As Muslims, our response to any crisis is to first remember Allah:
مَآ أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٖ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَا فِيٓ أَنفُسِكُمۡ إِلَّا فِي كِتَٰبٖ مِّن قَبۡلِ أَن نَّبۡرَأَهَآۚ
“No misfortune can happen, either in the earth or in yourselves, that was not set down in writing before We brought it into being” [57:22]
We respond with humility, prayer, and soft hearts, as the Prophet (s) did whenever the sky grew dark with clouds or fierce winds would gather. Even if the threat is a passing one, it reminds us of the power of God and our complete dependence on His protection and guidance.
The Prophet (s) was asked about the plague, and he described: “It is a punishment that Allah sends upon whom He wills, but Allah makes it a mercy to the believers. Anyone who remains patient in a land where the disease has broken out, knowing that nothing will befall him except what has written for him, will have the reward of a martyr.” [Sahih Bukhari]
Tests and trials can bring out the best in us: patience, trust in God and turning to Him, sacrificing for others, caring for the vulnerable, and increasing our faith.
Whenever we experience hard times, humans tend to question why. Yet, as Muslims we know that good comes out of all that Allah does. During these hectic times, where we rush to pray salah without putting any thought into the verses we recite, where we scroll past stories of severe human suffering, where parents and children don’t have time for each other, the coronavirus has given us an opportunity to pause and reflect. We think we are in control of our lives, but what is our relationship with humanity and especially with the One who controls all of existence? Now, as we take precautions to keep at a healthy distance from each other, it is more important that we go running towards Allah and embrace Him tightly.