ONE YEAR ON: Reflections on the COVID-19 Lockdown

Today marks the anniversary of the first lockdown in the UK. It has now been exactly one year since the students departed from Jamia Al-Karam, heading for their homes.

The past year has been filled with challenges of many a kind, testing in many a way.

From a ‘social’ distance, temporary in nature, to a sad bereavement, lasting in nature. From closing doors, reducing revenue, to closing books, crushing hope. From joy of freedom outside, often overlooked, to boredom of confinement inside, rarely sensed.

Ah! The world and the unseen, the outer and the inner, the body and the soul!

Perhaps, just perhaps, it is from a chaos of human interaction, distracting in nature, to a divine proximity, heavenly in nature. From retreating behind doors, eyeing true revenue, to opening new books, promising fresh hope. From servitude to society outside, often overlooked, to finding true freedom inside, rarely sensed.

Enough for the believers are the words of Allah Almighty:

“And We shall certainly test you with something of fear, and hunger, and loss of (your) possessions, and lives, and fruits. And give glad tidings to the patient ones. Those who, when calamity afflicts them, say: ‘Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we are to return.’ They are the ones upon whom are the blessings from their Lord and mercy. And they are the ones who are guided.” [Qur’an: The Sublime Word, 2:155-157]

Comforting are the words of the sublime Messenger Muhammad (upon him be peace):

“Strange are the ways of the believer. Every state of his is good, and this is not for anyone but the believer. If joy comes to him, he is grateful, and that is good for him. And if calamity befalls him, he remains patient, and that is too good for him.” [Sahih Muslim, 2999]

– Bakhtyar H Pirzada (The Vice-Principal)