DAY 33. TUESDAY. 28 APRIL 2020. COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Do good deeds in the time that you have and take advantage of the moments of gentle breeze from the mercy of Allah. Verily, Allah has moments of gentle breeze from his mercy that he sends upon whomever he wills among his servants. Ask Allah to cover your faults and protect you from your anxieties.” Source: al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr 719
We are all looking for a good life and in so doing we are looking into the things of this world. The COVID-19 Lockdown of South Africa as an example taught us that we could do without all branded things. What mattered most was food, shelter, security and health. We learnt again how home cooked food is more wholesome than takeouts and we valued family time. Furthermore, we realised the sanctuary of the mosques when the mosques were closed. The good life we had, we took for granted and our gratitude was not in place. The mosques are empty of humans but filled with angels. The Kaba is empty and the tawaf stopped. Our hearts ached because we saw the good life slip away. Therefore, the above hadith is so instructive because it teaches us to do good deeds in the time we have. The time we have is now. The present is what we have and let us use the moment to give thanks to Allah, the High the Great; to repent and help others in whatever way we can. The Prophet (s) is teaching us that we should take advantage of the good times because this is mercy from Allah, the Compassionate the Merciful. This hadith is teaching also to ask from Allah, the Giver of Life for that which if exposed will embarrass us to the world. What is this? It is our sins as faults. Allah, the Wise has covered all our sins and faults so much so that we sit here in awe and respect of each other because the filth of our sins are nor exposed and the havoc of our faults are kept away. Is this not a sign of Allah’s mercy? Sure it is. Therefore, look at the time you have and count your blessings.
The good life is the life of belief. The belief in Allah – the One and to follow the life of Nabi Muhammad (s). What we need to understand is that we don’t need luxuries to have a good life. What we really need is to have a restful heart that is content with the decree of Allah, the Evolver – ‘O Evolver who created all things so that each whole and its parts are in perfect conformity and harmony.’ – IRSHAD Wisdom of the Sufi Master. Getting to know yourself is to learn how you see Allah, the Subduer in your life. This means that we must inspect our internal self and see also the villain in ourselves to and learn never to feed its desire. The good life is to judge for ourselves what effect the Quran has on our hearts. Our hearts must be such that we practice the art of restraining anger and to avoid ignorance because Allah, the Aware says in the Quran: “The servants of All walk on the earth gently and when they encounter ignorant people they say Peace.” This is the good life – to walk away from foolish people and things and not to concern yourself with other peoples business.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
﴿٢١٩﴾ يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ ۖ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِنْ نَفْعِهِمَا ۗ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنْفِقُونَ قُلِ الْعَفْوَ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ
219. They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say, “There is a gross sin in them, and some benefits for people, but their sinfulness outweighs their benefit.” And they ask you what they should contribute. Say, “Whatever can be spared.” Thus Allah makes clear the Verses for you, so that you may think.
It is clear that meaning of this ayah (sign) is that the use of intoxicants and gambling breeds major sins while they be very little benefit in them. However, the sin they release and entice you towards far outweighs the very little benefit. Mufti Muhammad Shafi (r.a) in Ma’ariful Quran, page 540, cites the word ‘Ithm’ or sin ayah above and mentions that it includes that will become the means to a sin or to sins. This means that Allah, the Subtle who knows the minutest subtleties of all things, is informing us that intoxicants and gambling will dull the senses, impair reasoning, weakens the power to resist shame and immodesty therefore making you so vulnerable to evil that there is no barrier between you and all the temptations Shaytaan will offer you. The good life is destroyed! Look how subtle Allah, the Wise, put the word ‘Ithm’ containing just three letters in the middle of the ayah among words like لِلنَّاسِ ( people) and أَكْبَرُ (big/huge) to show us that a small action even if its just one drop of intoxicants or one minute at the gambling den, it is enough to cause huge disruption in the life of man. In the townships we see so many shabeens that it does not surprise anyone yet, when see people drinking on a weekday at 11:00am for example, we are shocked because we wonder if the man works or not but, we don’t give thanks to Allah, the Majestic, that HE did not make you of them. Allah guide them and us.
Today in South Africa, the sale of liquor has been banned because of the COVID-19 LOCKDOWN and it has proven to be an excellent action of prohibition. Excellent because there are so many reports of calmness in the townships for example as people are not drowning their sorrows in a bottle of liquor rather, there is an awakening to the harms of alcohol. The good life has returned amidst the gloom of this pandemic because the real importance of life is been restored.
An anecdote that is so revealing of the folly of human nature reads like this:
“A Sultan once went to inspect the insane asylum. Knowing that the Sultan was addicted to liquor, the chief physician laid on a drinking party for the august visitor. The inspection over, the Sultan and his retinue settled down to enjoy drinks. One of the inmates saw them doing this and he started laughing at them.
When the Sultan asked him what he found so funny, the lunatic replied: “You were sane, but you liked the idea of madness. Now you are drinking as as to become like me. That’s what makes me laugh.”
So imagine if every sin left people drunk, as taking liquor does, there would not be one sober person on Earth. Verily Allah, the Merciful, informed us of the harms of liquor and has made it unlawful.”
Ponder on your good life and count your blessings because you can be an agent of change.