Lessons Learned from Corona Virus

Shamsi Ali (Nusantara Foundation President)

Based on our theological belief stand point, we believe that nothing happens in life without any meanings and lessons to learn. And people of knowledge are commanded to ponder and reflect on every phenomenon of our life.

The Quran told us: “And ponder of people of knowledge” (fa’tabiru yaa ulil albaab).

Allah the Almighty reminds: “do you think we created you uselessly?”.

In other words every creation has a purpose, including the creation of any virus such as Corona, be it known to us or not known. “Allah knows and we don’t” (Quran).

Corona virus teaches many things, such as the following:

First, Corona virus teaches us of our own limitations. That we are weak and incapable of many things. It is the time to realize the existence of the Being who is Powerful and unlimited on all things. Who is capable on every thing (wa huwa alaa kulli shaein Qadiir).

Second, Corona virus reminds us of the limited knowledge we have, and that above all who have knowledge there is the Most Knowledgable. “And you have not been given knowledge except a little” (Quran).

Allah also says: “wa fawqa kulli dzi ilmin Aliim” (above every knowledgeable there is Who He is all Knowing” (Quran).

Third, Corona virus teaches us what does it mean to be Brothers and Sisters. Our human solidarity is deeply tested. In time of crisis you will see the real hearts, minds and characters of the people around you. Can we act more humane in this time of crisis? Can we demonstrate more our love and compassion for all?

As Jesus (peace be upon him) told us: “and love your neighbors as your self”

And Muhammad (peace be upon him) told us: “love for others what you love for others”.

Or we are becoming wild and animalistic in our behaviors and actions? Tend to manipulate for example basic goods prices in time of crisis? God knows!

Particularly, Corona virus uncovers the real behaviors of many of our politicians. In this deeply crisis time they are still thinking of their personal/party interests over the general people. They are in many ways behaving as NATO (no action, talk only). Some even talk to confuse the people around.

Fourth, Corona virus teaches us that humans, not matter how powerful and capable they are, can not have full control over their own life. This universe in under one full control. He is “As-Somad” (Self dependent and Self sufficient). Hold unto Him. While taking all necessary steps to fight against this creature, rely fully on Him.

The Quran reminds: “and who ever rely upon Allah, He is sufficient for him”.

Fifth, Corona virus teaches us the mystery of our future. That no one can predict what will happen tomorrow. So
Live your life with full confidence. Do the best and let God do the rest. Peace and confidence can only be attained by “camel the tie and trust your Lord for the rest”.

The Quran reminds us: “and no soul knows what he/she will do the following day” (wa laa tadrii nafsun maa qaddmaat li ghodin”.

Sixth, Corona virus also teaches us to always anticipate for our future, for best of worst. Corona and other viruses teach us that we need to be prepared when such pandemic happens. The richest nation on earth, United States of America, is an evident proof how nations are not prepared most of the time for such a worst thing to happen. In medical field alone this super power nation is a failure.

The Quran reminds: “and each soul shall see what he can do for his future” (wal tanzhur kullu nafsin maa qaddamat lighidin”.

Seventh, Corona virus teaches the Ummah globally to unite and learn to agree on most important dire issue of our community: fighting the virus. I have seen almost all Muslim scholars agree that suspending temporarily our congregational prayer in the mosques is justified by our Sharia. What a great sign. If this Ummah can unite themselves to fight a small creature that we consider a common enemy, why can’t we unite for bigger enemies such as poverty, ignorance and division itself?

Allah reminds us: “Hold all together to
The rope of Allah and disunite yourselves not”.

Eight, Corona virus also teaches us about the reality of the world we live in. Our world is deeply interconnected. No single nation can survive without the other. Our choice in front of us is only one: “Global Partnership”.

The Quran reminds: “O mankind, We created you from a single male and a female, and made you to nations and tribes so that you get to know one another (ta’aruf)”.

Ta’aruf means: building a sense of care, a commitment to share, and a political will to build a global partnership with all human family. And that nationalism is not a choice. And extreme “national oriented pride” can lead us into our global pandemic and our human destruction.

Jamaica Hills, March 26, 2020

Salam to all fiends, here and there!

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