As isolation measures increase and countries around the world place their citizens into total lockdown, a very peculiar thing is taking place without us realising.
The situation is actually making the world more inclined towards the Muslim way of life and you don’t have to look far to see how.
People around the world are spending more time with their families, pubs, casinos, and clubs are now officially closed, in certain countries alcohol has been banned, people are washing more regularly and it’s suddenly become socially acceptable not to shake hands (this is quite significant considering Muslims have long struggled with explaining why we don’t shake hands with the opposite gender).
On the economic front, we’ve also seen interest rates reduce to zero, a clear win for Islamic finance. The President of the USA, out of all people, has even held a National Day of Prayer and people have begun shifting their hope towards a Higher Power.
And while yes, the virus at first led people into a wild frenzy of greed and selfishness, the chaos has slowly given rise to a communal spirit of giving and charity. Most of us have now become more conscious of the circumstances of those around us including their neighbours and the forgotten of society.
We’ve also seen a new wave of gratitude flooding communities, particularly with the amount of respect and appreciation shown towards health personnel, doctors and nurses. Men and women who truly deserve respect.
A notable mention should be made of the first four doctors in the UK to succumb to the disease while fighting it on the frontlines, all of whom were Muslim. Alfa Sa’adu; Amged el-Hawrani; Adil El Tayar and Habib Zaidi were frontline doctors who died after contracting COVID-19. We also make mention of our sister, Areema Nasreen, a Muslim Nurse in UK, who also sadly passed away after fighting the disease. May Allah have mercy on them all and grant them Paradise.
Yet what stands out the most for me right now, is the interesting stance many have now taken towards face coverings. Countries like France, Austria, Denmark, Norway and Netherlands who have long been at odds with the Islamic face covering, even in some instances banning them altogether, are now embracing the cloth without hesitation. In fact, some of these countries have made such a dramatic transition that they’ve even enforced the covering by law!
This means that the same cloth which would have once left you with a hefty fine for being worn, will now leave you with a hefty fine for not being worn!
If that isn’t enough, we’re actually seeing the face-covering being paraded in French fashion shows! It’s ironic that the very face covering which was once deemed antithetical to safety is now being viewed as essential to ensure our safety. The very face covering which was once seen as counterintuitive to social cohesion is now viewed as the protecting force of our social fabric.
To make matters even more interesting, Donald Trump himself has even jumped on the bandwagon encouraging not only face coverings but Hijabs as well!
Could it have been that everyone has now had a change of heart – or have they too fallen to the Muslim effects of this virus? We sure pray that this tragic virus comes to an end soon and we can all get on with our lives once again as normal, and we sincerely pray that Allah alleviates all the suffering around the world caused by this disease, but until then I’m sure it’s left us with a lot to think about.
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