People often say that this coronavirus pandemic is a divine punishment (or azaab) unleashed on humanity. Such notions have spread rampantly and have become the cause of negativity, distress and despair in people’s minds around the globe. Some have begun to visualize this pandemic as a ‘full stop’ to life. I feel that coronavirus is a form of shock treatment by the Creator to awaken man’s mind. It should not be viewed as a ‘full stop’ to life – instead, it should be viewed as a ‘comma’, which has invited the man to pause, think and reflect.

The man had become far too reckless in his pursuit of materialism, and this pandemic was like being nudged out of his reverie. If we understand its importance, it would seem like a second lease of life to awaken man’s mind and compel him to re-think his life’s priorities because rethinking lies the secret of learning and discovering new ideas. Therefore, this pandemic is a blessing in disguise that will help man re-plan, course-correct, and build a positive approach to life.

The present-day Covid pandemic is a warning from the Creator so that man takes heed, realises his shortcomings, and inculcates the spirit of shukr or thanksgiving. A true feeling of gratitude stems from the heart, takes the form of words, and becomes a prayer on the lips of a spiritual person.

Take Covid as a warning from the Creator to rethink and replan your life based on the Creation Plan.



Covid-19 has taught an important lesson to the whole world and that is, how helpless we are as human beings. Covid-19 did not discriminate between age, gender, income group, or faiths. It impacted everyone and caused a massive realization among humankind that what is the real purpose of our life. When people saw their loved ones pass away and they could do nothing, they realized how short our lifespan is and if in this short lifespan, we waste our time fighting, then we truly are eternal losers.

With the help of digital media, CPS reached out to millions carrying out the message of well-wishing and positivity, helping people understand the creation plan of God, introducing humankind to their Creator, and explaining what is His expectation of us. CPS members worldwide started using technology as physical movement was completely restricted. We converted our English magazine Spirit of Islam, and Urdu magazine Al-Risala into digital magazines. More effort was made to make all of my literature and talks available online. e-interaction was tremendously increased. All this was well received by people who had become more serious due to the Covid-19 shock.

Source: Spirit of Islam September 2021

The covid pandemic affected every aspect of our lives, including religion. The authors Swami Agnivesh and Valson Thampu made an excellent point in an article published in The Indian Express dated June 30, 2020:

‘It looks as though the COVID pandemic has come to emancipate us from this subhuman religiosity. (…). The virus has undermined every aspect of priest-driven religiosity. (…). 'Post'-COVID, religion must be God-centered and priest-free, unburdened with places of worship. Worship, free from rituals, dogmas, deception and priestly hypocrisy, must nourish life.’

The religions promulgated by the priestly class as just a set of strict rituals and incantations have proven to be null and void. It was pure narrow-mindedness to differentiate between people as ‘us’ and ‘them’. Every religious community claims to be the chosen people of God. This pandemic proved that all are equal before God. The covid pandemic brought to the fore the essential aspect of religion. Religion should be based on reason, spirituality, universal brotherhood, and the welfare of humankind.

The pandemic must make us realize that our life, this earth, and everything in the universe is a gift from  God. He can take it away whenever He wants. It must make us realise how the spectacular achievements in the field of science and technology widen the canvas of God-realization. It must teach us the necessity of peace and brotherhood. It must make us grateful for the amazing planet Earth with its life-support system, and learn lessons from nature to lead us on the journey of the realization of God, our Supreme Benefactor.

Further, it should make us realise that for humankind to survive and thrive on this planet, the most important need is ‘peace’. We need peace between human beings and peace between humans and nature. We need to treat with utmost care every object of the universe. Every aspect of nature plays an integral part in keeping this planet human-friendly. In our zeal for luxurious life and entertainment, we should not forget that our habits are harming the ecosystem. It is time to live responsibly.

Source: Spirit of Islam January 2021

The March 28, 2021, issue of The Guardian carried a very insightful piece by John Harris on how faithless people like me make sense of this past year of Covid. The article directly touches on the question of how the covid pandemic is affecting people. He writes:

“I felt a pang of envy that has occasionally surfaced in the past—this time to do with a year of lockdown, the sudden fear of serious illness and death, and the sense of all of it being wholly random and senseless. Was this, I wondered, how religious believers were feeling? Or were they able to give their recent experiences at least a semblance of coherence and meaning?

Like millions of other faithless people, I have not even the flimsiest of narratives to project onto what has happened, nor any real vocabulary with which to talk about the profundities of life and death.”

Thus, it becomes quite clear that an ideology that negates the authenticity of the religious narrative is quite incapable of finding meaning in seemingly negative experiences. When the limit of human intelligence is reached without providing credible answers, where do human beings turn to? The same article provides the following statistics:

“In the first phase of the pandemic, there were clear signs that a lot of us needed much more. Across 95 countries, Googling the word “prayer” increased by 50%, surpassing the level associated with Christmas and Ramadan. In April 2020, a service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury from his kitchen table drew 5 million viewers, described by the Church of England as the largest congregation in its history. And since then, as churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples have been at the heart of some communities’ Covid experiences, the symbols and rituals of religion have made very visible comebacks. They were seen again in (…) doorstep vigil, complete with candles and massed silence, for the people lost to Covid.”

This human tendency is described in the Quran in these words:

“When man suffers some affliction, he prays to his Lord and turns to Him in penitence, but once he has been granted a favour from God, he forgets the One he had been praying to.” (39: 8)

“When an affliction befalls men, they cry out to their Lord, turning to Him in repentance.” (30: 33)

The truth of the matter is that religious narrative is an integral part of human life. Disbelief makes this world meaningless. The bad experiences in life are part of the divine test. Those who respond positively to this test would be rewarded in the Hereafter. The only possible explanation of this universe is to believe in a ‘universe with God’. The other option, according to John Harris, poses questions: “(…) life without God has turned out to be life without fellowship and shared meaning.”

Source: Spirit of Islam April 2021


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