Translation from the speech of Dr. Mohammed Aslam Parvez
Former Vice Chancellor Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad.
Ladies and gentlemen, today we are passing through a testing period. We all are surrounded by a pandemic which spreads like cold. The difference is, when someone catches cold in our home, the symptoms are visible. Like slight temperature, running nose. According to our experience what we do is, we separate his utensils, towels, etc.
Symptoms of Coronavirus are not visible
This pandemic is a viral infection; its symptoms are not visible immediately. Nobody can guess if someone is infected. If an infected man sneezes, the phlegm particles spread in the surrounding area. If he uses his hands to cover his nose while sneezing and touches the door handle, the virus will deposit on the handle and if a healthy man touches the handle he will also get the virus and if he touches his face, eyes, mouth or other parts of the body he will also be infected.
The best solution to be safe from this infection is to practice self-isolation, maintaining distance by avoiding crowds, by not visiting the social gatherings, etc.
This is why the government and doctors are insisting for self-isolation until we get rid of this virus.
After a few days there is shab e barat (the night of vigil) in which people worship in different ways. Last year, we have observed that our youngsters roamed on that night skidding their bikes, fighting among themselves, attacking the traffic police when they tried to stop them, and many painful incidents came into light. We should always remember that The Guide that we have is The Holy Quran. It is not only for us. It is for the whole mankind. Let us see what The Quran says in this regard. Allah says, ‘And the servants of the Most Gracious are they who walk on the earth in humbleness, and when the ignorant address them, they reply with (words of) peace. And they who pass the night standing and prostrating themselves before their Sustainer’ (Al-Furqan, 63: 64).
The first thing that this ayat says is, that the most gracious servants of Allah are those who walk on this earth in humility. Humbleness is the sign of the servants of Allah who are not aggressive or harsh when they meet with the arrogant or those who dispute them, they do not argue with them; they say “Peace!” If these characteristics are not found in us, then we are not the servants of Allah. These humble people do not indulge in unnecessary arguments and disputes.
Especially, I would like to draw your attention to the rumours on social media, where they criticize a particular religion or community and try to defame them. We should not give or opinions on such platforms. We should not be reactionary. Nowhere in the Quran it is mentioned to take revenge. If someone says something bad about you and if you do the same to him, then this dispute will not end, the hatred will increase. It is nowhere mentioned in Quran to respond evil with evil.
Need to understand Quran
Actually, the real problem lies with us, we don’t understand the Quran and we claim that we are the people of the Quran, while our acts go against the teaching of the Quran. Do not poke your nose in disputes and arguments. Avoid such unnecessary things that waste your time. Utilise your time positively, helping others.
In ayat No. 64 in the same surah, Allah says, ‘Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrate and standing.’
This means the signs of the servants of Allah is, they spend their nights in prayers – – not wandering here and there. The sign of the good servants of Allah is that they spend their time in their homes praying and prostrating at night.
This is a good opportunity to utilize this time (lockdown) usefully in learning the translation of the Quran, attach yourself to the Quran find out what The Quran wants from us.
Let us see what Allah says in another place in the Quran, ‘And do good (to others), surely Allah loves the doers of good.’ (Surah Al-Baqra:195).
This ayat is very small but it has a vast meaning, it has a lot of depth. Allah says do good to others. This is Allah’s order; His orders are obligatory (farz) on us. And Allah says He loves those who do good. What a big thing Allah has told in this ayat if we could understand. Don’t we like to be loved by Allah? We make relations with influential people in this world boast of our links with them. Allah the creator talks to us with love if we do good to others, behave with them nicely in a good manner. If we have decent transactions with them – Indeed Allah will love us. What a decent business transaction with Allah. But Alas! We do not consider this. We are the slaves of our desires, we take decisions emotionally, we respond evil through evil. Whereas, Allah orders us to be good. This is such a time that people who are privileged, have homes and money have stored the provisions in their homes. But 60 percent of our population is based on farmers or poor labourers, who will feed them? We are helping them but we must do some more for them. This is the time of crisis, those poor are also the servants of Allah, they are stricken by hunger and thirst. At this times of difficulty, we the servants of Ar-Rahman should come forward to help them.
Let us see another ayat where Allah says very clearly ‘(For) would we treat those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds in the same manner as (We shall treat) those who spread corruption on earth? Would We treat God-Conscious in the same manner as wicked?’ (Surah Swad:29).
Observe that two words; faith and good deeds have come together. Good deeds are those that keep bad deeds at bay. Anything bad comes under corruption like: lies, bribery, pollution that creates imbalance on earth, to harm someone etc. To mend the bad deeds is an act of good deed. We should not be a part of bad deeds. If we become a part of bad deed, we ourselves will be corrupted. Therefore, it is obligatory on the people of faith to do good deeds. We must banish bad deeds from spreading. If you obey the orders of Allah, you will reach piety (Taqwa).
So, Allah asks in this surah should We treat religious (muttaqeen) and licentious (fajir) alike?
Muttaqeen are those who perform good deeds.
Allah says, ‘We have indeed created man in the best of creations.’ (Surah Al-teen:(4).
Allah says that man is the best of His creations; then He also says He degraded man to the lowest of low. That means man is the best of the creations as well as the worst. the difference between the best and worst is; ‘Except those who believe (attain to faith) and do good work.’
This means, people who come to faith and do good to others. They will remain among the good doers. And those who neither do good nor bad remain among the worst of the creatures. Therefore, we have to do good always to others this clearly mentioned in the Quran.
Now, that we have time at home, whether it is shab e barat, we have to read the Quran while understanding it, because it is obligatory on us. Remember that reading the Quran is obligatory on us.
‘Most surely He who has made the Quran binding on you will bring you back to the destination.’ (Surah Qasas:85).
I request you all to stay at home during this time of crisis, do not be the cause of spreading hatred or violence. Cooperate with the government and the doctors, respect them because they are risking their lives to save yours. Pray at home during shab e barat, you can pray at homes during the time of crisis. To obey the commands of Allah is to worship Him.