We are in the midst of a dangerous pandemic. In my lifetime, I don’t know of any other situation that has forced the closure of places of worship, schools, workplaces and entire countries. Billions of people’s lives have been affected, and an unprecedented number of people are forced to stay in their homes due to lockdowns.
This is certainly a great test for humanity. As Allah subuhanawuta’la says in the Quran:
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” (Al-Baqarah, 155)
Is this test a punishment or a blessing for us?
When Aisha Radi Allahu Anha asked the Messenger of Allah (SAW) about something similar, Prophet (SAW) said:
“It (plague) is a punishment that Allah sends upon whomever he wills, but a mercy for the believers. Any servant who resides in a land afflicted by plague,
- remaining patient and hoping for a reward from Allah,
- knowing that nothing will befall him, but what Allah has decreed,
- he will be given the reward of a martyr.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
So a test can be a punishment or blessing depending on how you respond to it. If that test brings you closer to Allah and makes you a better person, then it is certainly a blessing for you. On the contrary, if your relationship with Allah is getting worse, then it becomes a punishment for you.
How do you ensure that these tests and difficulties are your blessings, not a punishment?
Utilise them to come closer to Allah subuhanawuta’la. In my humble opinion, the difficulty we are currently facing is undoubtedly a blessing for us in many ways, Alhamdulillah. I’m also confident that this pandemic will change the world permanently in many positive ways. There is an interesting article in Politico that summarises this succinctly.
In today’s article, my goal is to show you how you can turn this calamity into a blessing.
In Bestversions.me I teach Muslims to become the best version of themselves and provide them with a framework called WELL. WELL stands for Worship, Energy, Love and Legacy.
I would like to use the same framework to show you how you can turn this calamity into a blessing.
Allah subuhanawuta’la teaches us what our true priorities are through these calamities. Those who learned the lessons know that
- coming closer to Allah,
- taking care of one’s health,
- spending time for the family and
- creating a legacy by being beneficial to others are some of our top priorities.
And WELL embodies all these priorities.
When thinking about becoming a better version, there are so many areas to consider. With WELL framework, I provide a simple but powerful structure to catapult you towards your best version, bi’idnillah. If you are interested in getting to know more about it, please check it here: bestversions.me
Such tests are ways for believers to come closer to Allah subuhanawuta’la. It’s out of His immense love, He gives us opportunities to draw closer to Him.
What is more beneficial to a believer than to come even a “millimetre” closer to his Creator?
So use this opportunity and do take stock of your current reality.
- How is your relationship with Allah subuhanawuta’la?
- What bad deeds are you going to abandon? (some suggestions: not being dutiful to one’s parents, backbiting, looking at haram things etc.)
- What good deeds are you going to increase? (some tips: increase Sunnah prayers, recite more of the Quran, helping others and expecting only Allah’s reward etc.)
- What is the one thing that you are doing consistently, even if it is tiny, to draw closer to your Lord?
Decide and commit to making a difference in your relationship with Allah subuhanawuta’la. Don’t worry about how small the change is, it’s about being consistent.
It is a well known fact that Allah loves consistency as the famous hadith states ‘the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little’ (Sahih Al-Bukhari).
This pandemic is a reminder for us to take care of our well-being too.
When I went shopping last time, I noticed all the vitamin supplements aisle was literally empty. All of a sudden, people understood that taking care of their well-being is an important thing. (Though I don’t think taking some vitamins supplement is the best way to improve your health 🙂 )
People who take care of themselves by eating healthily, sleeping enough, moving often and de-stressing regularly are less affected by diseases. And in a pandemic like this, it’s kind of an insurance to safeguard yourself, bi’idnillah.
If you don’t take your health seriously, then it’s time that you consider making changes to your lifestyle.
The Prophet (SAW) said, “There are two blessings which many people waste: health and free time.” (Sahih Al-Buhari).
I hope and pray that you won’t be on that list. What one thing you are going to change immediately to improve your health?
(If you need my assistance for that, I can certainly help you improve your health, bi’idnillah)
With forced quarantines and lockdowns, a large number of people around the world are being forced to be at home. In fact, I cannot recall any other moment in the recent past that has forced so many people from so many countries to stay or work from home.
With that restriction, I see a huge blessing too. We now have more time for our family than ever before. There is no socialising, no shopping, no fun outside and we are being forced to be creative and spend quality time with our loved ones.
Think of three ways that you can improve your relationship with your family in this difficult time. Here are a few suggestions from me:
- Pray together in congregation at home
- Eat together
- Exercise together – it’s a fun way to stay connected with your family
- Take a small project and involve your family, for example: memorising a part of the Quran
- Spend time talking to each other
- Switch off your smartphones for at least a few hours of the day while spending time with your family
Such a challenging situation reminds us that our life in this world is temporary and we may need to leave this world soon.
What have we prepared for that journey? What is our legacy we are leaving behind?
It’s an excellent opportunity to rethink our priorities and start working on our legacy.
What is your service to mankind? What are you going to do individually or collectively to help others? What little things can you do to bring a smile on others’ faces?
I can’t think of a group of people who don’t need any help at this stage. Everyone needs some help in one or the other way.
Think about ways how you can serve others.
The Prophet (SAW) said, “The best of people are those that bring most benefit to people” (Daraqutni, Hasan)