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Finding lessons from the pandemic

Praise be to God, the horrors of coronavirus are passing behind us.

QADIR ABDUS-SABUR PH.D.

With more than 50% of our adult population vaccinated, our lives are gradually returning to normal. Now is probably a good time to reflect on what we have learned about patience during this crisis.

There is a verse in scripture which says, “Seek God’s help with patient perseverance and prayer; it is indeed hard unless you are humble.” (Quran 2:45). Also, we find another reference to patience which says, “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses.” (2 Corinthians 6:4). These two scripture verses remind us of the importance of patiently persevering in the sight of God.

In 2019, most of us were busy living our day-to-day lives; going to work, taking care of family responsibilities, enjoying favorite activities with friends and extended family. Then the Almighty permitted coronavirus to touch our lives and everything changed.

Businesses were closed — we lost our jobs. Children had to stay home from school. Arrangements had to be made for child care. The pandemic prevented us from face-to-face socializing with friends. Even our participation in organized worship services had to be reorganized. These were great challenges in our lives.

But we held on to our faith in God. In time, a vaccine was developed and distributed. Businesses reopened, and now our society is slowly returning to normal. In all of this difficulty, perhaps God wants us to learn something that is beneficial.

If we were so busy working that we could not spend much time with our families, this pandemic forced us to take time. If our children lived in our homes, but we didn’t really know them, the Almighty gave us time during this pandemic to learn to understand them. If we were preoccupied with meeting and socializing with friends, this too was curtailed.

For the past 17 months, families and communities have faced great difficulties. They were able to overcome their individual and collective challenges by working cooperatively. We may never have known how much we missed visiting our aging parents had not the Almighty created circumstances that made frequent family visits problematic.

Through this pandemic, God has taught us to be more appreciative of what he has blessed us with and to patiently persevere in all of life’s challenges.

QADIR ABDUS-SABUR, PH.D. is an Imam at the Islamic Center of Prince Edward. His email address is qas1944@gmail.com.