COVID-19: WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP?
Covid-19 is a humanitarian crisis that takes place regardless of religious and racial differences and has thus become a global challenge that must be faced together as one big family as stated in the word of Allah:
﴿يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقۡنَٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٖ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلۡنَٰكُمۡ شُعُوبٗا وَقَبَآئِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓاْۚ إِنَّ أَكۡرَمَكُمۡ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتۡقَىٰكُمۡۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٞ١٣﴾ (الحجرات: 13)
“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).” (Surah Al-Hujurat: 13)
We see the fragility of coalition among countries, among them developed nations and superpower with regard to political, economic and military accomplishments. Each of them is only concerned about themselves as they would on the Day of Judgment and as a matter of fact, they have started throwing accusations toward each other even when they are still living in this world. Their brotherhood is based solely on verbal and written statements and not grounded in reality.
In facing this kind of situation, Islamic civilizations have made history several times. Therefore, take the time to learn from history books, not just the book of Feqah and Tasawuf. It is recorded in history how Islam was able to cope with catastrophes, natural disaster and war that endangered the world.
The implementation of Maqasid al-Shariah which preserves religion reflects the obligation of safeguarding life, family, dignity and property until stricter actions are taken by the authorities. For instance, large mosques were emptied, Friday prayers and congregational prayers were not performed, public lectures were cancelled, and even market activities were stopped. All of this had happened in al-Haram Mosque in Mecca, Medina and al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as al-Azhar Mosque, Egypt and Andalus (Spain) in the Middle East during the period of Islamic empire.
They overlooked religious, sectarian and political differences in a pluralistic society. At that time, some were affiliated with Sunni sects, some with Shiites or Khawarijs in a situation where the government was divided and scholars were in a state of disagreement with one another including those who hold to the notion that Friday prayer can be held with a minimum of forty people. However, all of them were united in implementing Maqasid al-Shariah to safeguard the lives of each and every individual human being without questioning the sincerety behind this decision since the matter of sincerity only belongs to Allah and not human being.
We believe that Allah is merciful and forgiving towards His servants especially towards those who are experiencing difficulties in this world. Those who pass away are given the reward of martyrdom for either being at the forefront by patiently carrying out the work of rescuing human beings in the face of disaster or enduring their own fate as victims of the outbreak. All of them will receive rewards from Allah after striving to avoid from contracting the disease.
After this disaster conclude, we will be facing a more challenging aftermath as it has affected human beings personally, economically and influenced politics as well as global safety and security. Now the UN has just made a statement but the proposal from Security Council summit fails to reach a consensus on the threat of Covid-19 outbreak. Will the current state of the outbreak recover in a short time? Even if the outbreak is beaten, the world will not return to its original state in the blink of an eye.
At the national level, we need to take foremost measures during the spread of this outbreak by prioritizing the most important things and stabilizing people’s lives by spending on essential matters such as food, maintaining health in prevention and treatment, maintaining security and so on.
The main priority is to protect lives and maintain close ties between the government and the people and this is done by disregarding those who are still complaining without any understanding about the critical situation we are facing at hand. We adhere to the saying, “If a donkey brays at you, don’t bray at him.”
Therefore, the steps to face greater challenges post-Covid-19 should be considered before any unforeseen circumstances occurred which will differ from pre-planned arrangements.
Those who had passed away have finished their business in this world. Now we should be thinking of the survivors including the next generation.
Every citizen can contribute either individually or collectively according to their level of knowledge and expertise so that no one is exempted, like the word of wisdom, “Many hands make light work.”
Continue the human capital development program in accordance with the will of Allah, the Creator of the world by building the aspect of physical and spiritual, faith, knowledge and moral values. At the same time, the knowledge of fardh ayn and fardh kifayah in the aspects of beliefs, shariah, morals and all matters of human life should also be added.
Take advantage of the abundant land resources to fuel the country’s economy so that nothing is leaked in purpose or by chance whether the resources are on or under the surface of the Earth, as well as within the waters of our country.
At the same time, close cooperation with international community and other countries should be increased. Prioritize relations with neighbouring and Muslim countries as well as amicable countries from other parts of the world with different religious belief in the spirit of humanitarianism.
The vast majority of mankind have been worshipping yet another God which is the economy to the extent that it becomes one of the pillars of their lives, but this should not be happening for economy is not God. Man is obliged to seek the necessities of life. Eating, for example, is done for the purpose of performing worship and providing service to prosper the Earth instead of living for the sole purpose of eating like a senseless animal. It reaches the extent where their minds are not in the right place anymore and thus, able to do anything for not having moral compass.
In the advanced world of this modern era, we have seen two world wars that costed millions of lives since the end of the economic warfare. Hopefully, this challenging situation will not turn out grimmer and let us all pray so that we will be protected by Allah. Allah had warned the wise man:
﴿لَهُۥ مُعَقِّبَٰتٞ مِّنۢ بَيۡنِ يَدَيۡهِ وَمِنۡ خَلۡفِهِۦ يَحۡفَظُونَهُۥ مِنۡ أَمۡرِ ٱللَّهِۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوۡمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمۡۗ وَإِذَآ أَرَادَ ٱللَّهُ بِقَوۡمٖ سُوٓءٗا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهُۥۚ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِۦ مِن وَالٍ١١﴾ (الرعد: 11)
“For each (such person) there are (angels) in succession, before and behind him: they guard him by command of Allah. Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls). But when (once) Allah willeth a people’s punishment, there can be no turning it back, nor will they find, besides Him any to protect.” (Surah Ar-Ra’d: 11)
Allah had also spoken after seeing human erred:
﴿ظَهَرَ ٱلۡفَسَادُ فِي ٱلۡبَرِّ وَٱلۡبَحۡرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتۡ أَيۡدِي ٱلنَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعۡضَ ٱلَّذِي عَمِلُواْ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُونَ٤١﴾ (الروم: 13)
“Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned that (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil).” (Surah Ar-Rum: 41)
ABDUL HADI AWANG
Date: 20 Sya’ban 1441 / 14th April 2020