By Shaykh Abdool Rahman Khan
The world is witnessing some tough times these days, with the appearance of the Coronavirus. Life situations are changing rapidly. How should one process all this information that is changing every hour?
People are asking: Does this have anything to do with the end times? After all, this generation has not witnessed anything so humongous and scary like The Coronavirus. People have become perplexed and confused.
Rasoolullah SAS did predict many happenings among the signs of The Hour but could The Coronavirus be one them? Could The Coronavirus be one of the major signs of The Last Day?
The major signs are ten in number based on the Hadith of Rasoolullah SAS narrated by Hudhaifa b. Usaid al-Ghifari (RA) who said: Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) came to us all of a sudden as we were (busy in a discussion) He said:
مَا تَذَاكَرُونَ ” . قَالُوا نَذْكُرُ السَّاعَةَ . قَالَ ” إِنَّهَا لَنْ تَقُومَ حَتَّى تَرَوْنَ قَبْلَهَا عَشْرَ آيَاتٍ ” . فَذَكَرَ الدُّخَانَ وَالدَّجَّالَ وَالدَّابَّةَ وَطُلُوعَ الشَّمْسِ مِنْ مَغْرِبِهَا وَنُزُولَ عِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَيَأْجُوجَ وَمَأْجُوجَ وَثَلاَثَةَ خُسُوفٍ خَسْفٌ بِالْمَشْرِقِ وَخَسْفٌ بِالْمَغْرِبِ وَخَسْفٌ بِجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِ وَآخِرُ ذَلِكَ نَارٌ تَخْرُجُ مِنَ الْيَمَنِ تَطْرُدُ النَّاسَ إِلَى مَحْشَرِهِمْ
What do you discuss about? They (the Companions) said. We are discussing about the Last Hour. Thereupon he said: It will not come until you see ten signs before and (in this connection) he made a mention of the smoke, Dajjal, the beast, the rising of the sun from the west, the descent of Jesus son of Mary (Allah be pleased with him), the Gog and Magog, and land-slides in three places, one in the east, one in the west and one in Arabia at the end of which fire would burn forth from the Yemen, and would drive people to the place of their assembly. (Sahih Muslim)
For sure Coronavirus does not fit any of the ten major signs of The Last Hour. Or so it seems! The appearance of The Mahdi and the return of Prophet Jesus (PBUH) and the coming of Dajjal all of which will follow one another still yet to come. None of these has yet happened. Are they far away? Only Allah SWT knows.
But then there are the minor signs or “Alamaatus Sughraa” meaning other than the ten major signs. No doubt there are some traces of end time signs. To pinpoint them would be a difficult task.
Even though The Coronavirus is still wreaking havoc in the world and no one knows when it would end and what would be the death toll. What is clear is that The Coronavirus is still far less mortality rate than some of the most devastating pandemic in human history.
Take the Bubonic Plague of 1346-1353, for example, it was estimated that 100 million people died by the plague which was spread by rats and fleas. Those days the world population was barely 500 million people. One can do the math.
Then there was The Spanish Flu of 1918-1920 flu which infected 500 million people around the world, or about 27% of the world population of that time which was between 1.8 and 1.9 billion. The death toll was estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly and as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history.
Certainly living at that time would be a lot scarier than living today with The Coronavirus. Not that anyone should underestimate the danger and power of viruses. It is very difficult to fully protect against something so microscopic and powerful and its transmission from person to person is still not fully known. We surrender to what Allah SWT says:
﴾هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ السَّكِينَةَ فِي قُلُوبِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لِيَزْدَادُوا إِيمَانًا مَّعَ إِيمَانِهِمْ ۗ وَلِلَّـهِ جُنُودُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا ﴿٤
It is He who sent down tranquillity into the hearts of the believers that they would increase in faith along with their [present] faith. And to Allah belong the soldiers of the heavens and the earth, and ever is Allah Knowing and Wise. (48:4)
Test of Faith
While living through perhaps one of the most difficult times a Believer must know that at the end of the day it is a test from Allah SWT.
He SWT says:
الم* أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يُتْرَكُوا أَنْ يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لا يُفْتَنُونَ* وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ
Alif-Lam-Mim (1) Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. (2) And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars. (29:3)
The Almighty knows who the human beings are but it is in His Wisdom and justice that He brings about these tests.
A Believer does not beg for difficulty but he prepares for it when it comes. The trial is what sorts out:
- Truth from falsehood
- Sincerity from hypocrisy
- Moral from immoral
- Good from wicked
Allah SWT says:
مَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيَذَرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَى مَا أَنْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ حَتَّى يَمِيزَ الْخَبِيثَ مِنْ الطَّيِّبِ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُطْلِعَكُمْ عَلَى الْغَيْبِ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَجْتَبِي مِنْ رُسُلِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ
Allah will not let the believers stay in the state they are: He will set the wicked apart from the good. Allah is not going to disclose to you what is hidden in the realm beyond the reach of perception, but He chooses from among His Messengers whom He wills . … (3:179)
He SWT also informs human beings that there are the unseen that He will not disclose. So when people asks why is this happening to all humanity, they must read what Allah SWT says:
وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُطْلِعَكُمْ عَلَى الْغَيْبِ
Allah is not going to disclose to you what is hidden in the realm beyond the reach of perception (3:179)
Mankind does not know what is in the hearts of his fellow human beings. All that is seen is the outward actions. One can see someone prays and fasts but cannot see what is in the hearts. So Allah SWT puts mankind and particularly those who say they believe through trials in order to expose what is in the hearts. A true Believer stands firm in his faith at these trialing times.
Trials become continuous and in all spheres of life:
- Trials in Deen
- Trials in wealth
- Trials in family and relations
- Trials in health
- Trials in life and death situations
- Trials with Authority
- Sometimes a combination of some of these
Two main trials:
- The trials of Shubuhaat in matters of Deen (practice) and Aqeedah (beliefs)
- The trials of Shahawaat in matters of
- Fulfilling desires
- Eating and drinking without caring about Halaal and Haraam
- Lewdness and immorality
Say Allah SWT about those who disobeyed Him from the hypocrites and disbelievers:
كَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ كَانُوا أَشَدَّ مِنكُمْ قُوَّةً وَأَكْثَرَ أَمْوَالًا وَأَوْلَادًا فَاسْتَمْتَعُوا بِخَلَاقِهِمْ فَاسْتَمْتَعْتُم بِخَلَاقِكُمْ كَمَا اسْتَمْتَعَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُم بِخَلَاقِهِمْ وَخُضْتُمْ كَالَّذِي خَاضُوا ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ
[You disbelievers are] like those before you; they were stronger than you in power and more abundant in wealth and children. They enjoyed their portion [of worldly enjoyment], and you have enjoyed your portion as those before you enjoyed their portion, and you have engaged [in vanities] like that in which they engaged. [It is] those whose deeds have become worthless in this world and in the Hereafter, and it is they who are the losers. (69)
Advice from Rasoolullah SAS at times of trials
First: Run to The Quran and Sunnah when people are running away from it
Irbaad bin Saariyah (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (SAS) delivered an admonition that made our hearts fearful and our eyes tearful. We said, “O Messenger of Allah, it is as if this were a farewell sermon, so advise us.” He said,
أوصيكم بتقوى الله عز وجل، والسمع والطاعة، وإن تأمر عليكم عبدٌ؛ فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ يَعِشْ مِنْكُمْ فَسَيَرَى اخْتِلاَفًا كَثِيرًا فَعَلَيْكُمْ بِسُنَّتِي وَسُنَّةِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ الْمَهْدِيِّينَ من بَعْدِي تَمَسَّكُوا بِهَا وَعَضُّوا عَلَيْهَا بِالنَّوَاجِذِ وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَمُحْدَثَاتِ الأُمُورِ فَإِنَّ كُلَّ مُحْدَثَةٍ بِدْعَةٌ وَكُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلاَلَةٌ ، وفي رواية: وَكُلَّ ضَلاَلَةٍ فِي النَّارِ
“I enjoin you to have Taqwa of Allah and that you listen and obey, even if a slave is made a ruler over you. He among you who lives long enough will see many differences. So for you is to observe my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-principled and rightly-guided successors, holding on to them with your molar teeth. Beware of newly-introduced matters, for every innovation (bid’ah) is an error.” (Abu Dawud & Al-Tirmidhi, who says it is an authentic hadith – hasan saheeh)
Secondly: Be part of the Jamaa’ah who follows the Sunnah of Rasoolullah SAS as he and his Companions practiced.
Huzhifah ibnil Yamaan (RA) used to ask Rasoolullah SAS about things when they go bad:
تَلزَمُ جماعةَ المسلمينَ وإمامَهم ) . قلتُ : فإن لم يكن لهم جماعةٌ ولا إمامٌ ؟ قال : ( فاعتَزِلْ تلك الفِرَقَ كلَّها ، ولو أن تَعَضَّ بأصلِ شجرةٍ ، حتى يُدرِكَك الموتُ وأنت على ذلك
“Adhere to the group of Muslims and their Imaam.” I asked, “If there is neither a group (of Muslims) nor a leader (what shall I do)?” He said, “Keep away from all those different sects, even if you had to bite (i.e. eat) the root of a tree, till you meet Allah while you are still in that state.”
Third: Stay Firm with your faith
An example of the test was at the time of the Battle of Khandaq and Allah SWT describes the behavior of both groups:
How did the hypocrites behave?
﴾وَإِذْ يَقُولُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ مَّا وَعَدَنَا اللَّـهُ وَرَسُولُهُ إِلَّا غُرُورًا ﴿١٢
And [remember] when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is disease said, “Allah and His Messenger did not promise us except delusion,” (33:12)
How did the Believers behave?
﴾وَلَمَّا رَأَى الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْأَحْزَابَ قَالُوا هَـٰذَا مَا وَعَدَنَا اللَّـهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَصَدَقَ اللَّـهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ۚ وَمَا زَادَهُمْ إِلَّا إِيمَانًا وَتَسْلِيمًا ﴿٢٢
And when the believers saw the companies, they said, “This is what Allah and His Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger spoke the truth.” And it increased them only in faith and acceptance. (33:22)
﴾يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿١٥٣
O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. (153)
May Allah SWT protect us all and free us from the hardships we as going through. Aameen