Seizure of your Lord

A recent article in the New Yorker magazine goes as follows:

China was the first country to forcibly restrict the personal movements, public events, and business activities of its people — eleven million in Wuhan, the megacity and global epicenter of the COVID-19 coronavirus. On January 23rd, soldiers wearing black masks deployed along barricades at the train station. The government requisitioned stadiums, exhibition halls, and other large venues as quarantine centers; the rows of beds set up inside looked more like military barracks than hospital wards. To contain the largest outbreak in Asia, Chinese health and security officials went door-to-door — checking for people with symptoms. The lockdown was later widened to more than a dozen other cities in Hubei Province, constraining the daily lives of sixty million people. It’s the largest quarantine in human history.

Reading the above, I could not help resisting connecting this news item with the first few verses of Chapter al-Hashr (59) in the Quran.

It is He who expelled the ones who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture from their homes at the first gathering. You did not think they would leave, and they thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah; but [the decree of] Allah came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts [so] they destroyed their houses by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers. So take warning, O people of vision.

Just few months ago, the communist party in China was detaining Uighur Muslims and sending them by force to torture camps. Now they are doing the same to their own people out of fear of spreading the disease. Isn’t that what the above verse says: “but Allah came upon them from where they had not expected”?. Isn’t that exactly what Allah says again in the above verse: “He cast terror into their hearts so they destroyed their houses by their own hands”?

Bukhari narrates in a hadith Qudsi, where Allah says,

I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine.

These poor Uighur Muslims had no supporters among powerful Muslim states and their hypocrite leaders. But let them rest assured; as long as they are pious worshippers of Allah, Allah will take the matter into his own hands and come to defend His friends. They have been subjected to tremendous oppression, and Allah will declare war against their oppressors.

Allah has no short of arsenal in His countless soldiers scattered in nature. This time it does not have to be big or even visible. A tiny virus that can not be seen except through a microscope is enough to bring China and the globe to its knees.

The “had not expected” clause in the above verses is amazing: “Allah came upon them from where they had not expected”. Could the most pessimistic human being have said just a couple of months ago that we would be living under such panic today? What scenario the most imaginative mind could plot to bring diverse random topics under one thread. Topics such as: oil price, cruise ship industry, hospitals, schools, working hours, public gatherings, tourism, toilet paper, concerts, world-bank annual meeting, Olympics, Lombardy, Tehran (and the list goes on and on)?

Finally, and as the story is still unfolding, I am just leaving you with few more verses from the Quran, and it is not difficult for you to relate things and connect dots.

And thus is the seizure of your Lord when He seizes the cities while they are committing wrong. Indeed, His seizure is painful and severe [11:102]

Then, did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them at night while they were asleep? Or did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them in the morning while they were at play? Then did they feel secure from the plan of Allah? But no one feels secure from the plan of Allah except the losing people. [7:97–99]

Indeed, Allah defends those who have believed. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone treacherous and ungrateful. [22:38]

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We have certainly sent down to you a Book in which is your mention. Then will you not reason? [Quran 21:10]

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We have certainly sent down to you a Book in which is your mention. Then will you not reason? [Quran 21:10]