Posted on Mar 13, 2020
The news around the coronavirus pandemic is changing and updating so rapidly that it's hard to keep up, especially if you are plugged into various social media platforms and/or WhatsApp groups. Umrah visas to Saudi Arabia have been temporarily stopped, access to the Ka'aba briefly shut down for deep cleaning and crowds severely restricted, masajid closed down; halaqas, Sunday school classes and even Jummah prayers cancelled.
It's a lot to wrap our heads around, I know. Like you, I'm worried as well. But this is a time to dig deep and tie our rope even tighter to Allah (S) and trust in His infinite wisdom and mercy, to be smart and listen and follow the public health guidelines we are receiving in our various communities.
The Ka'aba being cleaned in Makkah. Image source: Business Insider
As my friend and colleague Hena Zuberi, editor over at MuslimMatters.org and director of Justice for All wrote on Facebook (excerpted from her status update):
"We love our masajid and want to pray there but sometimes community leadership has to make tough decisions.
I see many of our siblings freaking out over Masjid closures, acting like there has never been a snowstorm or masjid closed due to iced parking lots. Yes, scholars say if you die of the plague, you get the reward of dying as a Shaheed (May we be blessed with that position) however they cannot endanger the entire community because of this.
Think of #CoVID19 as a storm. Sometimes they wreck havoc and sometimes they pass over us and through the Mercy of Allah, we don’t feel the effects. Either way we keep holding on to the Beloved rope of Allah.
Please don’t make it difficult for imams and board members who decide to close. It is a heavy burden they are lifting and are not making these decisions lightly. Many of them are volunteers and have spent hours away from family with health officials to come to a final decision. ...
We are a community of balance – we don’t have to go into panic mode just because others are panicking. We don’t hoard because others are hoarding. And we take sensible precautions. We use this opportunity from the hectic life we live to reconnect with family, neighbors, the Quran. Think of ways we can be a benefit to our communities. Think of the homeless, those in senior centers, those without insurance or who can’t work. We are the Best of creation. We are the Ummah of the Habib (saw), let’s act like it.
*We tie our camel and trust Allah.* ..."
I appreciate her words because I understand the immense thought and reflection our leaders have put into making these decisions regarding our religious institutions and congregational prayers. This is a time for us to take heed and reflect, to adhere to precautions and try and live with full faith in Allah (S). As I was telling my youngest son this morning, it's so telling and humbling to think about how a virus that we cannot see is affecting the world so profoundly.
If you are a person of faith, there are immense lessons to learn here, about turning inwards in our prayers, working on our relationship with the Quran and Allah (S). As Dr. Ingrid Mattson says here:
We might benefit by considering our ethically-mandated social distancing also an opportunity for spiritual retreat, to reset our intentions, perspectives and habits.— Dr. Ingrid Mattson (@IngridMattson) March 13, 2020
Consider reciting the following du'a after every prayer to help you and our community during these uncertain times.
Image source: TheIslamicInformation.com
Also this lecture from Sheikh Omar Suleiman of the Yaqeen Institute offers beautiful lessons we can learn from the time of the Amwas plague, the first plague to claim the lives of hundreds of sahaba (companions of the Prophet Muhammad saw) and thousands of people in the 7th century.
Be safe my friends. Take all the necessary precautions and leave the rest up to Allah (S). All of us here at Haute Hijab are praying for everyone's health, safety and protection.