When Hope was Challenged

Before the major parts of 2019 and 2020 challenged your life, you might have had a great “hope” that the upcoming weeks, months or year will be more positive and productive. I had high hopes to start to take a few steps to walk, having hopes to stand on my own feet and, most importantly, stay with family and visit our loved ones together.

Nearly entering 2020 with the outbreak of COVID-19, I understood the meaning of “hope”  for the first time in my life. I realised it can and will be challenged in many ways. This situation added a bit of strength to “hope”- because of hope, we continue to be optimistic that positive outcomes are not far. We entered 2020 with a challenge to hope, through hearing and seeing outbreak occurring all over, taking the lives of many from all walks of life. Lockdown fear starts to touch every family by mid-March. Every single day, you start to raise the bar of your hope. This becomes new normality as well as our new way of life, this unknown enemy of mankind regardless of race, religion, or social status starts to hit every corner in the world. Panic buying begins as we see the fear in every single human. This fear is shown through selfishness over morality in supermarket aisles and being inconsiderate about fellow human beings- this was the beginning of the loss of “hope”! Yet no one had any clue, especially the youngsters, about what would happen next.

The consequences of this pandemic are endless: huge tests have been pounded on every individuals’ shoulders, the world came to standstill, flights were grounded and lockdowns were imposed. This led to the closure of Masjids which made devotees miss regular Salah as well as Jummah. The closure of schools and colleges made young ones miss classroom activities as well as daily catch-ups with friends. Meeting with friends and family were interrupted, the government forced everything to shut except essentials, which meant no socialising was allowed. 

To add to this list is that Ramadan 2020, with those happy Iftar gatherings, emotional and affectionate Taraweeh prayers standing behind beautiful recitation of Al Quran, meeting and catching up after prayers with friends, was completely different. Those special moments every Muslim Household treasure were compromised. Both Eids were spent without coming together as a community. We missed hanging out on that special day. Everything was shattered by this unknown enemy. 

This made me think about everything we have taken all for granted and the easily attainable rewards whose doors are now closed. HOPE was the one word I heard from anyone I spoke with regardless of their faith! As we moved on to the later part of 2020, slowly things started to start up a little, but that joy didn’t last for long. In the last quarter of 2020, while pharmaceuticals were working hard to invent a vaccine, another lockdown was announced and hope was challenged again. Whilst we were entering 2021, most GCSE and Advanced level examinations had been cancelled. This made youngsters shocked as their hope for the future been challenged. 

In spite of any impact we had in our daily lives through this pandemic, it bought us so many lessons. It shaped our social, political and economic structures in a very unique way and it changed how we live our lives.

Belonging to an optimistic religion made us proud of who we are, how our creator, cherisher, nourisher and sustainer moulded our way of life and taught us how easy a minimalistic lifestyle can be. Although masjids are closed, as a family, you can come together and perform your Salah in jamath and everyday world renown scholars deliver lessons online which gives you an opportunity to study from your home. Through this, you have an opportunity to learn our religion better. The value of family has been understood during lock down, Every single Iftar is spent with family, Eid celebrations are spent as a family in your own home together. Major exams can be replaced to decide your future in this world at any time- this gave us a lesson. You must be prepared for sudden changes, your morality and character need to be strongly build to face any changes humanly. Moreover, when you have a strong conviction that Allah is the best planner, every outcome will be better for every individual in their own way, as well as a remedy for anxiety, stress and mental health.

Thanks to this Pandemic, we have been taught about who we are, what we are up to, how much we have been blessed with as families so there is always something to learn during a difficult time. 

Al Quran asks us very often to “Think”. It says, “Those who think, there will be a sign”. “Hope” means, my creator will give whatever is the best in this world, something that suits me. However, as well as this, we must take precautions, work hard for it the way our Creator instructs us and the way of our beloved Prophet SA lived during difficult times. Our heart and mind must be connected to our Creator only then the “Thawakallthu Alallah” outcome will be amazingly high.

By : Mazoomy Mohamed