COVID-19 has invited a rollercoaster of emotions into each and every home, somehow everyone has become affected by this – whether it be in little ways or big ways. Someone we know, whether they be in our homes, our friends, our acquaintances – are affected by this. Knowing this, where do Muslims fall amongst the many affected?
Firstly, fighting COVID-19 is tough, but one way to have prevention to this would be our own cleanliness. Personal hygiene matters, now more than ever! Health experts have been repeatedly saying washing our hands for at least 20 seconds will help prevent the virus. However, Islamically we have been taught personal hygiene for centuries. Keep washing your hands!
Being affected however, has become daunting on Muslims, alongside everyone else. One of our biggest blessings of performing Umrah, has been taken away from us and our biggest blessing Allah (SWT) has graced us with, the performance of Hajj has been taken away from us because of the closure of the Kaabah. Saudi Arabia suspended entry of any pilgrims coming to perform Hajj and Umrah, as early as February 27th.
With the closure of every local mosque, the blessing of going to the masjid for daily prayer has been taken away from us. The blessings of Jummah (Friday Prayers) in congregation, have been taken away from us. Yes, we can still get the blessings of congregation by praying at home, but it isn’t the same as hearing the Imam’s beautiful voice and praying amongst those you know and don’t know.
With the arrival of Ramadan, the blessings of praying Taraweeh every night has been taken away from us, abruptly. Ramadan is a time for us to take full advantage of the spiritual benefits, but it has a sense of excitement every year. The community iftars are taken away and if this continues, Laylatul Qadr, which is known as the most powerful night, may not feel the same to us. Spending all night at our local masjid, praying to Allah (SWT) will continue to be stripped away. If this continues, our most joyous occasion of Eid, will be taken away from us because we cannot partake in the performance of Eid namaz in congregation, alongside everyone who participated in the month of Ramadan.
With COVID-19, comes opportunity – opportunity for Muslims to bring the teachings of Islam into their homes because of the closure of masjids. With the blessings of going to the mosques being taken away, we need to find ways – small or big to bring Islam into our lives, now more than ever. Yes COVID-19 has impacted and affected Muslims and the rest of the world in various ways, we have to look at the blessings and opportunities it has brought us also.
Prophet Muhammad has advised us with: “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; if the plague outbreaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.”