أَفَمَنْ يَمْشِي مُكِبًّا عَلَى وَجْهِهِ أَهْدَى أَمَّنْ يَمْشِي سَوِيًّا عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ
“Who is better guided: someone who falls on his face, or someone who walks steadily on a straight path?” (Qur’an 67: 22)
Because of the fear and uncertainty of the global pandemic, many people have found themselves panicking or feeling low and depressed. We need to challenge ourselves and truly recognize that this world is not the end. We’re not going to stay here forever. This shall pass, like everything else.
Life is a journey; any journey has paths. And the straight path has a clear beginning and an end. In Islamic theology, Allah reminds us that we come from Him and we’re journeying back to Him; this reminder in times of difficulty is important because it brings to our attention the destination and that whatever we’re in is just one stop, not the final point.
“We will certainly test you with a touch of fear and famine and loss of property, life, and crops. And give good news to those who patiently endure—who, when faced with a disaster, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah and indeed to Him we will [all] return” Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are rightly guided.” (Qur’an 2: 155-157)
Additionally, the straight path is in the middle of two extremes. one neither reacts with extreme hopelessness nor extreme indifference and obliviousness. The straight path is about balance and moderation in feelings and actions while moving steadily towards our ultimate destination.
The emotional and spiritual impact of remembering the destination is that one feels a sense of relief from sadness. Not necessarily because the situation has ended, but because regardless of how bad it is, it’s not the end. Therefore, the person gets internally strengthened and comforted due to connecting their hearts and souls with their Creator and remembering the vast relief that He has prepared in the destination to come.
“As for those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allah,’ and take the straight path towards Him, the angels come down to them and say, ‘Have no fear or grief, but rejoice in the good news of Paradise, which you have been promised. We [angels] are your allies in the worldly life and [are so] in the Hereafter. And you will have therein whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you request [or wish]” (Qur’an 41: 30-31)
Lesson: Look up to Him and have hope in Him and keep moving towards Him. Try not to spend too much time looking down in this world and getting absorbed in sadness, stress, and anxiety over matters beyond your control (and certainly don’t look down to your phones and get sucked into endless cycles of negativity). Do as much as you can and leave the rest to Him.