My dearest Muslim brothers and sisters,
In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful.
Peace, blessings, and salutations upon Habibullah, Muhammad, his family and his noble companions.
Man-Made Law – We Have Listened and Obeyed
1. So much has been said, is being said and is yet to be said about the corona virus, its effects on the world, and the actions of authorities the globe over, purportedly to curb its spread and curtail its impact.
2. As is the way of the modern world, people have access constantly to an array of forecasts, statistical updates, more forecasts, followed by the revisiting, reviewing, and amending of the initial and revised forecasts.
3. Add to this the dissemination of morbid and frankly distasteful live videos of people in the pangs of death. Unsurprisingly, fear and panic settle firmly in the breasts of people.
4. Laymen, bombarded by a seemingly endless stream of medical and scientific jargon linked to the virus, regurgitate instantaneously everything that is read, gleaned, or even just glanced at (and I should think, rarely, truly understood).
5. Every breath, every step, every movement is appraised and bench marked against a flood of expert advice and legal precepts.
6. This combination of science, medicine, and law envelops all and sundry.
7. No one is spared censure for the slightest display of discomfort or objection to what laws governments introduce to curb the spectre of the disease spreading.
8. Hitherto unheard of notions of social responsibility and caring for one’s fellow man are now apparently the ethical and moral bedrock of the middle classes and the bourgeois.
9. Presidents and rulers who implement imposed curfews and a complete shutdown of all businesses, religious, social, and recreational activity are lauded as leaders of true ilk, decisive, and as having displayed qualities of true leadership in a moment of crisis.
10. Some presidents, such as the President of South Africa, were even described as “majestic,” with reference apparently to his composure and eloquence when he announced the surreal intrusion on the lives of the citizenry.
11. Social media messages from Muslims and organizations calling themselves Muslim in one form or another abound, all of which are intended to rally Muslims to be patriotic, to comply, to submit immediately, totally and completely to all laws implemented, for the greater good.
12. These messages are disseminated with all the pageantry and pomp of calls to war, accompanied by pictures of the flag, the secular rulers, some even with heart wrenching prayers for them, and messages exhorting fellow Muslims to pray for them because they carry “the weight of the nation on their shoulders.”
13. But all of this is not the reason I write.
14. Disturbing, as it may be, the conduct of Muslims and certain organizations that are alluded to above, is nothing new. Publicly criticizing them now would simply detract from the message that I wish to convey. I pray that they, and all of us are guided to act in a manner that pleases Allah.
15. If not to caution against blind faith in what one hears from the scientific community and governments, and if not to urge Muslims to be calm, reflective, and view media-driven hysteria with a healthy dose of cynicism, why then am I writing? What is the point, you may ask…
Cause and Effect
16. We readily accept the principle of cause and effect in matters of science, medicine, even business for that matter. As an example, we accept implicitly that physical exposure to the virus may lead to its transmission. Having identified the possible cause of transmission, we voluntarily adjust our behavior to prevent the transmission or we support (at the very least we do not object to) any state initiative or law implemented to prevent the transmission, albeit that such laws curtail cherished freedoms.
17. We go a step (perhaps several steps) further…. We label those who don’t comply, who seek to preserve their freedom of movement, or freedom to pray in congregation, as selfish, unreasonable, and irresponsible. We lament their inability to act or sacrifice for the greater good. We fear that their irresponsible conduct will dent the image of Muslims, and even worse, invite negative consequences for the Umma.
18. We understand, in the context of preventing widespread infection, that we must listen and obey authority and laws implemented for that purpose.
Cause and Effect in Islam
19. The principle of cause and effect is not restricted to matters of science and medicine.
20. We know (or should know, as Muslims) that calamities, disasters, epidemics, pandemics, drought, and floods are not simply natural phenomena that have no relationship with the behavior and morality of the Umma and the rest of the world.
21. Allah, the Almighty and Sovereign, revealed many verses in the Quran that deal pertinently with the consequences (in this world and in the hereafter) of disobedience to His laws and the resultant prevalence of evil.
22. Many ahadith of Allah’s beloved, our noble leader, Muhammad ﷺ contain express mention of, and warnings about the trials, tribulations, and punishment that will occur in this world as a direct consequence of widespread disobedience to Allah, immorality, decadence, and vulgarity.
23. This we know, but do we truly believe?
Sharia – Will We Listen, Obey, and Implement?
24. If we truly believe, would it not follow that we would, as we have done to combat the corona virus, act immediately, decisively, and with focus? Would it not follow that we would thus:
25.1 Immediately adjust our beliefs and behavior to accord with what Allah the Majestic and the Benevolent requires?
26. Follow, submit, and comply fully with Allah’s law?
27. Take active steps to ensure that we and all members of our household, whether in private or public, behave in accordance with what Islam requires?
28. Sacrifice our time, our freedoms, and livelihood to implement the law of Allah?
29. Pressurize and convince recalcitrant persons who openly flout the law of Allah to desist and amend their behavior?
30. Support and actively campaign for the implementation of Sharia to prevent society from deviating, and from disobeying Allah’s law?
31. If we truly believe, will we not, as the noble companions of Nabi Muhammad ﷺ did with reference to Allah’s law, listen and obey?
May Allah guide us, have mercy on us, forgive us, and inspire us to submit to Him and His Divine Law