Virus Attack and Mercy to the Worlds!
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
I don’t think I know anything about what I am writing about just now. But still, write I must.
For, though neither a scientist nor a philosopher, nor a historian for that matter, but, on the other hand, just the tiniest fraction of all of the above perhaps, I do know a thing or two about Islam, Muslims and the World.
And that is because I have the Qur’an in my hands, which I read from time to time, no matter how far apart those time lapses may be spread. And no matter how infinitesimally small those portions of the Qur’an may be that actually do get read.
And I also have access to that most glorious treasure-house of human knowledge called the Hadith – the only authentic and unassailable compendium of true information about the past in the world.
Unlike most or all history books, and, also, unlike most or all newspapers and other media fare, which are filled to the brim with speculation, conjecture and make-believe of all kinds.
So, having said all that, here is what I think happens to us all the time – each and every one of us. We are in the direct line of attack from trillions of microbes all the time – call them bacteria or call them viruses or call them something else.
I know nothing about any of them.
But I think most viruses are an empty threat – paper tigers of sorts – and most of them blow over, to pass us by and go and do their damage elsewhere.
But some do tarry and launch a vicious attack targeting our body. Our body jumps into defense mode and tries to throw out the virus with a booming sneeze.
Again, I have no clue how accurate any of this is. But I do know one thing. I know a child of the desert, in the 7th Century, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, who was not an educated man by any measure, and who was neither a scientist nor a philosopher by any stretch of the imagination.
And yet God Almighty made him a teacher unto the world and called him a mercy to all the known and unknown worlds that he created.
Now that man, who lived at a time when the world knew nothing about bacteria or viruses, understandably, said nothing about bacteria or viruses.
Nor did he speculate about any likely relationship between a virus attack and the pre-programmed anti-virus defensive mechanism of the human body in the form of a sneeze.
But he did say this, which I am paraphrasing here:
“When you sneeze, say Alhamdulillah!
In other words, say:
“Thank You God Almighty! All praise to you.”
Does it translate to “Thank you God for helping me ward off this recent virus attack?” I don’t know.
But if the virus theory has any validity to it, my inference does not seem that far-fetched, does it?
And then there is more to the story. He also said, again, what I am paraphrasing here as:
“If you hear someone sneeze and say Alhamdulillah, you should reply by saying ‘God Have Mercy on you!’”
Or – in the original Arabic of the Hadith:
Is that, now, tantamount to saying, again if that virus-attack hypothesis is a sound one, something like this:
“Man, you seem to be under attack from a virus. May God have mercy on you and help you in your battle against this virus attack!”?
God Almighty knows best!
As for those viruses that a common sneeze is not able to get rid of, they I suppose tend to linger around and do the kind of damage that takes your doctors forever to discover and diagnose.
And in the meantime, your body becomes a host to a cornucopia of symptoms from fever to body ache and from muscle pain to every bone, knuckle and joint being passed through an iron ringer in slow motion.
On your follow-up visit, your doctor says with a knowing smile:
“It is just a virus!”
And then he adds:
“Just as I said before!”
As if that says it all. And as if we are supposed to take that and live happily ever after.
Personally, I would rather take my chances with the Alhamdulillah-Yarhamukallah combo!
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This Thanksgiving — And Every Other Thanksgiving!