What is Faith?
Faith- it connects us, binds us, defines us, and most importantly, gives us hope. The pandemic and the quarantine have been nothing short of a test. Questions regarding one’s mortality, fears, the meaning of life, and above all, why, why is this happening? Is there a larger picture, a larger context that can explain away all the lives destroyed directly and indirectly?
These questions naturally occupied our minds for most of the quarantine and Lockdown phase for most of us. Others slowly got numb to the pain and decided it was best not to rely on emotions and tackle this with the rationale that was out there, depending on conspiracy theories and hidden agendas.
Some used this pandemic to preach their faith and claimed the wrath of God was truly upon us. The commonality between all individuals, regardless of faith or religion, was to seek answers. While some got closer to God, others were puzzled by questions that no one could answer at the time.
How Covid can Affect your Faith and Spiritual Relationship with Allah?
In our previous post, we have already talked about 9 Duas to get closer to Allah, but now we need to look at this from a more covid-focused point of view. Seeing the Kaaba empty, the mosques empty, the roads deserted influenced people. Being confined to the room and the house forced people to have an out-of-body experience. It was a time of self-reflection like no other. What had they been doing all this time? What were they chasing? Everyone had questions in mind. What if the things one thought were their motivations and inspirations in life were seized from them, would they still want to live?
All of these thoughts made people ponder, some found answers. Meanwhile some went into a dark phase as it was the first time they were alone, with their thoughts.
As we found out, we want to live; we fear death, and we felt pain. The pain of losing someone you love, not being able to see their last minutes, and not giving them a proper burial, and not being able to protect them. We failed to understand that this fear and pain that Allah has equipped us with are what connects us. They are a tool, not a weakness.
Tips on Keeping Your Faith Strong
5. Adapting to Ramadan in Pandemic
Adapting to new social rules was the most jarring for most Muslim families. Muslim families have traditionally been large households with regular visits and gatherings with friends and families, and attending such gatherings is a must.
Ramadan is an important cultural event in the Islamic calendar, and adjusting to a very abnormal iftar, and suhoor would not be easy. To have all of those norms effectively come to a halt, how do we connect, communicate and remain engaged with our loved ones.
Most importantly, we were forced to question our relations and their futility. Were our relations truly meaningful or just a force of habit. Most of us found out that the relations were meaningful, but our communication and engagement always left something to be desired.
The pandemic, if anything, has probably improved how and what we think about our relations and their place in our lives, whether it be neighbors, co-workers, employees, relatives, or even online friends. Here are tips on making the most of Ramadan amidst the pandemic:
- Provide distraction for the family: If you’re isolated with your family then try to engage everyone in Ramadan activities to keep them busy. For instance, both kids and adults can take part in making Ramadan decoration items using origami or other DIY techniques.
- Create a Prayer corner: Since praying in the mosques is not advised right now, instead, make a prayer corner at home where the whole family can pray together. You can even decorate it with lights and other decorative items.
- Do virtual iftar parties: Since iftar parties should not be happening right now, you can have a virtual iftar party on Zoom or SKype with your friends and family.
- Send Ramadan baskets: Another alternative to iftar parties is to make some gift baskets for your loved ones. These can include dates, some home-cooked meals, flowers from your garden, etc. Just try to avoid going outside for groceries and order everything you need online.
- Sanitise: Make sure that everyone sanitises themselves when coming from outside and also before eating as a precautionary measure.
4. Understand the Role of Clerics & Support Them
Muslim scholars have had a very important role during this pandemic to work with concerned authorities and the government to facilitate, guide, and implement precautions and safety measures against Covid, both negatively and positively.
Numerous Islamic scholars and clerics have used their voice and following to combat the pandemic. On the other hand, some used the pandemic for political and personal purposes. This made it evident where their sympathies lay with. It also made it clear who used common sense to speak and made us think harder before accepting any cleric’s words as law.
So if you see the clerics or scholars doing any good work for the community – appreciate them and support them in whatever way you can. You can help them with their missions financially by offering your zakats. And if that’s not possible, you can help spread their message on social media.
3. Connect With Fellow Muslims
This pandemic was a time of hardship and difficulty for a lot of families, more for some than others. During this time, our social responsibilities and charitable instincts were more important than ever.
It is one of the core principles of our faith to help our fellow human beings. Realizing this made many Muslim societies more connected and integrated and able to handle this pandemic as they did.
So if you haven’t been in touch with others and feel isolated, now is the perfect time to socialise and make new friends. There are many new converts to Islam who need our support right now and being there for them would be very rewarding for you in every way.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing anxiety because of the pandemic, I highly recommend going through these Islamic Ways To Deal With Depression, Stress & Anxiety.
2. Think of This Time as a Test to Bring You Closer to Allah
The word fitnah is mentioned in thirty-four verses and the words derived from it are mentioned in twenty-six verses in the Quran. This word holds a lot of importance when it comes to dealing with difficult times. It is derived from Fatn (futun), which lexically means “to melt precious metals like gold and silver in a fire to determine their purity”.
The word itself does not always have to be negative, even though it implies negative circumstances. It can be a way of positive test and trial that helps in a person’s or community’s religious and ethical development since it strengthens the will of believing, is a way of ethical purification, enables an individual to prove his firmness in his belief and lifestyle. Having Tawakkul in such times is of utmost importance which is why I recommend that you go through this post on What is Tawakkul & Easy Ways to Increase Tawakkul in Allah.
1. Follow Safe Eid Practices
In conclusion, no matter what or who is to blame for the hardship and suffering, whether we as individuals and as a community come out of this as better Muslims that have been affected positively is up to us. All the time spent in isolation and self-reflection should be spent positively, by engaging in zikr, focusing on your personal prayer and its importance, and having healthy and meaningful conversations with your family and loved ones.
There should always be a balance between relying on yourself and relying on Allah, the foundation of faith, and what has been tested the most during this period.
Eid has definitely been a lonely one in this pandemic but making sure we spend it while adhering to SOPs, maintaining social distancing, and restricting our movements despite the festive time of the year. You can always call your loved ones. Technology is a blessing in these times so use it in the right way.
Duas for Covid
Ibn al-Qayyim said, ′Du’a is one of the most beneficial remedies. It is the enemy of calamity; it repels it, cures it, prevents its occurrence, and alleviates it or reduces it if it befalls. It is the weapon of the believer’.
We’ve talked in our last post about Illness From Islamic Perspective & 30 Islamic Quotes on Sickness, now, here are some duas that can be recited for Covid patients or for protection from covid: