Eidul Fitr amid the Covid-19 pandemic11 May 2021
Professor Dr. Anwarul Karim :
Bangladesh enjoyed the Eidul Fitr under the Covid-19 in 2020 and this year too the same situation is prevalent in the country. People are set to celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr under the threatening condition of the Covid. We still do not know if the Covid was man made or the scourge of Allah.
Records suggest that on December 30, 2019, in the capital of China's Hubei province Wuhan, a large number of patients were noticed suffering from pneumonia. On the 7th of January, scientists discovered and isolated a new virus from the patients that said to be the cause of this disease. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) confirmed that 55 years old patients were more prone to this infection than those of early age. In February 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) named the disease as COVID-19 and the virus associated with it as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on the basis of its genetic structure.
COVID-19 is recognized as a contagious disease that causes upper or lower respiratory tract infections such as of lungs, nose, throat, and windpipe. It has flu-like symptoms, including nausea, fever, dizziness, myalgia, dry cough, fatigue, dyspnea, headache, and pneumonia, which appear two to fourteen days after exposure. The severity of symptoms increases with the passage of time, leading to the death of the patient. Similar to other coronaviruses like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that grew from bats in 2002-2003, causing an alarming situation worldwide and Middle-East.
Islamic View of Pandemic
The Quran and Hadith are considered as the most important sources of Islam. Most of the Muslim community believe that the Quran as the words of Allah and directly to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), whereas the Hadith is the words of the Prophet and when the Prophet felt it a necessity to tell his followers what to do in regard to the code of Islam.
The Emergence of a Plague
Hazrath Aisha, the wife of the prophet, said: I asked the messenger of Allah about plague He told me that it was a punishment sent by Allah on whom he wished and Allah made it a source of mercy for the believers, for if one in the time of an epidemic plague stays in his place patiently hoping for Allah's reward and believing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has written for him, he will get the reward of a martyr. Primarily, this hadith indicates the emergence of an epidemic. According to it, a plague is a form of ?adhab, which is controlled by Allah. He can inflict it upon anyone He wishes. However, a pattern of its emergence can easily be observed in the Quran. For example, it was sent to the Egyptians due to their disbelief. 28 The Israelite nation also suffered the same fate because it had been transgressing 29 and breaching promises with God. Biblical literature also confirms these Quranic accounts. Moreover, Islamic sources also indicate that the evil deeds of people eventually lead to disasters. Hence the Quran reads: "Whatever ill comes to you is because of what your own hands earned and (yet) He pardons most (of your faults)."
The under-discussion hadith also points out that Allah made epidemics as a source of mercy for the believers (mu?minin). If a mu?min dies due to a plague, s/he will be considered as a martyr (shahidThe Quran adds that the life of this world is transitory and full of trials. Nothing can harm anyone and anything without the will of God. Sometimes the pain and suffering people go through is a punishment, and sometimes it is a test. It warns: "Surely We will test you with a bit of fear and hunger, and loss in wealth and lives and fruits, and give glad tidings to the patient." This is a test for mankind to get back to the will of Allah. Allah cautioned everybody not toshare His power with anyone may he be a Pir, or an idol. Allah is the Guardian of all and to Him we need to submit for our protection.
Hazrath Aysha (RA) says that she asked the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) to explain the meaning of an epidemic. He replied, "'It is a torment that Allah sends on whom HE wills and a Mercy for believers. If it occurs within a country, whoever remains and is patient, believing that whatever shall befall him is God's will, will be rewarded as a martyr." History records that in the year 75 AH (AD 639), during the Khilafat of HazrathOumar (RA), more than 1,000 Muslims lost their lives in the plague in Syria.
Whatever be the fact, the situation is certainly a test for the mankind to get back to the fold of Allah or God.
Eidul Fitr stands as the day of unqualified gratitude to Allah, the Most Magnificent and Most Gracious We need not go for a feasting in a large scale in view of the Covid. There are families who lost their members and they have pains in them. We need to share their pains and help the poor and the distressed to survive.