One important lesson the coronavirus has taught the world, is that one of its smallest inhabitants has been able to disrupt life as we know it. The virus with an average diameter of around 120 nanometre has made no distinction between the less and more developed nations or whether somebody is rich, educated or beautiful. What is has done, is force us to take a step back from the life we were leading and re-evaluate any short and long-term life goals we might have set, as the life we are living suddenly become very fragile.
How one deals with difficulty in life is dependent on one’s beliefs and values which in turn influence their thoughts and actions. As Muslims we have been blessed with the guidance of the Most High, the Creator of all that surrounds us, including the coronavirus.
So when we as Muslims ponder over the fragility of life, and how we need to integrate this concept correctly, when shaping our own lives. We will turn to the Quran and the Sunnah in order to get the correct guidance and help us make the right decisions.
For example Allah (swt) having created us, knows that many of our life-goals are related to the desire to accumulating wealth. So He (swt) warns us for this in the Quran: الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلًا “Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one’s] hope.” [Surah Al-Kahf 18:46]
Allah (swt) said, يَوْمَ لا يَنْفَعُ مَالٌ وَلا بَنُونَ * إِلاَّ مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ “The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children- But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart.” [Surah ash-Shura’a 26:88-89].
These verses remind us and shape our thoughts and actions so that we do not supersede the more important matters such as, striving in good deeds for the sake of our desires or attaining our worldly goals, e.g. collecting wealth.
The more we are reminded that our current reality is fragile the more we will be inclined to invest in the “never-ending” which proceeds it. In other words, when we live life knowing that it is temporary and a test for what is to come, we will not become obsessed with enjoying ourselves and disregarding the limits that Allah (swt) placed.
Abu Huraira (ra) reported Allah’s Messenger ﷺ as saying: «إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَنْظُرُ إِلَى صُوَرِكُمْ وَأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَلَكِنْ يَنْظُرُ إِلَى قُلُوبِكُمْ وَأَعْمَالِكُمْ» “Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your heart and to your deeds.” [Muslim]
And the correct understanding of the fragility of this life helps us deal with calamities when they befall us such as when the honourable Sa’ad ibn Muadh (ra) died and his mother wept and RasulAllah ﷺ told her, «أَلَا يَرْقَأُ (ينقطع) دَمْعُكِ، وَيَذْهَبُ حُزْنُكِ، فَإِنَّ ابْنَكِ أَوَّلُ مَنْ ضَحِكَ اللَّهُ لَهُ، وَاهْتَزَّ لَهُ الْعَرْشُ» “Your tears would recede and your sorrow be lessened if you know that your son is the first person for whom Allah smiled and His Throne trembled.” [At-Tabarani].
Thinking about the fragility of life should make us want to correct our lives, by understanding our purpose in life. It should encourage us to study the Deen in order to understand our obligations to Allah in detail, and to do everything in our might to stay away from His prohibitions. It should also make us yearn for the day that we see every single hukm (rule) that Allah (swt) ordained implemented and it should make us place being part of a movement which calls for the return of Islam at the top of our priorities.
أَرَضِيتُم بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا مِنَ الآخِرَةِ فَمَا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فِي الآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ
“Are you pleased with the life of this world rather than the Hereafter? But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter.” [Al-Taubah: 38]
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir