FAITH: COVID-19 through the Quranic lens

4 mins read

by Salman Danish Khan

Covid-19 is just a divine broom sent down to rearrange the cluttered existence on earth…

Apparently, the pandemic is a reminder of adherence to the divine decree.

Apart from rants, if the ongoing lockdown has stirred a self-probing streak in you, then it has probably served its purpose.

Seemingly, we needed a virus to shed our conceit and welcome the moral self-talk which keeps knocking the doors of our conscience time-and-again.

So, let’s introspect and be a good host to the nagging questions. And let’s turn to our Lord for the answers. Indeed HE has timed the pandemic perfectly.

To make the task easier, we will premise our quest on the Quran, the word of God. Allah the Exalted says, “Indeed, human being is my supreme creation (95.4)”.

Whereas at one point, HE says, “And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will you place upon it someone who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare your praise and sanctify you? Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know (2.30)”.

Graciously, Allah created man as HIS representative on earth, and granted him supremacy above all the other creatures. While creating Adam, HE ordered the angels, “And when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration (15.29).”

But being superior doesn’t imply vanity. On the contrary, it’s an entrustment of a twin responsibility; subservience to Allah with utmost humility; and compassion for HIS creation. It’s a thin rope that veers from left to right where we as wayfarers have to strike a balance, ignoring the humanly whims, fancies, and evil inclinations.

Why this calamity?

Now let’s self-interrogate. Why did the Corona pandemic unfold all of a sudden; isn’t it quite tragic that thousands have lost their lives; couldn’t brutality been held back and millions not rendered unemployed; are we in a way responsible for it; have we, as representatives of God, faltered in our conduct; or do we take our status as HIS supreme creation for granted?

The answers are self-fulfilling. Our gracious Lord decrees, “That is what your hands have put forth and because Allah is not ever unjust to HIS servants (3.182)”. The message gets intensified here, “Who created death and life that HE might try you as to which of is better in deed. HE is the Most Mighty, the Most Forgiving (67.3).”

A peep into conscience reveals a remorseful reflection. Sadly, we have wantonly exploited HIS blessings without bowing in gratitude. Allah reaffirms, “And I have certainly established you upon the earth and made for you therein ways of livelihood. Little are you grateful (7.10).”

Forget gratitude, we are scaling new levels of moral decadence every day. Such as here, “And man supplicated for evil as he supplicates for good, and man is ever hasty (17 .11).”

For us, the egoistic cloak comes first. And we are willing to barter every act of kindness for it. Had that not been the case, the social animal in us wouldn’t have let go of their relations on the slightest dissent. Compassion for the dispossessed could be worn on our sleeves. Our rivers wouldn’t reek with effluents. The lesser stage actors – birds, animals, and plants – had thrived in ecosystems.

Of course, nature cannot tolerate this injustice for long. The crack of the whip had to arrive sooner or later. Ironically, the supreme creation is now a captive confined to homes. And the invisible stagehands are enjoying the new roles. In a matter of seconds, the Almighty ordained a transformation. It depends on how we perceive it.

“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every kind of moving creature, and HIS directing of the winds and clouds controlled between heaven and earth are signs for a people who use reason (2.164).”

Oh Ye Who Believe!

Belief entails optimism. It’s like a gust of wind that blows away despair whenever it tries to eclipse hope. Our Lord portrays the necessity of this dichotomy in HIS work. “And I created you in pairs (78.8).”

Surprisingly, the connotations are not just reserved for humans. They are visible all over. For instance, virtue has to overshadow evil if one longs for piety. Without dusk and dawn, the sun and moon would lose their ranks. Had it not been for parched land, the clouds wouldn’t have burst with all their might. Truth thwarts falsehood to shine bright in darkness.

On similar notes, the Covid-19 is just a divine broom sent down to rearrange the cluttered existence on earth. It’s a trial with a shrilly advice for believers as to how they should go about their ways if they are to earn Allah’s rewards. “And seek help through patience and prayer and indeed it is difficult except for the humbly submissive (2.45).”

That’s why trials pave the way for piety. It’s reiterated here, “And I will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient (2.155).”

And once we pass this litmus test, HE will bestow upon us HIS mercy. Benevolently, HE reminds us “For indeed, with hardship will be ease (94.5).”

Well, Covid-19 and its timely occurrence, makes sense now. It’s here to make us caring inhabitants of a beautiful world. And lest we forget, humble servants of a gracious Lord!

Salman Danish Khan is a Freelance Journalist based at Jaipur, India.

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