We have to find the good in every bad, so here are 10 things to think about whilst we wait for the tide to calm.
As most parts of the world currently remain in lockdown, amongst all the uncertainty, anxiety and distress – it can be easy to let our thoughts wander, especially if stuck behind the same four walls. If you’re an introvert, staying inside may be second nature to you – however after a certain number of days even the most reserved of us can want some form of interaction.
The current climate is something no human could have predicted or asked for. However, Islam within its history repeatedly teaches us to make the best out of a poor situation. Instead of focusing all of our attention and energy onto something we have no control over, this period could instead be used as a time for reflection, enabling us to form a sense of direction during a time of unpredictability. What are your reflections?
It has forced us to slow down our otherwise hectic lives and to come together as a community. It is time to appreciate the good that comes from the bad and to use this time to reflect upon our actions over the past week, month or year.
Here are 10 reflection points to ponder over:
- Routine – With Ramadan just a few weeks away, it is the ideal time to physically and mentally prepare for what’s to come. When would we ever have had such ample opportunity to do so otherwise? If you’re in quarantine, this is a great time to set a routine – to wake up and sleep at a suitable time. Make up fasts you still have pending from previous years. There are also many islamic services online that are offering free courses due to the current global situation i.e FaithEssentials, Eman Academy. For those who have more time on their hands than usual, it is a great chance to start reading more of the Qur’an on a daily basis in preparation for Ramadan.
- Prayers – an excellent opportunity to become more disciplined when offering prayers at their appropriate times.
Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
I asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ): “Which action is dearest to Allah?” He (ﷺ) replied, “Performing As-Salat (the prayer) at its earliest fixed time.”
Although we may not have taraweeh or jummah in congregation, we still have the ability to perform our prayers and practice our faith fully within our homes.
- Balance of social/physical contact – social distancing doesn’t necessarily mean distancing oneself from friends whilst at home, a better term to use is ‘physical distancing’ where we can still check in on our friends – virtually. It may also help to keep us level-headed amongst all the chaos surrounding COVID. Apps like Skype and Zoom are a blessing in this day and age, showing us we can rekindle our friendships in the best way without even stepping out of the house.
- Luxury – it’s time to appreciate our ‘basic’ possession. Those that we regarded as simple and ‘the bare minimum’ e.g. internet access, technology, the ability to have a hot shower, books, running water. Something we take for granted but is considered a luxury for someone who is homeless. May this be a reminder on where our money should really be spent, and to use this as a chance to minimise spending on unnecessary items – definitely not referencing the £3 Starbucks on a day to day basis.
- Family – with the pandemic already claiming several lives across the world, it’s time to hold our loved ones tightly. If you live with your family, consider yourself lucky as there are those who are in quarantine alone. It can be easy to lose touch with your family amongst studies and work, it’s time to reconnect with those who have always been there and to appreciate things that we took for granted.
- Self development – remember all those books you had piling on your shelf whilst you were still buying more? Now is the PERFECT time to read them. As we don’t have a clear idea on when our lockdown will end, we can use this to our advantage by taking our time to work on skill-sets e.g getting crafty, learning how to cook new dishes, or offering our expertise to others by sharing ideas, having discussions and even tutoring.
TOP TIP: If you are fit and healthy and are stuck at home for the next few months – join a local volunteers group. This could simply be ensuring the elderly in your neighbourhood have their groceries and medical supplies, and if not then volunteering to get these for them whilst they isolate.
- Love – some of us may have someone we aren’t on great terms with. Someone we left things on a sour note on. Someone we just want to avoid bumping into on the streets at any cost. (Although this is unlikely to happen anymore due to quarantine). You can probably already think of a few people in your head as you’re reading this. But, if a pandemic doesn’t humble us and help us keep our ego in check – then nothing will. Use this time to make amends, we don’t need to wait till Ramadan or an Umrah/Hajj trip to do this. Life is too short to hold grudges and if something were to happen to them or their loved ones, we wouldn’t want to live life in regret.
Anas narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:
“Do not cut off one another, nor desert one another, nor hate one another, nor envy one another. Be you , O worshippers of Allah, brothers. It is not lawful for the Muslim to shun his brother for more than three(days).”
Insha’Allah you will be rewarded with your intention for repairing ties, even if it is not appreciated or accepted.
- Health – without a doubt, the biggest blessings in our lives are time and good health, and sadly it usually takes a tragedy to remind us of this. Spending 24 hours a day at home can give us perspective on how much time we ‘truly’ have, and where we should be using that time. Ultimately it comes down to both priorities and time management.
The Prophet ﷺ advised to:
“Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your death”
[Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim]
- Freedom – Never has simply stepping out the house caused such a commotion. Being restricted to so many of our usual activities from grabbing a coffee with a friend or going to the park, these are things we will ultimately treasure after. May this serve as just a tiny bit of an insight into what our brothers and sisters go through in other countries on a daily basis, with or without coronavirus.
- Reminder – Death is inevitable, one of the few things guaranteed in life. We know it’s coming but maybe this has given us just a big reminder of its reality and just how prepared we are for it. This world is temporary.
Just remember, we can only do so much in terms of social distancing, hygiene etc. We cannot change the outcome of something which is not in our hands, so to spend time fixating over what is to come is pointless. Ultimately it all lies down to Allah. Trust in Allah but tie your camel. A few words of comfort from the Qur’an that always hit home during times of need:
So verily, with the hardship, there is relief.
Finally, appreciate the importance of humility – knowing we are not in control of anything. We can spend our whole life planning something to a T but Allah is the only one in control of our affairs. His plans for us are better than any of the plans we could set for ourselves in our life.
And Allah is the best of planners.
Let us know what reflections you’ve had recently!