Albeit somewhat nervously, schools have been given the green light to open in England while the coronavirus is still at large. The “goddess” of science had months to manifest a miracle, but has thus far been on a roller-coaster of its own to find a solution.
Those who held “science” as the only solace for humanity and rejected the proof – and need – for divine support and the existence of the Powerful God, have been left in the dark, once again. The age-old advice of containment, distancing, hygiene and masks have been regurgitated as the only lifeline to stop the spread.
With no vaccine or definite medicine available yet, governments are rather cautiously opening the economy and now, schools. Most of the public are in a mirage, believing the virus is over; however, new cases and deaths continue to spike, fall and fluctuate throughout the world; the US, Brazil, Russia, Mexico and Spain still experience horrifying numbers of cases and deaths. (Johns Hopkins CSSE)
The UK too has seen a rise in cases, this time amongst younger people. At the same time, schools have opened with a tone of reluctance and anxiety amongst scores of parents who are unsure of the right thing to do.
In hindsight, whether the decisions to open the economy, ease lockdown restrictions and opening educational institutions are wise decisions, we must maintain great caution and care going forward.
Islam – a way of life – sanctifies human life and implements injunctions to protect us from suffering. Details of Quranic teachings and those of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, about pandemics and illnesses have been shared on several occasions by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa in his Friday Sermons and we have also published articles in Al Hakam on this topic.
The importance of good hygiene has been stressed in the Quran, “Indeed, Allah loves those who turn to Him [repenting] and he loves those who keep themselves clean and pure.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.223)
The Holy Prophetsa advised quarantine:
“If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
He even spoke of social distancing, saying, “Do not place a sick patient with a healthy person.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
Even the Promised Messiahas, during the plague outbreak, advised his Jamaat members to take precautionary measures. He said that along with prayer “also utilise the practical means and resources that are available. In other words, fully and comprehensively adopt all precautionary measures.”
He further said, “Let it be clear that to help such people does not mean that one should become infected themselves through close contact with the infected person by the contamination from their breathing or clothes.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 9, pp. 251-253)
At the start of the coronavirus outbreak, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa spoke of how, during the outbreak of influenza in 1918, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra took precautionary measures in Qadian such as taking cinnamon infused water etc. (Friday Sermon, 10 April 2020)
As schools, workplaces and shops open, we have already noticed a spike in cases. The UK will now make gatherings of over six people illegal. We, as believers, need to keep in mind the caution our religion has taught, as the Holy Quran advises, “and cast not yourselves into ruin with your own hands…” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.196)
The saying of the Holy Prophetsa, that a believer is never stung from the same hole twice, is also imperative for the current atmosphere. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
As we follow the rules of the government, wherever we live, it is vital to ensure caution on an individual level and remember the suffering of those who have been affected already. Our greatest protection, as Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa has continuously said, is prayer and the help of Allah the Almighty.
Huzooraa, during the height of the pandemic, said:
“We should always remember that the path to prayer is always open to us. We must prostrate before God Almighty with the conviction that He has kept the path to prayer open for us and that He listens to our supplications. If one bows before God, being ever inclined to Him, He answers our prayers in whatever manner He deems best.
“In general, we should be praying for ourselves, our dear ones, our relatives, for the Jamaat and for mankind in general. There are many in the world – among whom there may also be Ahmadis as well – who do not have precautionary equipment or medical facilities available to them, nor do they have the adequate provisions for food and drink. May Allah the Almighty have mercy on them all and on us too.” (Friday Sermon, 10 April 2020)