In this global pandemic, it is understandable that we have fears and anxieties. Reflecting on the current situation and the way out of this global crisis can make us feel overwhelmed. But is there a way to find peace, perspective and balance in approaching this situation?
This is what Surat Al Mulk (‘The Sovereignty’ Chapter 67 of the Qur’an) presents; it gives a powerful perspective and a means to find peace and answers to many of the fears and uncertainties ahead. In this article, we’ll share a few thoughts and lessons inspired by this Chapter.
A Mindset Shift: Give up Control to The One in Control
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
“Exalted (Blessed) is He who holds all control in His Hand; and He has power over all things” (Qur’an 67: 1)
On March 29, The Director-General of the World Health Organisation tweeted one word commenting on the global pandemic, and that was “Humility”. He explained in a later conference that this pandemic made us realize how vulnerable we all are. We are not in control, so we have to be humble. Even the world’s greatest powers are humbled. Which world leader, king or CEO can come out and comfortably say, “don’t worry, I have everything under control”? None.
The first word of Surat Al-Mulk in Arabic is often translated to blessed or exalted. Yet, the word “Tabaraka”, is a superlative form for the word “Barakah” that contains all meanings of exaltation, greatness, abundance, and permanence of virtues and excellences. When this superlative form of Barakah is describing God, it means He is Unlimitedly Superior over everything else in His creation, He has complete control and the entire dominion of the universe is in His grip.
Why is this relevant?
One of the primary Barakah Culture mindsets to promote being Allah-centric versus being Self/Ego-centric. This is important now more than ever as we’ve realized how the self is limited and how incapable it is to deal with inevitable matters beyond our human capacity. If matters were strictly in the hands of our limited worldly means, we should certainly panic. But when we are directed to the Unlimited, we experience peace and tranquility knowing that He is capable over all things.
Before this pandemic, many of us were centering our lives around mini-gods we created and served with our time and utmost attention, like our work and relationships. Yet all these things are now submitting to new realities beyond their control. That career which was making us miss prayers, disconnect with our family, and be busy in the “rat race” of life is now potentially not going to survive this pandemic. Those social relationships which made us neglect our values all in the name of “fitting in” may not be accessible for a long time. It’s as if we’re being directed to let go of these ‘mini-gods’ and instead connect and pray to The One True God, Who’s truly in control. We realize the helplessness of all that we felt was important before, and we turn for help, peace and a feeling of vastness and abundance from The Vast, The All-Capable. When we align our will with The Will of the One in control, it can lift much of the fear and burden we experience.
“And it is Allah’s Will to lighten your burdens, for humankind was created weak.” (Qur’an 4: 28)
Lesson: Be Allah-Centric, not self-centric. The whole world from the East to the West is in His Hand. When we align with The One in control, the Capable Owner, not the limited creatures, this will give peace and alleviate much of our panic, stress, and anxiety.
‘If matters were strictly in the hands of the limited worldly means, we can certainly panic. But when we are directed to the Unlimited, we experience peace and tranquility knowing that He is Capable over all things.’ Dina Mohamed Basiony