Amid a global pandemic, the world has come to a halt. The most powerful nations in recent history, with the biggest militaries, are up against an enemy they cannot see. With a toppling economy and crashing stock markets, it can become hard to recognize that even a pandemic can be a gift from Allah SWT to a believer.
COVID-19 has been an eye-opener to the truth many of us refute and deny. The diversions of this temporary world, i.e., school, jobs, and family, have become the focal point of our lifestyles while the true purpose has been forgotten. Our interactions with the Quran and Sunnah have become autonomic acts and robotic movements, providing us with an outer layer of Islamic identity while our daily life is indistinguishable from that of the rest of society. A month into the quarantine, without a 9-5 schedule, without school to remind us of our purpose in society, we lack motivation and a sense of self. With no social script, Allah SWT has provided us with an opportunity to live according to the Quran and Sunnah. Instead of a 9-5 schedule, our days can revolve around our five daily prayers, improving our connection with the Quran, having a proper sleep schedule, enhancing our character, and more.
Use the time we have been granted, alone in isolation to purify ourselves from within and refine our faith. Here are 8 areas to improve on in your daily routine:
1. Sleeping early and performing the Fajr prayer on time.
It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘When any one of you goes to sleep, the Shaitan ties three knots on his head, saying each time: “(Sleep) a long night.” If he wakes up and remembers Allah (SWT), one knot is undone. If he performs wudu’, another knot is undone. If he prays, all the knots are undone and he starts his day in a good mood and feeling energetic. Otherwise he starts his day in a bad mood and feeling lethargic.'”
2. Make a habit of starting your day early in the morning as there are clear blessings in it.
It was narrated from Sakhr Al-Ghamidi that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:“O Allah, bless my nation in their early mornings (i.e., what they do early in the morning).”
3. Recite the Quran early in the morning.
Narrated Abu Hurairah:
regarding Allah, Most High, saying: “And recite the Qur’an in the early dawn. Verily the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed (17:78).” The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “It is witnessed by the angels of the night and the angels of the day.”
4. Improving one’s character:
Abu Wahb narrated that :
‘Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak explained good character, and then he said: “It is a smiling face, doing one’s best in good, and refraining from harm.”
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: By his good character a believer will attain the degree of one who prays during the night and fasts during the day.
5. Make a habit of praying the Sunnah prayers.
Aishah narrated that Allah’s Messenger (S) said:
“Whoever is regular with twelve Rak’ah of Sunnah (prayer), Allah will build a house for him in Paradise: Four Rak’ah before Zuhr, two Rak’ah after it, two Rak’ah after Maghrib, two Rak’ah after Isha, and two Rak’ah before Fajr.”
6. Become a student of knowledge.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise.”
7. Make sincere Dua for the Ummah during this difficult time and do not forget to pray for our brothers and sisters in Palestine, India, China and Yemen who continue to face oppression.
Narrated An-Nu’man ibn Bashir:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Supplication (du’a’) is itself the worship.
(He then recited:) “And your Lord said: Call on Me, I will answer you” (40:60)
Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked: “At what time does the supplication find the greatest response?” He (ﷺ) replied, “A supplication made during the middle of the last part of the night and after the conclusion of the obligatory prayers.”
8. Regularly offering the Night prayer (Qiyam-ul-Layl) as it is a habit of the righteous.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) “Be keen on night prayer as it is the habit of the righteous, it’s your mean of proximity to your Lord, expiation of sins and a barrier against sinning.”
For a believer, calamities are an opportunity from Allah to think about our mistakes, our shortcomings, and correct our ways. Thus, we need to ask ourselves, will the same level of negligence continue? This once in a lifetime pandemic could be our chance to change our character, to reclaim our purpose and truly repent to Allah SWT.