The pandemic hasn’t damped our determination to celebrate the arrival of 2021, we see it as a silver lining, the calm after the storm and we believe in ‘no pain no gain’. So, life will continue, we will keep going on our journey, we will flourish Insha-Allah because patience and prayer are our tools.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah said: The son of Adam abuses me. He curses time and I am time, for in my hand are the night and day.” This hadith illustrates that people curse Allah through the cursing of time. Therefore whenever something befalls us that we dislike we blame the event on time, the day, the hour and the year. Time is only what Allah has created.
My friend Sabir Karim is an amazing person with exuding empathy and patience, he can sympathise like a mother and console like a bereavement counsellor. I have looked at his background and found an undertone of sadness and the themes of death and loss during his childhood. He was an orphan at the age of five, lost his disabled sister at the age of ten and lost his mother at the age of fourteen. Could these childhood tragedies explain a tender loving and caring heart?
Spiritual guides teach us that people’s hearts become softer and acquire greater humanity through pain and suffering. Human life is a journey of constant ups and downs. A child is born here and an old lady dies next door, there are arrivals for some and departures for others. It’s these tragedies that help us to grow and continue the journey. It’s interesting to note that US President-elect Joe Biden has heightened empathy, his close friends think this is a result of the personal tragedies he has endured in his life, the car accident that killed his wife and daughter and cancer that killed his son. You ask what’s all this got to do with the ravaging pandemic that is raging through our cities at full throttle?
Three kinds of crises created by the pandemic
As it happens the pandemic has spawned three kinds of tragedies, the Quran describes them in detail when Allah says: “We will certainly test you with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, health and harvests. Give good news to the patient” (Al-Baqarah: 156).
- Developmental crisis: Ageing, declining health and the loss of family members and friends, moving away from loved ones, adjusting to new arrangements like marriage or retirement.
- Existential crisis: This is having to face disturbing truths about ourselves when we learn that our illness is incurable, experience rejection because of race, class, age, gender, or realise we are getting old and have failed to fulfil our life goals. Having to grapple with divorce or the death of a loved one.
- Situational crisis: These threaten our well-being, disruptive events, unexpected losses, the discovery of a serious illness, the loss of job or security.
Grief, tragedy and pain improve our humanity. Patience is a state of endurance under difficult circumstances, persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting negatively even when enraged. It is enduring a tough situation and being able to control the raw emotions when being criticised or attacked. Patience is exhibiting forbearance when under stress, especially when faced with long-term problems.
For more on patience, read one of my other articles, click HERE.
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