By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
We are living in extraordinary times. The world is in the grip of a pandemic and world governments are making wide-ranging efforts to control the spread of the disease and ensure the safety of their citizens.
The recent incident in Delhi, where the Tablighi Jamaat held a meeting of hundreds of followers, ignoring the Delhi government’s directive – to maintain social distancing to prevent spread of the current novel coronavirus pandemic – has led to further spread of infection, compromising lives. Aware that this disease spreads on contact like wildfire, the Jamaat should have cancelled the meeting.
According to a Hadith, the Prophet of Islam advised, “Those with contagious diseases should be kept away from those who are healthy” (Bukhaari, 6771). But the actions of the Jamaat were not in line with this teaching of the Prophet.
A person of faith is also a responsible citizen. He upholds the law of the land and follows what is good for his fellow citizens. Complying with government-formulated rules and medical advice of experts are essential obligations, incumbent upon each one of us. These precautions are to secure the safety and health of all citizens – no one has the authority to override them. More than ever, it has become imperative in today’s times to be resilient, abide by all regulations and use the time at hand to reflect and pray for the common welfare.
News reports say that more than one hundred countries worldwide are observing either a partial or full lockdown in an attempt to flatten the curve. While this is affecting billions of people across the globe, and some are critical of it, even flouting it, lockdown is currently seen to be the only measure to slow spread of the disease, as there is no cure or vaccine available. Lockdown entails stringent restrictions and cessation of movement of people only for a temporary period, during which time all essential services are being made available
While the lockdown is adversely impacting livelihoods of some people, it is also an opportunity for contemplation and reflection. For those whose basic needs are being met, this period could be a time to evaluate lifestyles and re-adopt the maxim, “Simple living, high thinking”. As we are forced to stay indoors and away from outdoor and industrial activities, it is time to work on our spiritual quotient and do some introspection.
This is a good time to acknowledge the truth that a healthy body is a divine gift. Let’s also acknowledge that life-sustaining resources, including the air we breathe and the water we drink, are divine gifts, too – they are not made by us human beings. Becoming aware of our powerlessness to survive without nature coupled with the realisation of our interdependencies, of the need to support each other, of observing regulations and complying with rules that benefit all of us, will ensure that together, we ably meet the current challenges.
The government has put together a set of guidelines to prevent rampant spread of disease. Clear instructions have been laid out to follow personal hygiene standards and practise social distancing. According to a Hadith recorded in Musnad Ahmad, the Prophet of Islam said, “The plague (contagion) patient who remains in his home with patience and expectation of reward, knowing that nothing will befall him other than Allah’s decree, will attain the reward.”
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.