The year 2020 has been a whirlwind. Even before we are finished with one disturbing piece of news, the media flashes the very next one which is even more horrific to deal with.
All conspiracy theories, intellectual calculations, and speculations aside, one element is common in all the unraveling incidents: man finds himself more and more vulnerable and out of control. In spite of great advances in technology and commendable efforts in effective governance by the economic superpowers of the world, we cannot seem to prevent or contain what is to come next.
Natural disasters and epidemics do not differentiate between the developed nations and the third world countries (developing nations). They seem to believe in globalization too – maybe because the world today has increasingly unified in perspectives and behaviour. Wasn’t that the aim of globalization – that a person sitting in New York should respond to any event the same way as a person in Lahore?
I would like to humbly list some possibilities as to what these startling events may be geared towards. Only Allah (swt), the Al-Hakeem (The All-Wise), has the true knowledge and keys to the unseen world. And He Alone decides best for us. And We submit to his Divine Will.
- It could be an answer to a believer’s prayer
China recently allowed Muslims access to the Quran – a great incentive, indeed. A social media video that went viral showed Chinese Muslims embracing and kissing the Noble Book. A Momin’s value is such that an entire nation of disbelievers can be replaced for him. Remember Musa (sa) vs. Pharaoh?
Our Prophet (sa) also stated that there is no veil between Allah (swt) and the invocation of the oppressed. If the light of faith is to reach the one who wants it, Allah (swt) will change the course of the rest of the world that is filled with people who have little or no faith at all.
- It could be the capitalist society’s new gimmick to get richer
At the turn of the year 2000, scores of IT companies made millions. They convinced corporations and governments that the second the hour strikes the year 2000, all computers will become dysfunctional. Naturally, everyone ran from pillar to post to get their computer systems updated to stay operational and effective. Who benefited from this deal? The software houses of course.
Fast forward to the present times. Who is benefiting from the high sale of hand sanitizers and face masks and the vaccine they will come up with finally? This time it’s the pharmaceutical companies. In Italy desperate shoppers were fighting with each other, the police had to be called to guard aisles, and stores decided to ration food as everyone started stocking up food and medicine supplies. This actually posed a threat to the actual patients and health workers who were at real risk in case the supplies ran out.
- It could be a revival of the concept of Qadr (destiny)
When we over-plan and rely only on our intellect, sometimes we get a reality check. Events throw us out of control. In spite of our bitterness and frustration, we are put in place. It is similar to when a child is given time out to think over his behaviour.
The material world’s repeated mantra today is to gain control over everything in life. Why? Because you will live only once! So it is now or never. When the concept of an afterlife is deleted from the screen, this life becomes overly precious and must be lived to the fullest and with absolute freedom of choice.
“What is destined will reach you, even if it is underneath two mountains. What is not destined will not reach you, even if it is between your two lips!”
“Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allah’s decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from you it cannot flee.” (Umar Ibn Al-Khattab [may Allah be pleased with him])
- It could be a reminder to pay heed and hasten to perform good deeds
Reminders are good. We all have them on our smart phones and other electronic gadgets to schedule every second of our life.
It would be a good idea to start investing some time in our spiritual health also.
This could be a sign to motivate us to fear our Lord and repent to Him. Make a new start and reach our potential of goodness. Switch from auto pilot to manual and lead a more conscious and purposeful life. Muslims know that they were sent to this Earth on a mission: to worship Allah (swt) and establish His laws for the benefit of the humanity.
We have entered a race against time. To think good, do good, and expect good from the Creator, in sha Allah.
- It could be a warning that disbelief will not cancel the Day of Judgement
“And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves [saying to them]: Am I not your Lord? They said: Yes, we have testified. [This] – lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: Indeed, we were of this unaware.” (Al-Araf 7:172)
Many people consider religion a personal choice. Some take it as optional. However, it is absence of true faith, rather than its presence, that has created more trouble in this world. Every religion preaches subservience to God and mercy and justice to His creation. When we stopped practicing our faiths, a new breed of selfish, power-and-wealth-hungry generation emerged. And they are out to prove that they are in control. No deception is greater than this.
Lastly, Allah (swt) Al-Wali (The Close Protecting friend) is our best ally Whom we can trust. “Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.” (Al-Imran 3:73)
By the way, the corona virus obeys only Him. It will not strike anyone who was not destined to be inflicted by Allah’s (swt) Will.
May Allah swt protect and guide all. Ameen.