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Imam’s Friday Message

Assalamu alaykum brothers and sisters,

It is the third Friday that the doors of our mosques have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. We have been witnessing almost a total standstill globally. Governments of around 200 countries and territories have placed appropriate measures in other to limit the spread of the virus and save lives.

Most people are following the clear guidelines of social distancing, staying at home, washing their hands, and applying other recommended preventive measures.

Unfortunately, there are those who believe that they are invincible because they are young, strong and don’t have any underlying health conditions, believing the coronavirus will not strike them or their families. Hundreds of cases of young people, even children, dying is obvious evidence that such a belief is not only wrong but dangerous.

There are also those who say: “If it is destined for me do die of this disease, no matter what I do, I will not be able to prevent my death.” That thinking and attitude makes them endanger not only their own lives, but the lives of other people. With such statements they invoke the will of God and destiny which is a constituent part of our faith. However, destiny is never an excuse for inaction and carelessness. The fact that some things are predetermined in our lives, such as our gender, time of death, or provision, does not mean that we should be laid back and oblivious. If the will of God and destiny was excuse for inaction, we wouldn’t find many warnings in the Qur’an for work, action, and our own responsibility in this world.

Allah s.w.t. warns us that our own behavior should not be the cause of our own destruction. “And do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction” 2:195.

One of the important elements of our faith is a strong reliance on Allah s.w.t. However, nowhere in Islam do we find that our reliance eliminates our own deeds and our own responsibility. Our spiritual reliance, therefore, should always be followed by the physical and intellectual effort to support that reliance. We remember here the case of a man who said, “O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Tie her and trust in Allah.”Tirmidhi
Every pilgrim to Mecca is reminded of the effort that our mother Hajar made in search for help for her infant son Isma’il. Running from the two hills of Saffa and Marwa, she made every possible effort in that scorching heat of the desert to find water. She did not just sit down and rely on her Lord, but with her prayers and hopes in the Divine assistance, she did her own part to save her own life and the life of her son.
These examples, brothers and sisters, teach us about our own responsibility in preserving our physical and mental health and the lives of others. Please don’t be careless these days. Don’t expose yourself to the danger of the virus infection. Do not throw yourselves with your own hands into destruction.

May Allah s.w.t. protect us and our families, make our faith strong, our minds sharp, and our bodies healthy. Amin!

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