Saad Waraich, University of Waterloo, Canada
Our world is at war with a rapidly growing pandemic which has taken away thousands of lives globally. More than one-third of the world’s population is currently under some form of lockdown. Countless lives have been disrupted due to workplace closures and isolation, leaving many in stress, loss, loneliness and in need of help. Amidst all this, lives are being lost every hour to this virus.
All these factors and the drastic changes in daily life can lead to a rise in clinical depression among people, which also harms their immunity. Hence, as we practice self-quarantine to keep ourselves and others safe, it is becoming increasingly vital to stay connected with each other during this outbreak.
The Holy Quran teaches:
“And worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and show kindness to parents, and to kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and to the neighbour that is a kinsman and the neighbour that is a stranger, and the companion by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom your right hands possess. Surely, Allah loves not the proud and the boastful.” (Surah al-Nisa, Ch.4: V.37)
Social isolation can have a negative impact on physical and mental health; therefore, it is imperative to reach out to your relatives, family, neighbours and friends just to connect with them on how they are coping and if they require any sort of assistance.
Help especially those who are elderly with essential things like grocery and prescription pick-ups. This way not only will people know how much you care about them, but at the same time, you’ll feel better as well. With modern means of quick communication like WhatsApp, FaceTime, Google Duo etc. it has become very easy to voice or video call your loved ones.
Such platforms can also be used to form groups where relatives can instantly know about each other’s health, request prayers and give emotional support to reduce panic or worries.
Try having conversations unrelated to Covid19, to divert frustration from the outbreak to positive thoughts and feelings. Plan certain activities together like group reading and discussions on the books of Promised Messiah, peace be upon him, and other literature. You can also play a boardgame or any indoor game with family for recreation.
The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:
“Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him keep the ties of relations.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
This worldwide crisis we are going through may not end soon. By reaching out and caring for each other, we can at least overcome the struggles during this period, together forming stronger bonds of empathy and kinship. Moreover, during this time, we should specially pray a lot for ourselves and others. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, recently said:
“Most of all, as I said in my previous sermons, give heed greatly towards prayers. Through prayers we can absorb the blessings and grace of Allah the Almighty and we can maintain a healthy spiritual and physical state. The Promised Messiahas has repeatedly admonished us towards this … May Allah enable mankind to fulfil the rights of one another and to recognise God Almighty. May Allah enable all of us to fulfil this.” (27 March 2020)