All of us are grappling with the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Singapore has 212 confirmed cases as of 14 March 2020. It is perfectly understandable to feel concerned and anxious, especially in wanting to protect our loved ones.
Here are 5 things we can do to cope during this period:
As Muslims, we can remain positive by remembering that everything happens by the will of Allah s.w.t, The Most Merciful and Most Compassionate, The One we turn to in our dire state of need. The Prophet s.a.w. said:
عَجَبًا لِأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لِأَحَدٍ إِلَّا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ
Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him, and if he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus it is good for him.
(Hadith by Sahih Muslim)
When we are faced with tough challenges, such as sickness and diseases, let’s be patient and take this opportunity to turn to Allah s.w.t, the Protector. If you’re wondering what supplications you could recite, do read 5 Powerful Duas for Protection Against Harm daily.
In expressing our state of distress to Allah s.w.t through supplications or Dua, it is only apt that we also couple it with practical steps to safeguard ourselves and our loved ones from this virus.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore) has advised us to be socially responsible and do our part to fight COVID-19.
Let’s ensure that we practise good personal hygiene, monitor our health and avoid physical contact with others.
Exercising personal hygiene includes washing our hands with soap regularly, covering our mouth and nose with tissues when sneezing and coughing and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
If we develop symptoms such as fever, cough, cold or breathing difficulties, ensure that we put on the mask and seek relevant medical assistance promptly. Keep to the same family doctor for better continuity of care. If you don't need to be hospitalised, stay at home to avoid infecting others.
As of 13 March 2020, five Singaporeans, who were part of a group attending a large religious gathering in KL, have tested positive for COVID-19. They visited 10 mosques during their infectious period. Do access the list of mosques and timings that they visited here.
If you have visited any of these mosques at those times, please monitor your health carefully. Our sincere duas and prayers are with you.
Let's avoid large community gatherings as well as large religious gatherings overseas during this period. Let's gain closeness to Allah (access '8 Ways To Get Closer to Allah At Home' here.) You can also listen to Islamic podcasts here.
In addition, we should also consider postponing unnecessary travel to infected areas.
It's awkward not being able to 'salam' our family and friends out of love and respect, after years and years of doing so. However, we live in difficult times when we are fighting a pandemic.
Out of the same love and respect for each other, let's say, "Assalamualaikum" and do the Mufti salam instead. The last thing any of us want is to unintentionally infect someone we care about with the virus.
In times of anxiety, it is always comforting to look around and see fellow members of our community coming together to do good. In a beautiful Instagram post, the Mufti of Singapore, SS Dr Nazirudin Nasir, said, “Our relationship with God does not end nor will it weaken simply because we cannot go to the mosque. Everywhere you stand on His earth, you are His servant and slave. He watches over your heart. So continue to do good.”
Let’s extend kindness and show the beauty of our religious teachings. We can start by helping to distribute masks to those in need. We can show our appreciation to frontline officers, healthcare practitioners, cleaners, transport staff and many others, who fight hard to contain the transmission of this disease. Let us reassure one another, help each other, and fight this together.
Office of the Mufti has reminded us not to “form opinions and make judgements without care or consideration, such as attributing any unfortunate incident to be a result of committing a wrong/sin.” After all, only Allah s.w.t. knows best the reason behind every incident. As servants of Allah, we do not have the authority to categorically and conclusively declare that any particular incident and calamity is due to God’s wrath. We should be mindful that anyone can become the victims of this virus and we pray may Allah s.w.t., with His mercy will prevent us from being infected by this disease.
Source: Office of The Mufti instagram
Beyond playing our role in minimising the transmission of the virus, we should also play our part by not sharing “unverified news that may cause a stir and create confusion among members of the community,” as advised by Office of The Mufti.
To get the latest on COVID-19, do sign up for the Gov.sg WhatsApp channel here: go.gov.sg/whatsapp
We pray that Allah s.w.t. will protect us from harm and grant cure for those who are infected with this virus. May Allah s.w.t. keep us safe always, and make us among those who self-reflect and strive to do better, Amin.
Access Muslim.Sg's COVID-19 content here.