As the pandemic has turned the globe to a standstill, there are many lessons and blessings we can learn from it. Recently, I feel the following are such powerful reminders.
Allah’s power is absolute
When I think of how this microscopic virus has shaken the whole world and scared its inhabitants is truly perplexing.
In less than three months since China officially alerted WHO (on 31st. December 2019), the virus has become a pandemic that affected more than 600,000 people and killed more than 27,000 lives worldwide.
Glory be to Allah, no one and nothing has ever been able to stop ‘the normality’ of the world and scare people the way this virus does.
And all this happens because the Almighty decided to send one of His dominions. A microscopic living being called Corona.
Because of this creation of Allah — that our eyes can’t even see —everybody in this world is affected in some ways or another. Regardless of gender, race, age, locations, social status, financial status, political status — anything and anyone.
It simply shows the absolute power of Allah. Just like He says,
“Allah – none has the right to be worshipped but He – the Ever-Living, the one who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never compass anything of His knowledge except that which He wills. His knowledge except that which He wills. His throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding preserving them. And He is the Most-High, the Most-Great)” [ Q.S. 2:255 – Ayatul Kursi]
True colors of people
When the pandemic outbreak started, the whole nation was in panic buying. Shops were empty and running out of stocks. At the same time though, there were people selling stuff at a spiked up price.
My friend couldn’t find infant formulas for her newborn daughter at shops around her house. They found them online at a double price. And another friend found on Facebook that someone was selling infant formulas at five times as much as the original price.
This panic buying and instant sellers show us the true color of people. Regardless of what’s happening, there are always some people who just think about their number one most of the time – if not all the time.
Prayer and patience are the key life tools
As believers, we know that prayer and patience are our life keys. And the Quran mentions this so many times, right?
So the lockdown is a big reminder for us whether we have been using these keys in our lives.
Have we been praying properly? Have we just been performing our prayers to tick our obligation list? Or, have we been doing it because we wanted something of our Creator? And the worst is, have we even been praying at all?
The pandemic is a loud noisy call to believers to perform prayers. Not just prayers. But a mindful prayer to truly connect with the Almighty.
As for being patient, perhaps it’s time to ask ourselves. Have we been truly patient? We should also remind ourselves that patience is not only needed at a difficult time. It’s equally important during a happy time too. When everything is easy for us. Therefore, during this isolation, we should seek inside ourselves.
Has there been any form of patience within us? When things were challenging, have we been patient by striving to solve our problems at the same time remembering Allah? And when we were at ease, have we been patient not to let our happiness make us forget Allah? Have we been patient to control our behavior and attitude towards others? And have we been patient to control our desires to do things according to the law and regulations?
Perhaps this lockdown will give us more time to reflect upon prayer and patience.
Controlling one’s desire is a must
This pandemic also tries to remind ourselves whether we’ve been good at controlling our desires or not.
Before the lockdown, we had freedom in choosing what kind of food we wanted to have for the day, and how much we wanted to eat. Now, we have to carefully think and plan what we should cook and eat.
And we used to go out for work, school, entertainment, shopping, and even holiday. Now we have to be happy and content with doing everything at home.
Although we actually want things differently, we just have to cope with this stay-at-home and social distancing period. By doing whatever we can to carry on our daily lives.
So this self-isolation is actually a way of controlling our desires.
Humanity does exist
I stopped following the news years ago. Because I found it heartbreaking. News on wars, calamities, crimes, etc. are just too distressing. I felt that we, mankind, have been so selfish that humanity was kinda lost.
So, if there was any topic or breaking news that I wanted to know, I’d just ask my husband as he always follows the news.
However, the pandemic proved me wrong.
There is humanity.
In the past week, there have been hundreds of thousands of people volunteering in the UK alone — to help at health services, etc.
This shows me that humanity does exist, and there are good people with good hearts. They were just hiding. And they now came on the surface as they’re needed.
Time needs appreciation
Before the instruction of ‘stay at home’ was announced, I often heard myself saying, “I’m busy” or “I don’t have time” or “I wish I have more time”.
Now that I’m stuck in the house, I don’t need to do half of the stuff I used to do outside such as school runs, shopping, and working. Yes, I’m still busy. But if I’m being honest, ‘my busy-ness’ has more quality now.
Because the school run time is now used for chatting over breakfast or playing monopoly with the kids. Shopping time is now allocated for reading my book, learning something, or even doing exercise using YouTube. And now that I’m not working outside (I do a part-time job at a local library), I can use those free time to write (like I’m doing this piece) or to video-talk with family and friends.
My 3 years old nephew said to his mom last week, “I love this lockdown because I get to spend more time with mommy and daddy”… Bless him.
So really, this pandemic reminds me a lot about how to appreciate the time that I spend.
Don’t take your family and friends for granted
Thanks to the advanced technology, during this social distancing period we can keep in touch with our ‘loved ones’ via phone calls or video calls, can’t we?
Do me a favor, list down the people you want to connect most of the time. Because it shows you that those are the ones you truly care about.
I’ve been in isolation for almost two weeks now. I can feel who truly and genuinely cares about me. I appreciate those who make time to connect with me. Vice versa. I realize more who the ones that I care about are. And this makes me think that I know so many people in this world, but at the end of the day, there are only a few of them whom I can call family and friends.
So, remind ourselves, have we shown our love and care to those who we claim we care? And tell ourselves if we’ve been taking them for granted. Perhaps now it’s time for us to show them our appreciation and care. Text them. Ring them. Video-call them. Just connect while you have time. Right now.
Devy Dar, a blogger who owns and writes Thousands Of Miles Away, a lifestyle blog for women who relocated to a foreign land. Her topics revolve around self-improvement, motherhood, pregnancy, and life with kids.