Let us spend some time with these two verses from Surah al-Isra’a (Chapter 17 of the Quran, verses 59 and 60)
And nothing has prevented Us from sending signs except that the former peoples denied them. And We gave Thamud the she-camel as a visible sign, but they wronged her. And We send not the signs except as a warning.
And [remember, O Muhammad], when We told you, “Indeed, your Lord has encompassed the people.” And We did not make the sight which We showed you except as a trial for the people, as was the accursed tree [mentioned] in the Qur’an. And We threaten them, but it increases them not except in great transgression.
Allah -out of mercy- sends signs and warnings to us so that we return to Him. These (minor) signs can come in various forms: wind, flood, and virus (just to name few). The current Coronavirus COVID-19 is a good example. The problem happens when we miss the point. When we do not take it as a warning sign. When we do not attribute it to Allah. When we do not understand the purpose of it.
Listen to this verse from Surah as-Sajdah (Chapter 32 verse 21)
And we will surely let them taste the nearer punishment short of the greater punishment that perhaps they will repent.
The atheistic and materialistic mindset of the contemporary western civilization contributed much in kindling this missing-the-point syndrome. They think arrogantly that they have unlocked the mysteries of the universe. They thought that they understood completely how things work. They have microscopes to discover viruses and germs. They have graduated from the dark ages when things like these were managed by people of the Church. But now the triumph is for the people of science, technology, and atheism. It is the age of materialism. There are no mysteries left, and that what we can not see in the lab, does not exist. So, satan, jinn, angels, and God does not exist. The universe works according to Newtonian physics in a mechanical process.
This COVID-19 hopefully comes as a blessing to debunk such a materialistic and atheistic belief. Let us bring mystery central to our discussion. Let us be humble and confess that what we do NOT know is far more than what we DO know. Let us confess that there is a whole world of UNSEEN that are yet to be discovered and some might never be discovered. Let us confess that there is a God (which in Islam is called Allah) who is the creator of this universe and He told us some of these mysteries in the most authentic book of His called the Quran.
Among these mysteries that the Quran told us is the two verses, I opened this article with. “We send not the signs except as a warning”. Solar or lunar eclipses are examples of such signs. When such an eclipse occurred at the time of the prophet Muhammad he rushed to Allah in prayer, supplication, and humbleness, and continued doing so until the eclipse was over and the sun returned full. Because prophet Muhammad did not miss the point and because he knows that it was a warning sign from Allah, because of that, he did not take that incidence as fun and went with friends top of a mountain to observe the event and share it on social media, as we tend to do today. We do so today because we are missing the warning sign and missing the point. Our atheistic and materialistic scientists explained well to us HOW the eclipse happens in the most materialistic manner. They however never go into answering the WHY question. Why did that happen? Why COVID-19 came to us today and why it took a toll in such a ferocious and unpredictable way? The people of science would probably make fun of you if you brought God or Allah into this equation. They are missing the point. They are the ones Allah meant in the verse above:
And We threaten them, but it increases them not except in great transgression.
So, in that eclipse event, I mentioned above at the time of the prophet Muhammad, and after the prayer ended, the prophet did address the people with a great sermon. Among the things he said, “O the nation of Muhammad, no one is more jealous than Allah when a man or a woman commits adultery. O the nation of Muhammad if you knew what I know you would have smiled a little and wept a lot”. Observe the mysterious link the prophet established between the spread of Allah’s signs like the eclipse, COVID-19, earthquake, volcano, and the collapse of the economy (and the list goes on) and the moral degradation of societies. Such degradation comes in the form of the rampant extra-marital sexual relationships, widespread of usury, concerts, music, alcohol and torturing the people who stick to the right faith (think of torture of Muslims in Delhi, Yemen, Idlib, Rohinga, Uyghur, people of Gaza, etc.).
It is a great opportunity for mankind to “not miss the point” and repent to Allah. Stop persecuting the righteous people. Stop the rampant sexual harassment, not only among the high society (Yes, I am referring to the Hollywood centered #meToo movement) but the weak women in schools, colleges, markets, garment industry and so on. Stop the greedy capitalist system of an economy that is based on interest and usury.
COVID-19 came to unveil the weakness of mankind in the age of the triumph of science, technology, materialism, atheism, and artificial intelligence. The elders of the Western Civilization particularly WASPs among them, “the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants” took on their shoulder the burden of the white man and thought they would civilize the “half-devil half-child” peoples of Africa, Arabs, Asians and the rest of the World. They have created the IMF, World Bank, WTO to police the world and suck the natural resources under the pretense of human development. But the COVID-19 came to teach them which songs to sing while washing their hands. Isn’t that the mockery of Allah, which was mentioned in numerous places in the Quran. Leave you with some of them.
And the disbelievers planned, but Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners. [3:54]
Then, do those who have planned evil deeds feel secure that Allah will not cause the earth to swallow them or that the punishment will not come upon them from where they do not perceive? [16:45]
And they planned a plan, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not. [27:50]
And thus We have placed within every city the greatest of its criminals to conspire therein. But they conspire not except against themselves, and they perceive [it] not. [6:123]
Whoever desires honor [through power] — then to Allah belongs all honor. To Him ascends good speech, and righteous work raises it. But they who plot evil deeds will have a severe punishment, and the plotting of those — it will perish.[35:10]