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Unprecedented Times?

Blog Post 29

March 28, 2020

Hourglass

"Indeed, those who patiently

persevere will truly receive

a reward without measure.”

- The Holy Qur’an 30:10 

Jargon. Every profession, every activity, every group has their own. That’s fine.

But when the “government” uses jargon, it’s not fair to the people. We aren’t in that group, even though

in the US, for example, it says “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

 

When the “government” uses jargon, they mean to exclude and confuse and attempt to sophisticate themselves at our expense. That’s why we immediately hear jargonized words and phrases during “emergencies,” wars and pandemics. The “government” and their “experts” start it and then everyone and their brother jumps on board and repeats the jargon over and over. Flatten the curve, social (revised to physical) distancing, self-isolate, quarantine, ventilators and respirators, novel, asymptomatic, community transmission, incubation, comorbid, protocol, double down, efficacy, mitigate, lockdown, don't shake hands, wash your hands, sneeze and cough and yawn into your elbow…

I mean, I’m not saying people shouldn’t learn new words and phrases or that the “government” should dumb down language to a third or fifth grade level like some talk like. That’s not what we’re talking about.

People around the world are suffering during this pandemic. People fall into several categories: those who are scared stiff and don’t want to get sick and die; those who are responsible and try their best to protect themselves and others from getting sick; those who believe it’s a hoax and are living like they always do. (You can certainly make up other categories.) Within these three though, I surmise that the “government’s” jargon causes the most confusion for the first group cause they don’t understand what’s happening. However, within the second group, many people who’re trying their best also don’t understand what’s happening. And the last group, basically doesn’t care.

Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala says:

“Be sure we shall test you with something

of the fear and the hunger

and loss of the wealth and the lives

and the fruits [of your toil].”

- The Holy Qur’an 2:155

 

Let’s look at the word unprecedented. Is this situation unprecedented really?

Certainly, if we look at the last 70 or so years, for example, there have been so many situations that caused anxiety, fear, turmoil, destruction and death. The questions are: Who was anxious and scared? and Who died? If we say it was not the rich and powerful people and countries, we would be correct. If we say that the rich and powerful people and countries caused the anxiety, fear, turmoil, destruction and death, we would also be correct. There’s no need to list the events and episodes, the miseries, here. You can look them up, but for a few hints, look at wars, police murdering black boys and men, genocides, burning crosses and bombing churches, famines, mass incarceration, corporate greed and theft, assassinations, torture…

It’s true that this is the first time many of us have seen the schools shut down for so long, the first time we’ve not been able to move freely about out of our homes, the first time we’ve been forced to work from home or not at all, the first time we’ve been unsure about where we’re going to get money, the first time we can’t just do what we want when we want and how we want. So, yeah, it’s a big deal. And yeah, maybe we’re all going to get sick and die sooner than we’d thought. But this is the routine state of affairs for many people all over the world, even here, through no fault of their own, rather because of what we’ve been allowing to happen all over the world cause it’s NIMBY (look it up).

And it is true that religious gatherings, Jumah, Umrah and ziyarat have been cancelled for the time being and that is new in many countries, although ziyarat has been forbidden and banned off and on over the centuries. So in that case, one result of the disease is unprecedented. However, we’ve taken to conducting religious gatherings remotely and are spending more time as families and individually with our religious obligations, studies and reflections, inshallah. On this birthday of Imam Husayn, peace be upon him, we can send our salaams to him from our homes just as easily as if we were at our masjid or at his, for example.

So if the “government” wants to confuse you, it can do so easily cause fear is a great motivator and has been used since Shaitan spoke to Prophet Adam and Lady Hawwa about death, peace be upon them. The reality is: the only reason you’re upset, scared, worried, sad, mad is cause you’ve been living a life of ease and haven’t cared about and done anything about what your “government’s” been doing all these decades and centuries. If you stick your head in the sand and ignore what’s going on, why do you think you’ll be exempt from the suffering? Why do you believe it’ll never get around to you? Why do you believe you’re safe?

If we just look at a simple fact, it’ll be easy to understand. We’ve messed up Mother Earth. We’ve created viruses that mutate and destroy and kill and hibernate and come back more deadly. Our health systems are failing. Our money is all we think about. People aren’t important. It’s me and me and me.

If you don’t care about others, why would you think the “government” would care about you? They only care about you if you make money to give them to run the show and make them rich so they can live high on the hog while you toil away day after day, night after night, and buy and consume and buy and consume and give your money to them. (I’m equating the “government” with corporations at this point.)

It’s a social experiment, folks. They’ve lost touch with the people. They don’t know what’s happening really. They’re trying to figure out how much they can push us around, how much they can actually get us to stop talking to and interacting with each other, how much they can scare us and herd us and brainwash us. It’s been going on for a long time – on-line “social” interactions, surveillance of that and our driving and banking and cameras and tagging everywhere, militarizing the streets, censuring thought and speech (resulting in a scarcity of opinions, taped mouths and fake news), on-line working from “home” (where you hunker down), fads and fashions and must-have items (toilet paper!) and the latest technological thing, science versus spirituality, family redefined, anything goes, pot and liquor stores are essential services….

“Corruptions and calamities have appeared on the land and the sea

because of what the hands of the people have earned, so that He makes

them taste some of what they have done so that they may return.”

- The Holy Qur’an 30:41

 

The people who’ll make it through are those who listen to the “government,” weed out the lies and bs, practise hygiene and safety measures, spend quality time with their family and friends, display acts of kindness and helpfulness and share and give to others, learn new skills, read and study, get to know themselves better and work on personal flaws, appreciate the little things, show patience, rely on Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala, pray and supplicate to Allah, and live simpler, less hectically, more hopefully, smarter and bravely. As Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala says in the same ayat mentioned earlier, 2:155,

“But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” 

 

Think about what Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei said in his March 22, 2020 Norouz speech:

 

Another part of these truths is the ideological system of Islam,

which is a set of values established by Islam.

In other words, it has introduced them as values.

The masses of people and human societies are obliged to

approach them and to move them forward as their happiness

lies in them. The values cover concepts ranging from

individual characteristics - such as patience, endurance and forgiveness

- these are personal traits – to public and life-building qualities

such as freedom, social justice, human dignity and lifestyle.

These are among the Islamic values mentioned by Islam

and explained to us people….Well, if we wish to realize them,

if we intend to implement these concepts in the ideological

environment of society in the true sense of the word, if we want

these values to show themselves in the actions and behavior

of the people and if we decide to realize the rules which are a means

of progress and movement, this requires the existence of a political power.

Without a political power, bullies will not concede, 

the lazy will not budge and the agents of bullies and of arrogant 

and wealthy people will follow them. That is to say,

the goal of Prophethood will not be attained.”

 

Don’t get caught up in all the jargon and never mind the acronyms that are also invented and spouted, like PPE and CDC, and even the colourful icon of the disease in your brain now. Just more things to either ignore, learn or fear. Take the straight middle path. And please don’t take advice from the lying, ugly, immoral, oppressive, cruel, merciless con artist in the white house and his minions. Their jargon, false promises, lies and incompetency are proofs of their lack of credibility and trustworthiness, two characteristics Imam Khamenei tells us they don’t possess. He says they may have even invented the disease, targeted the Islamic Republic and let it loose. Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala is the Best of Planners, Al-Hamdulillah.

Recite and acknowledge and believe, inshallah:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

“Allah is sufficient for me. There is no god but He.

On Him do I rely upon and He is the Lord of Mighty Power

and I block their might and power with Allah’s Might and Power.

And I seek intercession from The Lord of the Dawn (for protection)

against the evil of His creatures and I seek refuge in the will of Allah.

There is no Power except with Allah, the High, the Great.”

Salawat

Recite and acknowledge and believe, inshallah:

 

Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him and his family) great-grandson, Imam Zain al-Abideen’s (peace be upon him) Supplication when Faced with a Worrisome Task or when Misfortune Descended and at the Time of Distress*

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

"O He through whom the knots of detested things are untied!

O He through whom the cutting edge of hardships is blunted!

O He from whom is begged the outlet to the freshness of relief!

 

Intractable affairs yield to Thy power,

means are made ready by Thy gentleness,

the decree goes into effect through Thy power,

and all things proceed according to Thy desire.

 

By Thy desire they follow Thy command without Thy word

and by Thy will they obey Thy bans without Thy prohibition.

 

Thou art the supplicated in worries and the place of flight in misfortunes;

none of them is repelled unless Thou repellest,

none is removed unless Thou removest.

 

Upon me has come down, My Lord, something whose weight burdens me

and upon me has fallen something whose carrying oppresses me.

 

Through Thy power Thou hast brought it down upon me

and through Thy authority Thou hast turned it toward me.

 

None can send away what Thou hast brought,

none can deflect what Thou hast turned,

none can open what Thou hast closed,

none can close what Thou hast opened,

none can make easy what Thou hast made difficult,

none can help him whom Thou hast abandoned.

 

So bless Muhammad and his Household,

open for me, my Lord, the door of relief through Thy graciousness,

break from me the authority of worry by Thy strength,

confer the beauty of Thy gaze upon my complaint,

let me taste the sweetness of benefaction in what I ask,

give me from Thyself mercy and wholesome relief,

and appoint for me from Thyself a quick way out!

 

Distract me not through worry from observing Thy obligations

and acting in accordance with Thy prescriptions.

 

My capacity has been straitened, my Lord,

by what has come down on me,

and I am filled with worry by carrying what has happened to me,

while Thou hast power to remove what has afflicted me

and to repel that into which I have fallen.

So do that for me though I merit it not from Thee,

O Possessor of the Mighty Throne!"

Salawat

*Imam Zain al-Abideen (a.s.). “His Supplication in Worrisome Tasks,” Supplication #7. Al-Sahifah al-Kamilah al-Sajjadiyah (The Perfectly Complete Book of al-Sajjad). See the whole book of duas at https://www.al-islam.org/sahifa-al-kamilah-al-sajjadiyya-imam-ali-zayn-al-abidin.

 

References

 

Imam Khamenei, Sayyid Ali. (March 22, 2020). US officials are charlatans and terroristsKhamenei.ir. Retrieved from http://english.khamenei.ir/news/7451/US-officials-are-charlatans-and-terrorists.

Imam Zain al-Abideen (a.s.). (March 4, 2020). Which supplication did Imam Khamenei recommend after the outbreak of Coronavirus? Khamenei.ir. Retrieved from http://english.khamenei.ir/news/7401/Which-supplication-did-Imam-Khamenei-recommend-after-the-outbreak