To protect the Covid-19 impacts, I received an email from my work to stay home. I am currently working from home and thought to write the blog post. (13 March 2020) The current situation of coronavirus attack has taught some important lessons and improved my thoughts and doings.
My plans are cancelled and Allah's plans are working
Corona virus has spread quickly in all parts of the world. Due to the global health instructions, all university classes are planned to be held virutally and many things are cancelled in Finland where I live. A conference workshop is been cancelled, which I was planning to participate in (23-26 March 2020) as a pannel speaker in Sweden. International tavelling is strongly prohibited. I have had planned many things, such as, meeting with some Pakistani and Arab families who have invitied me to visit them and participate together in some events and meetings with few participants for interviews for my research. I had also planned some shopping from Sweden (especially my favoutire Protienella, which I am not able to find in Finalnd) :( Many other local classes, meetings, workshops and events are cancelled. The situation has reminded me that: there is "I who have PLANS for me and there is Allah who also have PLANS for me and Allah’s plans are always the best and better for me". I need to be conscious of Allah, who is my creator and who controls things. It is a reminder to review my actions and behavior towards others and ask forgiveness for my sins from Allah and others. I should trust that Allah’s plans are more powerful and better for me. Be calm in my heart and do not panic.
An opportunity to get closer to Allah Praying for all of usI was delaying daily prayers (Namaz) due to work-related meetings, classes or studies. I was not reading Quran and Tahajud daily, as I used to do before, due to the busy work life. I always had a guilt in my heart, that I am making these obligatory things (daily prayers etc.) pending, just because of the temporary things (office work, university classes, gym classes, doctor’s appointments, events, meetings, travelling etc.). These everyday life committments have eaten all my time and energy which actually should be primarily saved for obeying Allah. Now, most of the things are closed down which have kept me busy (my workplace, university, classes, gym, meetings and travelling etc.). I beleive that it is a reminder for me to get closer to Allah, obey His commands before other things in my life and recall my mistakes (spritually and others). I can increase the amount of time spending on the Quran, listening to Islamic reminders and other knowledge that makes me feel spiritually happy.
Value the food
Today I visited the local supermarket for buying basic grocery and found that people were almost fighting to get the food in queue in a store. I could not find wheat flour, rice, lentils, cooking oil and other very basic stuff on the shelves. Most of the shelves were empty. This situtaion has made me feel that we all are struggling for our lives today and not caring about any other things. Life and health comes first. We have never been taking care of our health and life before in a good way. We always overuse our bodies for different workloads, which is not good for our health. Most importantly, I have realized that “I might not have been valuing and respecting the food in a proper way, which I should do now”. Again, as Allah says, “I will test you with fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and fruits” (Surah Baqrah). At the same time, He also promises to reward the patience during the test. I have learned many good things from this test. Hoping for the best to happen soon.
Count on the neglected blessings
As we practice and endure social isolation and even quarantine, I should stop thinking of what I may be missing out on and start considering the ways that time could be spent in attaining knowledge and getting closer to Allah. I should use this time to be thankful for all those overlooked blessings and opportunities that I had before. The blessings that I took for granted and never realised that how difficult it could be without these things/freedoms:
I miss my office @Åbo Akademi
to have a good health
eat whatever I want, anything, anytime (no shortage of food)
travel anytime anywhere (explore new places)
travel to meet my family and beloved anytime
go to Umrah anytime easily
go to gym anytime
go to office and work anytime
go for shopping anytime
to have a people’s community around me
and uncountable everyday (tiny) blessings
A lesson for me that I can have greater appreciation for all these blessings, be thankful to Allah for everything and continue the same in future. The thankfulness behavior also encourages me to help others who does not have these blessings which I have.
Feelings for others
We have never thought of feelings for those who have fear of death in their everyday lives (e.g. people in Syria, Gaza, Iraq, Kashmir etc.) and many Muslims have been threaten to be killed by going to the mosques or by wearing Hijab in different part of the world (e.g. India right now). They have faced fear of death everyday and now, we all fear of death and illness due to the coronavirus attack. I have developed more empathy for vulnerable people due to the current situation.