interestingly, this invisible virus has frightened everyone around the world.
It further has turned the scales, and eliminated all normal daily life affairs. It has imposed itself on people and defied all the means taken to reduce it.
It is spreading rapidly, causing paralyses in all areas of life and forcing many countries around the world to take a series of measures to reduce infections.
For example, the movement restriction has been enforced; travellers’ restrictions have been imposed; flights have been suspended from and to countries where high cases have been confirmed; postponements and cancellations of daily schedules have been affecting many sectors and institutions such as schools, universities and all public places; the cancellations of religious services have been applied in all Muslim countries such as closing mosques and cancelling Friday sermon indefinitely.
What caught my attention is that Coronavirus has unified people and has brought them together under one umbrella.
It does not differentiate between races; regardless of cultural, religious, racial, customary, geographical and traditional differences, people today are equal.
Corona affects the Muslim as well as the non-Muslim; the black as well as the white; the weak as well as the strong; the poor as well as the rich; people of the "Third World" as well as those of the "First World".
All humankind are equal in front of this invisible virus; they all suffer from the same struggle.
Additionally, until now, it is hard to find a vaccine. People are powerless to stop the Coronavirus’ spread.
Money, strength, status and even technological advancement have failed to contain its spread within and outside Wuhan, China. Has the world ever been this threatened? People are not safe.
The rich are not benefit from their money; political offices are of no benefit holders are not benefit to political officers; the rulers are not benefiting from their authorities; weapons and ammunition are in the arsenals. They of no use in this war. Doctors are incapacitated, running from pillars to posts. Who will save our world? WHO have been overwhelmed. As if that us not enough, life has become worthless. Trust between everyone has been lost, even between husband wife; between parents and their children; between friends and lovers . No hug, no kiss and no handshake even between family members! Business partners are avoiding each other.
Here, many questions can be raised: If such invisible virus could kill thousands of people in a short time, is life really guaranteed? Why doesn't Coronavirus spear the rich? Why are the so called great nations so hit?
If all humankind are powerless, who is the strong? If relatives are avoiding one another, to whom should we go?
Who is the Protector? Is life valuable? If life can be stopped suddenly and easily, what is the goal of existence? Why this punishment?
All these questions are answered in the Quran. Islam, in fact, is the platform of knowledge and facts about the secrets of this life.
In Islam, there is only One Strong Creator, God, who Controls the universe and all humankind; Its time we submitted to Him as the Only One God to be worshiped; and to believe in His messenger, Muhammad (pbuh), as the last prophet to all mankind; and all humankind are created to be tested in life and then will be retributed after death on the Day of Judgment based on their deeds.
Based on these three facts, we aim at studying Coronavirus from Islamic perspective, focussing on the wisdom behind it as an affliction and punishment from God to His creation (servants); the purpose of this punishment and Islam’s solution of such virus.
First of all, God punishes His creation from time to another with numerous calamities to make them aware of many facts about this life. Such afflictions make manhav a rethink about his relationship with God.
Additionally, crisis makes mankind return to the right path and to repent to Allah. Here, God tests His people to repent and to return to Him in a good way.
In this context, Allah says: “And We divided them throughout the earth into nations. Of them some were righteous, and of them some were otherwise. And We tested them with good and [times] and bad that perhaps they would return [to obedience]” (Qur’an, 7:168)
For example, Coronavirus today emphasizes that:
➢ God, the Creator can defeat His creation easily and completely whenever and however He wants.
“If He [God] wills, He can do away with you and bring forth a new creation. And that is for God not difficult”(Qur’an, 35: 16-17)
➢ Without God’s help people are powerless. This virus is simply a strong argument for indicating the strength of the Creator and the weakness of the creation. It reminds us of the power of God Almighty, and how He can make the invisible destroy the visible, and the weak defeat the strong.
“God is the One who created you from weakness, then made after weakness strength, then made after strength weakness and white hair. He creates what He wills, and He is the Knowing, the Competent” (Qur’an, 30:54)
➢ God is the Only Protector from all dangers and the calamities.
➢ People are weak and helpless in front of God's will.
“To God belongs the domination of the heavens and the earth and whatever is within them. And He is over all things competent”(Quran, 5:120)
➢ The shortness of life and how a person may close his eyelids without another blink while s/he drowning in her/his pleasures and neglecting the true purpose of existence.
Allah says: “And the intoxication of death will bring the truth; that is what you were trying to avoid” (Qur’an, 50:19)
➢ God is the Owner of All Sovereignty; the One who is really worthy to be worshiped. So, to what extent we are aware of being committed to Him.
➢ The human mind and science will remain limited. No matter how much mankind is knowledgeable and no matter how much he is rich; he remains needy of God’s help.
“And God wants to lighten for you [your difficulties]; and mankind was created weak” (Qur’an, 4:28)
Thus, those who survived this affliction should think about the meaning of life, the purpose of their existence to find the truth.
Suddenly, people are avoiding each other due to Coronavirus’ infection. This means that we should only escape to Allah, the Only One Who can provide us safety and security.
Only God can lift this calamity and provide us with assistance, protection, recovery, and help with his broad mercy. Moreover, such calamities usually cause people think about the role of belief in God and faith in facilitating life.
Religion is the way of life and “Indeed the religion in the sight of God is Islam” (Qur’an, 3:19)
Islam, in fact covers all human life. For example, Coronavirus today affects people emotionally and psychologically, preventing tranquillity and causing feelings of fear, panic, loss of hope and pessimism even before being infected.
Indeed Islam provides us with different numerous solutions to keep us reassured, secured, safe and optimistic.The following are some Islamic solutions:
➢ Reading the Qur’an and understanding its messages deeply. Allah says: “And indeed [O Muhammad], you receive the Qur’an from one Wise and Knowing” (Qur’an, 27: 6)
Strong belief in God almighty, praying to Him sincerely, reading the morning and evening remembrance permanently and keeping supplication from Him humbly to reassure and comfort hearts and relieve souls.
In this context, Allah says: “Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of God. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of God hearts are assured” (Qur’an, 13:28)
➢ Islam came to change people from the darkness of paganism to the light of submission to God. Thus repentance to God and submission of oneself to Him creates room for happiness and acceptance of destiny (fate).
Allah says: “Say, “Never will we be struck except by what God has decreed for us; He is our Protector.” And upon God let the believers rely” (9: 51)
➢ Seeking knowledge and truth because knowing Allah makes people realizing His strength that can save them from external and internal devil.
➢ Strengthening faith and Iman, purifying intentions and having a strong belief towards God the Almighty and the Creator because “Indeed, no one despairs of relief from God except the disbelieving people” (Qur’an, 12:87)
➢ Trust and confidence in God’s ability to heal all patients; “And when I am ill, it is He who cures me” (Qur’an, 26:80)
Islam is a religion that manages all sectors of life. It is a culture that is based on a legal system presented in the Qur’an and the Sunna of the prophet, Muhammad, which comprises everything, including the life of individual and society.
This religion seeks to serve humanity and preserve people's lives. Islam develops solutions to crisis management in life, including epidemics and infectious diseases. With regards to coronavirus, doctors are advising people to keep their hands clean and stay home. Interestingly, Islam has already called for these measures since 1400 years ago. If people follow Islamic instructions and pieces of advice concerning the current international crisis, coronavirus will not spread to that extent.
The following are some of Islamic instructions regarding epidemics:
➢ With regard to hygiene, Islam puts practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing diseases, especially through cleanliness.
For instance, a Muslim should perform ablution five times a day before every prayer. Ablution makes Muslims spontaneously wash their hands, clean their nose, and rinse five times daily, so the germs and viruses do not get stuck and the person remains clean throughout the day. We find that ablution has similarities with what doctors asks to do to keep safe from coronavirus.
➢ Hygiene was the way of the prophet, Muhammad (pbuh). He used to wash his hands before and after eating.
➢ The prophet also followed some etiquette during sneezing, and one of them is putting his hand or cloth on his mouth. Abu Hurayrah reported: “Whenever the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) sneezed, he would cover his mouth with his hand or cloth.”
➢ Islam also pointed to the importance of restricting movement and suspending traveling from and to the epidemic-prone country. Today, doctors recognize the importance of quarantine as a result of science and technology. The strange thing is that the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh), whom Allah has sent as a mercy to the world, applied this method during the days of the spread of the plague during his time since 1400 years ago. To exemplify, prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.” (reported by Bukhari and Muslim.).
So, the wisdom behind this scourge is to make humankind regain consciousness of the meaning of life and the purpose of the existence. Such facts are supposed to prove that there is only One God, the Creator of all humankind who sent Muhammad, the last prophet, with the truth. So that, those who still disbelieve should reconsider their beliefs through taking such calamities seriously and considering their environment deeply to get the truth of Islam.
“Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.” (Qur’an, 2:222)