Coronavirus – Conviction & Prevention – avoiding extremes

Summary of discourse by Shaykh Abdul Mueed Saheb (Hafizahullah)

Tuesday, 31 March 2020 – Khanqah Maseehiyyah, Sukkur, Pakistan

Our discussion has been evolving around  the current Coronavirus pandemic. How can the world find a way out from this difficulty ? What are the measures and approach that should be adopted ? Most importantly how we can re-establish our relationship with our Creator.

Principle solution

Undoubtedly the one principle solution for all our difficulties lies in turning to Allah Ta’ala, to repent and reform. At the same time we have the precautionary measures that are prescribed by the medical experts to help contain the spread of this virus. These measures must be adopted as part of our response. Islam has not prohibited us from adopting precaution, rather Islam encourages us to be responsible and adopt the measures that are required.

Modern medicine has benefited humanity

People have benefited tremendously from advancement in medicine, diagnosis and treatment. Many strides have been made in disease control that have contributed to better health, etc. With this epidemic, all measures must be employed to protect ourselves and the community. We cannot take an approach of ‘what happens will happen and leave it at that’. Together with adopting the precautionary measures we place our full trust in Allah Ta’ala.

Adopting the means is not contrary to Tawakkul 

To adopt preventative measures is an important requirement of Tawakkul (reliance on Allah). Washing the hands, personal hygiene, social distancing, isolation and the various mediums of precaution are essential and form part of reliance and trust in Allah Ta’ala.

However, when we adopt the means we should not place our trust in the means and believe that the precautionary measures are our saviour. This is incorrect. It is important to understand that the means itself does not have any effect, but effect is brought into our effort by Allah Ta’ala – this should be our conviction. 

So whilst adopting the means we believe that the means will only be effective if and when Allah Ta’ala puts effect in it. We could adopt the means, but without Allah’s decree of protection or cure nothing will happen.

Reliance in Allah should bring us closer to Him

If we believe firmly that effect in the means and precaution is from Allah Ta’ala, then our relationship with Him should be strengthened. Unfortunately, we are adopting precaution but have neglected the aspect of strengthening our relationship with Allah Ta’ala. Both aspects are required.

The path of moderation

When both precaution and conviction are combined then a person has taken the path of moderation, the path that Islam requires us to adopt. Otherwise merely adopting precaution alone and neglecting Tawakkul (reliance and conviction) is insufficient. Similarly, only adopting ‘conviction’ and discarding precaution is insufficient.

Avoiding the two extremes

Extremes must be avoided. Adopting the precautionary measures and neglecting reliance in Allah is one extreme. Having conviction that effect is from Allah Ta’ala and discarding precaution is the other extreme. Both extremes are contrary to the path of moderation and must be avoided. Islam requires us to take the path of moderation which is to adopt all precautionary measures and place full reliance and trust in Allah Ta’ala as the sole Protector.

The first step

To develop conviction and reliance and to reignite this relationship with Allah Ta’ala is the first step. This requires us to engage in sincere Tauba (repentance). Taubah literally means to turn from the path of misguidance and disobedience to the path of guidance and obedience. 

The wrong road

A person who intends to travel to Karachi takes the road to Lahore. Along the way he realises that he is on the wrong road and he has wasted so much of time and fuel. He now redirects his vehicle and takes the direction to Karachi. This change of direction is called ‘Taubah’ – when a person realises that he is on the wrong path and now chooses the right path.

Heart at ease 

The greatest benefit of taking the right path is that a person feels ease at heart – the conviction that I am moving in the right direction. This peace and fulfilment can only be enjoyed by a person who is on the right path. 

There is nothing easier than making Allah Ta’ala happy. Do not wait for anything – make amends now and repent. If shaytaan doesn’t get tired of misguiding us why should we get tired of making Taubah. Taubah weakens the effort of shaytaan and makes him despondent as all his efforts to mislead a person are spoilt.