Ever since the spread of COVID-19, countries going on lockdown, and people starting self-isolation, we’ve been experiencing an array of emotions. It’s something that neither of us has ever been through before.
Our life has changed, our daily routines have suffered, and our jobs and businesses have been affected. Over and above, we to depart from our families and friends forcefully in between tha time period of self-isolation.
The entire globe is going through hardship. We’re now juggling our kids’ homeschooling, our jobs, our other daily responsibilities, in addition to dealing with our uncertain feelings of anxiety and fear in self-isolation. It’s ok not to feel ok.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed with the burden, and it’s ok to feel down that all your plans are on hold in self-isolation. Yet moving on every day with all weight in your chest is another load you can learn to deal with bravery.
Ways to cope and manage your feelings during self-isolation:
Recognize your feelings in self-isolation
Anas Ibn Malik narrated that when the Prophet’s young son Ibrahim passed away, he went with his companions to see him. He took Ibrahim, kissed him, and smelled him. Ibrahim was in his last breaths when the Prophet Muhammad’s eyes (PBUH) started shedding tears.
Abdur Rahman bin `Auf said, “O Allah’s Apostle, even you are weeping!” He said, “O Ibn `Auf, this is mercy.” Then he wept more and said,
إِنَّ الْعَيْنَ تَدْمَعُ، وَالْقَلْبَ يَحْزَنُ، وَلاَ نَقُولُ إِلاَّ مَا يَرْضَى رَبُّنَا، وَإِنَّا بِفِرَاقِكَ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ لَمَحْزُونُونَ ”
“The eyes are shedding tears, and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim! Indeed we are grieved by your separation.” –
The Prophet (PBUH) was so aware that he explained his feelings to them clearly and loudly that the companions could narrate the incident. He was neither ashamed of his emotions nor was trying to hide them. When you suppress or resist your negative feelings, they grow and haunt you.
However, you recognize your exact feeling and name them. Accept the feelings and validate them in the time period of self-isolation. You’ll feel better about then. And eventually, they will be liberated and set free gradually on their own.
Seek Allah’s help
We’re blessed to have God on our side. Why burden yourself with all the worries while you can rely on Him. Talk to Him and ask Him to fix your affairs, granting you patience, strength, and satisfaction during this self-isolation. He never gets tired of listening. Isn’t He AlSamii (All hearing), Al Mogib (The Responsive One), Al Qawi ( The all Mighty and powerful)?
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” Al Baqarah 2:186
Reflect on yourself in self-isolation
When you’re away from people, you get to have more time alone to listen to your voice and respond. Now is an excellent time to reflect upon your status with God in self-isolation.
Have you been performing your duties and obligations as you should? What about your prayers, sunnah, relationship with the Quran, connection with God through dua and adkar, or late-night talks with Him.
Have you been counting your blessings, and were you grateful for them in the past year, or were you in a constant state of dissatisfaction? self-isolation
How about your relationship with your parents, spouse, children, your role towards your community, and your job performance? How about the Amanah that God has blessed you with, your body, your health, and your time.
Are you using each of these blessings efficiently, or are they wasted?
Did any of these aspects take over another, or do you aim to maintain more balance and upgrade them?
One day we will be questioned about each of them; we’d better get ready.
Now is the time in self-isolation, It takes 21 days to get rid of an old unhealthy habit or develop a new one. We have those 21 days and more away from distraction, people, long commutes, and noise. We have the vast blessing of time to plan, take action and be consistent.
Take it from Prophet Yunus.
People are questioning whether the Coronavirus COVID-19 is a test or torment.
When Prophet Yunus was devastated at his people for not listening to him or worshipping God, he left them, went far on a ship, and ended up swallowed by the whale.
وَإِنَّ يُونُسَ لَمِنَ ٱلْمُرْسَلِينَ
And indeed, Jonah was among the messengers.
إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى ٱلْفُلْكِ ٱلْمَشْحُونِ
When he ran away to the laden ship.
فَسَاهَمَ فَكَانَ مِنَ ٱلْمُدْحَضِينَ
And he drew lots and was among the losers.
فَٱلْتَقَمَهُ ٱلْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ
Then the fish swallowed him, while he was blameworthy.
(AlQuran 37: 139-142)
Despair strained Prophet Yunus. How could he possibly survive this disaster? What way out of his situation could there be? Darkness engulfed him, the darkness of the whale’s stomach, the darkness of the deep sea, and the darkness of the night. Although Yunus was a Prophet, he doubted and thought he was dead until he moved his limbs. Yet, it impacted his heart as well.
وَذَا ٱلنُّونِ إِذ ذَّهَبَ مُغَٰضِبًا فَظَنَّ أَن لَّن نَّقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ فَنَادَىٰ فِى ٱلظُّلُمَٰتِ أَن لَّآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنتَ سُبْحَٰنَكَ إِنِّى كُنتُ مِنَ ٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ
And [mention] the man of the fish [i.e., Jonah], when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darkness’s, “There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” (Al-Quran 21:87)
He realized that he was not in control, but only the Almighty Allah was. He cried out
“There is no God but you, I was indeed wrong” ” La Ilaaha Ila anta subhanaka Iny konto min athalmin”.
When he recognized his fault of leaving his people without permission from God, only then did Allah save him.
Amid the Coronavirus, quarantine pressure, and self-isolation, we learn the rescue formula from Prophet Yunus (PBUH).
It’s time we acknowledge our sins and shortcomings in this self-isolation. We have felt so powerful for so long that we don’t need Allah Almighty, yet this virus has hit us hard, proving that we can’t breathe without His permission, we can’t decide without His will or take action without His power Al-Mighty.
وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَىٰ أُمَمٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُم بِالْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَضَرَّعُونَ
And We have already sent [messengers] to nations before you, [O Muhammad]; then We seized them with poverty and hardship that perhaps they might humble themselves [to Us].
Many people have become glued to the news obsessing about the daily counts of Corona cases that they put their life on hold. While being aware of what’s going around is necessary, exclusively focusing on what is beyond our control is useless and draining.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) encouraged us to keep being productive until our last breath, even if the day of resurrection is starting.
عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: إِنْ قَامَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَفِي يَدِ أَحَدِكُمْ فَسِيلَةٌ، فَإِنِ اسْتَطَاعَ أَنْ لاَ تَقُومَ حَتَّى يَغْرِسَهَا فَلْيَغْرِسْهَا.
Anas ibn Malik ٌ(RA) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “If the Final Hour comes while you have a palm-cutting in your hands and it is possible to plant it before the Hour comes, you should plant it.”
This Hadith motivates us to drive action even if the world is coming to an end. If the hour is one doorstep away, it is reasonable to consider why to bother the extra effort and plant a seed.
Yet, the essence of our religion is to set the intention and start the action even if we won’t see immediate results or rewards. What matters is the intention and the work.
May we submit to Him, express our helplessness, and ask for his unconditional mercy and forgiveness.
Let’s keep praying, having faith, and keep contributing to our community in this time of crisis. Let’s motivate each other and become emotionally healthy in this period of self-isolation and social distancing.