“And We will surely test you with instances of fear and hunger and with (a loss of) wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return." Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.” (2:155-57)

Never in our lives have we experienced such ravaging adversity. For the first time in the history of the world, all of humanity is confronted with the same existential threat, consumed by the same fears and uncertainties. Our interventions to date have largely focused on mitigating the rate of infections more commonly referred to as ‘flattening the curve’. As Muslims; as people of faith our response to the pandemic must be markedly different to those who do not see the power of Allah, His sovereignty and His forewarnings clearly evident in a microscopic virus 10,000 times smaller than a grain of salt yet is able to bring humanity to its knees.

This is a time to introspect and self- reform - “Allah never changes the condition of a people until they change themselves. (13:11)” A change in our condition depends on our willingness to trace our steps back to Allah.  We are but travellers in this world navigating our way to Allah. We often times miss ‘a spiritual turn’ and loose our sense of direction.  We need to find our way back to Allah by repenting and desisting from sin if we want Allah to change our circumstances from difficulty to ease.

Do not despair - “Never give up hope of Allah’s Soothing Mercy: truly, no one despairs of Allah’s Soothing Mercy except those who have no faith.” (12:87) Allah the most High said: “I am as my servant thinks I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking I go to him swiftly.” [Bukhari]

Remain Optimistic - “Hoping for good is also an act of worship of Allah” (Tirmidhi) “Do not ruin your happiness with worry, and do not ruin your mind with pessimism. Do not ruin your success with deception and do not ruin the optimism of others by destroying it. Do not ruin your day by looking back at yesterday” (Ibn Qayyim) 

Play your role - Get involved in providing relief to those in distress “Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter. Whoever alleviates [the situation of] one in dire straits who cannot repay his debt, Allah will alleviate his lot in both this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever conceals [the faults of] a Muslim, Allah will conceal [his faults] in this life and the Hereafter. (Muslim)  We have a religious duty to assist and provide for the under privileged, poor and down trodden whether they be Muslim or non-Muslim.  

Be a Bearer of Good News - “Give glad tidings, and do not scare people away. Make things easy, and do not make things difficult” (Abu Dawood).

Spend more time in dua - “Supplicate to Allah Almighty and be certain that He will answer your prayer” (Tirmidhi). “Dua made at Tahajjud is like an arrow which does not miss its target”. – Imam ash-Shafi (RA).

Send blessings upon the Prophet (SallAllahu alalyhi wa sallam) - When the companion Ubai Ibn Ka’ab (radiya Allahu anho) asked the Messenger what would happen if he dedicated all of his supplications towards sending blessings on the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The Prophet replied “Your needs will be satisfied and your sins will be forgiven”.

Give charity to those who are most affected. - “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Tirmidhi)

Take adequate precautions - Adopt the necessary safeguards but keep your gaze and reliance on Allah.

May Allah shower all those who have passed on with His mercy and His forgives, and may He grant shifa to the ill and sabr to the bereaved.

Issued by the Presidency

7 January 2021