Salam Alaykum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuh
In the previous post, we covered how COVID has changed our lives and examined how this relates to our Islamic Consciousness. There’s no doubt that Muslims are currently dealing with two realities essentially — our Islamic reality and the loss of the lifestyle and benefits we all enjoyed Pre-COVID. Can these two be reconciled? Or do we have to chose one over the other? Or are they one and the same? Let’s examine each one in its own virtue instead of rushing to arrive at a quick conclusion. We’ll start with life before COVID.
Without a doubt, our collective lives before COVID revolved around our daily activities in the societies we lived in — Going to work, earning money, taking kids to school, catching up with friends and family, travelling, etc. In other words, we lived totally within the societal construct we were part of and attached our expectations of the future to this societal construct. Now COVID has taken a lot of these constructs and activities away and we are left with a painful heart, asking ourselves: is this real?
Was life before COVID real? This questions boils down to the fundamental way we view our reality. Humans essentially view reality in two forms, consciously or unconsciously: Materially and Spiritually via our Islamic faith. In asking if our previous lifestyles are coming back, we are expressing our attachments to them as a true reflection of reality. Which is closer to reality? The material view or the Islamic view? The answer has to be the one that’s unchanging and remains the same regardless of circumstances.
The answer to the question of if our pre-COVID lives were real can be applied to any society. If you lived in Africa and emigrated to the UK for example, was your African life real? Why did you chose to leave? Ibrahim (ASW) was born in the Ancient City of Ur — why does this society not really exist today?
The message of Ibrahim (ASW) has been preserved for thousands of years yet the society he originally inhabited lies in ruins. Perhaps there’s a clue here — that the important thing for a Muslim is to adhere to the faith and its message rather than being stuck to current societal conditions. In other words, reality as we see it is not the real thing. The only real truth is the direction our Islamic faith takes us — much like the traveller emigrating to another land. As the Qur’an details coincidentally, most prophets were travellers from Mohammed (SAW) to Musa (ASW) to Isa (ASW) & Yusuf (ASW).
If this is the case, then did we forget the message by becoming addicted to our lifestyles and material expectations? Did we forget Allah can raise societies to provide for us and also take them down? Have we forgotten the story of Lut (ASW) who inhabited the land of Sodom (Sadum) where its inhabitants prided themselves on their life of hatred, sodomy, robbery and evil acts? Verily, Allah commanded Lut (ASW) to leave the town and warn the inhabitants to change lest his wrath fall on them. However, they refused to obey. Lut was asked to leave his comfortable life in the city and emigrate.
“So we saved him and his family, all, except an old woman (his wife) among those who remained behind. Then afterward We destroyed the others. We rained on them a rain of torment. How evil was the rain of those who had been warned. Verily, in this is indeed a sign yet most of them are not believers. Verily! Your Lord, He is indeed the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.”Al-Qur’an 26:170–175
The Qur’an is loaded with proofs of Allah bringing sudden destruction and changes to society to suit his will. What about the story of Nuh and Allah’s message to him to warn his people of impending destruction?
We sent NūH to his people (and said to him): “Warn your people before a painful punishment comes to them.” Al-Qur’an71:1
These examples demonstrate without fail that our human material realities are always subject to change. The only unchanging factor in the history of mankind is Allah’s Will. Everything else bends to suit it, not the other way around. If this is the case, then it follows that the permanence of our societal appearances and lifestyles are a mirage. They appear to be permanent and consistent but in essence, they are always changing. In physics, it explains that all physical objects are made up of atoms with the nucleus at the centre and the electrons constantly orbiting around the nucleus. This process is entirely invisible if we look at material objects on the surface. Spirituality follows a similar logic. The core of the action is always within — Allah is always in action! Hence, we can’t become too distracted and must remain in a contemplative state of Taqwa in order to know his will at any given instance in time — this was the duty of all prophets, hence why their paths and actions were unpredictable to those around them and they were called “Magicians” and “Madmen”.
So if we are right that our Pre-COVID life was an illusion and the only permanent truth is our constantly evolving Islamic Consciousness, then COVID must be serving a purpose in line with this logic. It follows then that one of the following two scenarios must be happening:
- Life is good worldwide. There’s nothing to worry about. We only need to hold onto our faith and wait for Allah to bring the next phase of blessings upon us.
So, undoubtedly, along with the hardship there is ease. Undoubtedly, along with the hardship there is ease. Al Qur’an 94:5–6
2. We’re going through a phase similar to that which the people of Nuh (ASW) and Lut (ASW) went through and there would be a great reckoning to enable Islamic Consciousness to proceed globally undisturbed as the only new reality
In the next post, we’ll explore which one of these scenarios is closest to our current reality.