I hope you’re all well and in the best state of imaan inshaAllah!
What a crazy turn of events we’ve had to witness over the last few weeks. Let’s just look at all the changes that have occurred since last time I wrote to you all.
- An international emergency has been declared in many countries around the world following the outbreak of the Coronavirus .
- Advice on how to wash one’s hands, sanitise public surfaces and areas has been given to prevent the spread of infection.
- People have been told to quarantine themselves and their families from 7-14 days if they’re experiencing a fever and a new continuous cough.
- People have also been told to socially distance themselves whether they are displaying symptoms or not.
- Self isolation is highly recommended but is not being enforced yet.
- The country’s citizens await a command from the higher powers that that everything should be locked down completely.
- People are running around and trying to stock up on staple goods in case we end up at home with nothing to eat for 4 weeks
- Toilet rolls have been surprisingly high on the priority list, resulting in many supermarkets up and down the country selling out!
- The country’s hospitals are experiencing alarmingly high volumes of people with Coronavirus symptoms. Sadly, many hospitals are under-staffed with many off sick and others in self isolation. Hospitals are beginning to turn away people who are 65 and over, even if they are displaying symptoms because there are literally not enough beds ☹️.
- Retired medics have been asked to come back and help with the efforts on the ‘front line’ as NHS staff continue to heroically work through this crisis.
- Current final year medical students will now automatically pass through to the next level and become junior doctors without the need to sit exams otherwise the country will have zero junior doctors on the wards at the beginning of August which will result in a huge shortage in the system.
- Schools have closed down for the masses and most people now have their children with them at home and are essentially home educating, with the help of online distant learning programs now in place.
- As a result of this, GCSE and A’Level exams have been deferred to a later date.
- The World Health Organisation is reminding people around the world to ‘do the 5’
- Everybody is told to self isolate at home until the situation calms down.
- Despite this people are still out and about.
OK, so what are we going to do about this? How are we going to deal with this on a daily basis. Right, you know what I’m going to say don’t you? We are going to look at the positive side of this and look at the things we can be grateful for.
Similar to one of my first ever posts when I broke my wrist as a mother of five (with an 8 month old baby to look after) we will do this with two of my favourite quotes of life.
Live life as though everything is rigged in your favour.
Life is a journey, enjoy it!
(Incidentally, my dad has chosen to enjoy this particular journey using his free time to record videos on Youtube on how to ‘Learn the Majestic Quran Qaidah for 60 days for English Speakers.) Click the link and it will take you to his video concerning the virus. Click on his channel Tanvir Al Quloob to watch all of his videos mashaAllah. It has been a dream of his to pass on his recently acquired knowledge on for future generations to benefit from, and he didn’t want to benefit financially from this at all. May Allah fulfil this noble intention inshaAllah.
Do tune in and learn something new- no doubt, one fantastic way to use your time in this forced retreat of sorts.
This ayah also reminds us that with every hardship there are two eases…
Now, with these quotes and this poignant Quran ayah in mind I’m going to list the many things I’m grateful for in this time…
Please forgive me for starting off small, I don’t mean to trivialise the issue. Trust me, as we go along the list will get more substantial. OK, here we go…:
- No packed lunches (no need to wake up at 6.30am five days a week anymore!)
- No school run (adds an extra 1.5 hours to each week day!)
- No strict bedtime routine (which means that if dinner is half an hour late for one reason or another, it doesn’t have a knock-on effect that makes us late for bedtime routines and morning routines and the school run the next morning! Phew, that’s a big one!).
- I get to work from home! Yay! Every teacher’s dream 👌😁…now don’t get me wrong, I love the social aspect of my work – meeting and interacting with the children and my lovely fellow teachers but anything that means I don’t have to rush out of the house every morning without fail at 7.45am, with three children (one of whom is a two year old who would much rather be in bed) in tow, five days a week is a win for me!
- Two of my children are now at high school and what can I say? With any number of unknown people influencing them day-in-day-out, mixed with their changing hormones, sometimes it feels as though I have two new strangers under my roof to deal with. Forced to spend twenty-four hours a day with these two has actually helped us to face issues they are going through and try to resolve them instead of skirting around them, while trying to balance the load we are trying to carry called Life with Five Children (mashaAllah!).
- After nearly 15 years of marriage without a TV, we’ve recently acquired a smart TV for family viewing (although we bought it with mutual agreement, I was initially horrified as it was against my fundamental principles of wasting time!! Don’t get me wrong, we did have PCs and laptops but screen time for the children was very minimal up until now) I am actually very grateful for it. We have been using it for good (Shaykh Aslam’s weekly Shamaail class 😍) as well as allowing the children screen time as a reward for good behaviour and honestly, it’s increased our quality of life, alhamduLillah. Another benefit is having the screen in a communal family area means everyone can see what is being watched, nothing like some good old security to makes sure the children are getting good suhba (company) when they are in front of the screen inshaAllah.
- People are being extra friendly, kind and chatty! So, I went to the supermarket the other day and I noticed a hum, a kind of buzz in the atmosphere and I literally stopped and thought to myself, what’s different in here? And to my surprise, I realised that it was the hum of people talking to one another. Cashiers were extra friendly and chatty, customers were talking to each other, people stopped to speak to or simply comment on my 2 year old and I had a chuckle with the lady in the queue in front of me when I felt I had to reassure her I wasn’t hoarding cereal and snacks but actually buying a supply for my children who were now at home and no doubt, will require feeding many times a day(!). It was reassuring to see that despite the scary epidemic that was taking over our lands (not to mention the attempt to divide us and increase hostility between citizens of different ethnic minorities during recent elections), many people feel closer due to the common human issue of Corona that seemed to bring us together.
- Mother Earth is healing! SubhanAllah, as you know it is part of our Deen to look after our natural surroundings and Allah’s creation on this Earth. We are guardians of it and reminded to look after it.
Recently we’ve had many discussions about climate change, however, despite this, our attitude has failed to drastically change any effects global warming is having on our planet, until now:
In China and California blue skies above former busy cities can be seen from outer space after the Coronavirus has forced self isolation.
Over in Italy, dolphins have been spotted in Venice in the absence of transport through the canals. They are now reported to be crystal clear.
Photos: Images from Twitter (@Kaveri and @soandso), NASA
9. Among the benefits of this crazy pandemic are the many many generous offers of online education for children -including the awesome new YouTube channel:
There is a free PE Class at 9am every morning Mon-Fri and Audible, Twinkl and Scribd have waived membership fees so children and have access to great resources for free! Absolutely brilliant!
This fabulous website by Sandra Adams is so helpful to teachers who are striving to teach online for the first time and need help navigating distance learning software.
This all-inclusive site includes great titbits of information from parenting to education to spirituality.
Not only that, our children’s Islamic learning has been accounted for by a fantastic offer from Shaykh Mohammed Aslam to teach two live classes per day online. Seerah and Aqeeda 😍👌🏽. MashaAllah, what a fantastic initiative! Whilst we’re on the subject, I’d like to recommend his weekly Shamaail class which is broadcast live on YouTube every Thursday evening. AlhamduLillah we have just listened to Lesson 5 and in it is an excellent discussion on gender relations beginning with the blessed sunnah of Sayyidina Aisha combing the Prophet’s ﷺ blessed hair mashaAllah. Here are the details on how to register for the children’s classes. I had the honour of working for City of Knowledge Academy (for about six months) back when we lived in Birmingham, mashaAllah I have got to say I’ve never met a Muslim brother more determined to live by the sunnah of our Beloved messenger of Allah ﷺ than him. May Allah bless him and preserve him and increase his rank inshaAllah. Follow him on Facebook for regular updates including heart rending stories from the seerah and his own life in Damascus amongst the awliya Allah mashaAllah.
10. In true British fashion, we have been sharing messages of encouragement and funny memes to get through the crazy situation at hand. Here are few of my favourites.11. Whatever happens, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses (or camellias in this case, thanks Louise! 😉). I found these hanging over my garden fence today 😍 mashaAllah.
Spring is well and truly on its way, alhamduLillah. Let’s try to not let the Coronavirus virus take over so much that we forget to take a moment to appreciate the beauty and much-missed warmth around us.
12. AlhamduLillah for our Guidance, the holy Quran. Allah has promised us that we will be tested and has written in this a reminder to be patient when afflicted with trials…
It’s a reminder to remain patient in these turbulent times. Some people may have a job they miss, family they can’t see, social or spiritual activities that they now have to abandon. It’s not easy, it’s a test but Allah reminds us in His Glorious book that there’ll be a reward for all this patience inshaAllah.
I think the hugest benefit of being Muslim is having a belief that everything is written and everything happens for the best to take us through. In this regard, I love the following message as a reminder that even though it will be a difficult period to get through, we can see it as a time to rest, to heal and to reunite afterwards in a positive way inshaAllah. ￼
Every trial is temporary and is a chance to realign our lives to what our true purpose is. To choose stillness and thereby gain closeness to our Creator during this time is not only a choice we can make but the best outcome if we are to make peace with the situation at hand. This time is a massive opportunity for self reflection and spiritual growth. ￼
Obviously, the hardest trial during this epidemic would be to lose a loved one. I know many of you are worried because of vulnerabilities in a loved one which makes them more prone to infection than most. Other people are worried for their own health and may feel fear and insecurities about the future. All I can say is that when a person’s time comes to leave this world, there is nothing we can do to stop this, and if, in the meant time it makes us hit that prayer mat more frequently, this worry will ultimately lead to more benefit than harm for us in the long run, inshaAllah.￼
We are all under the illusion that society and the people in it are giving us security, but in reality Allah is the Guardian and the one who takes care of us all no matter what.
This is a huge wake-up call to remember who gave us life and who we are all going to return to one day.
The main benefit of this wake-up call is to re-prioritise our lives so that our Deen is in order. This way, if we are to die soon, all matters will be taken care of and we’ll have no regrets inshaAllah. Remember the young man, Ali Banat, who changed his whole perspective when having to deal with his life ending imminently with cancer. His whole perspective changed. To have our eyes on the akhira and attain clarity in life while we are living and there is still a chance for Astagfaar is a rare gift.
Also, to die from a disease that has plagued a land is to die a death of a martyr.
SubhanAllah, can we ask for anything more? I ask Allah, the Most High, to protect us all, to look after our loved ones during this epidemic and to help us realign our priorities so that we all die with beautiful endings and no regrets inshaAllah. If this is the end for some of us, may we meet again on the other side…
That is so deeeeeep! SubhanAllah ♥️♥️♥️
Meanwhile, while we are going through all this change use this time to say your goodbyes. Forgive those who have wronged you and make peace.
This is also a great time to sort your will out. To be organised is not morbid. After all, death is the only thing we are certain of in this life.
Similar to a pilgrim saying farewell to all his loved ones before setting off on his journey of a lifetime -we now live,not knowing how the future will pan out, with the intention that everything worldly we leave in Allah’s hands.
Talking of pilgrimages, let’s try to make the most of the silence and stillness, shall we?
There are many many benefits of being still and practicing mindfulness. I have written about these in my forthcoming book (aaagh!! Can’t believe it’s nearly ready…alhamduLillah it’s nearly time for a cover reveal…watch this space inshaAllah!)…
Even with all these reminders to accept the fate that has been written for us, it is sunnah to be positive. A great idea to remain in high spirits would be to turn off social media and your newsfeed for at least a few hours everyday and give your brains and hearts a rest from it all.
Live in day-tight compartments. Enjoy the moment of each day. Keep up a daily exercise routine. Fitnessblender.com is amazing for timed workout routines which can easily be done inside the home.
Make the most of each breath. Enjoy the extra time with your children (if you have any) and thank Allah for each day you get through. Realise that Allah has shrunk your everyday worries and concerns of this duniya, so all that remains is our akhira. See this as a pre-retreat before Ramadan seeing as this beautiful blessed month is just around the corner.
We are nearing the end of Rajab and we need to make sure we’re planting our seeds inshaAllah…
May we make the most of these months so that Ramadan is truly out of this world for us inshaAllah!
Don’t forget to comment below if you have anything else you’d like to add to the discussion. Also, post recommendations to keep children busy in this time is you feel I’ve missed any!
Peace and love,
Stay safe, extra love to all,
Please forgive me if I’ve wronged you in any way,
P.S Don’t forget to self isolate, lovely people!
P.S.S Have a listen to this nasheed, it’s a wonderful dua and reminder of how we can become lost and find one’s true path again…💕♥️