Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. Kahlil Gibran

The world over has been seized by the pandemic and in the frontline are squadrons of people putting their lives on the line to save other lives so that the world can be saved from catastrophe of biblical proportions. Who are these people and have we paid tribute to their unselfishness and courage? I don’t think we did.

This morning the feeling was concretised by Sheikh Yawar Baig’s Fajr Reminder when this was mentioned and it struck me that we have given this little reflection and very meagre attention. Therefore, the pen to paper is driven by the forces of nature to spread the viral infectious strain called – thank you!

Thank you dear doctors, medical staff, nurses, field workers, the army, the police force and those who are in the front line for the work you are doing. When I observed the situation from Wuhan to Italy for example, it shocked the marrow out of bones because it was the medical staff in the front line trying to save lives. It is really scary to think how these selfless souls are at risk when they too have the same fears as all of us who are comfortable at home. They too have families and friends who want them alive. However, their health and time is dedicated to each one of us to the extent that they are not guaranteed a safety net with the all the precautions they take, yet they commit themselves to go out and work.

For a brief moment consider how you sneak out to purchase some needed items and how you would also go out without fear of infection to do stuff. Is it not a shame that we add to the risk out there? Sure we do. The reality is that we are not witnessing huge numbers in hospitals and in coffins therefore, we have low degree of fear. The way to help these courageous men and women is to stay at home.

The suffering that these people go through is compounded by the fact that they feel the pain of the patient when they are in their last moments. Imagine yourself in the shoes of the personal that had to deal with this in Italy and Wuhan for example. It is beyond my perception to have that empathy because my life is so comfortable and distant from any adversity such that luxury has become my necessity. When these luxuries are compromised it becomes an adversity indicating how far I am from the reality of the greater majority of this world. Sad but true!

This article is a tribute to all the men and women who have saved lives, who are saving lives and who will continue to do so for the sake of humanity. All they ask is for us to stay at home. Let us do our bit and stay at home. We have to learn to say thank you to these magnanimous people in front of our children, parents, pupils, staff members and the world at large because it will teach them our value of gratitude and they will internalise it.

I sat writing this because we don’t know the gravity of this pandemic in South Africa because of the low infection rate and death rate too. A grateful fact which I hope must remain so that the curve flattens. Life is precious and we should understand we are not going to get a second chance if we are careless and if we do not pay heed to the advice and demands of the doctors and all those that are in the frontline. These brave hearts are out there in a battlefield where the enemy lurks and cannot be seen. We are seen as potential ‘enemies’ but upon sight we are treated with a gentle hand and a kind word to bring us closer to safety yet, we become agitated and want our way and they have to bear our scorn. Let us reflect on how we behave with these souls whose soles have holes because of the miles of walking and; who will attend to us when we are COVID – 19 Stage no hope, Allah forbid, when we have to depart from this world in their caring hands.

Finally, spread the word of gratitude to your friends and let them spread the word too. Let us fill the atmosphere with gratitude for these wonderful people and in so doing there will be a positive quantum charge in the heavens which will be the harbinger of mercy from Allah. Make a prayer for them aloud in your house and proclaim to the heavens your feelings of your significance in the face of these valiant men and women who risk all to save your life. The fitting way to remember them is to recite ‘Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars‘ and crown it with invocations for the whole of humanity. Be grateful and say a prayer to Allah for them – if you know their names, say it with reverence to the One who is the most Reverent.

DAY 5 beckons. What are going to do? What are you going to think?


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