by Muhammad Nuray Alam
From the very start of the COVID-19 in China in December 2019, a religious group of people believed that it is a curse from God for human misdeeds.
Their peculiar food habit or resentment of God for their religious belief or repression on humanity including Uighur Muslims.
One Bangladeshi so-called Islamic speaker also joined the group adding that someone talked with coronavirus in his dreams and it had come to punish Buddhists for its alleged repression on Muslims.
It has come to punish disbelievers who have no faith in God.
However, the claims fell flat soon after the virus spread to Japan, Korea, Iran, Italy and within three months the entire world.
All the leaders of major religions have discouraged the presence in the religious places or religious authorities have closed places of worship or limited public gatherings.
In February, the Saudi government suspended all pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina indefinitely. In March, Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem closed for prayers, making it a clean sweep: Islam’s three holiest sites were now off-limits.
Many Middle Eastern countries have canceled Friday mass prayers ordering that religious practices be practiced at homes.
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has exposed a gesture that this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, scheduled for July 28-August 2, is likely to be put off.
There are also many precedents of Hajj being suspended. The Hajj has been suspended about forty times since the first pilgrimage in 629 CE, including for cholera outbreaks and plagues.
Moreover, Buddhist New Year celebrations, which often bring thousands of people together for public water fights and other events, have been canceled across South Asia. The Roman Catholic Church, for instance, has begun live streaming the Pope’s daily mass and Sunday sermon, and some parishes are offering drive-through confessions.
From the Islamic point of view, Allah has tested people various times with hunger, epidemic, floods and various types of disasters.
Although, few Islamic scholars are considering the COVID-19 as a disaster and advised people to seek Allah’s forgiveness.
Islam has given clear direction not to leave or to go to epidemic-hit areas which is now known as quarantine or isolation.
From a medical standpoint, coronavirus outbreaks have been linked to a South Korean church named the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a Christian denomination, a gathering of 16,000 faithful at a mosque in Malaysia, an Orthodox Jewish congregation in New Rochelle, New York, Nizamuddin Markaz Tablighi Jamaat in India and Tablighi Jamaat’s annual conference in Raiwind, Lahore, Pakistan and Palestine are blaming for spreading Coronavirus.
Qom sacred city of Iran are also blamed for spreading coronavirus in the Middle East. In Israel, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish town named Bnei Brak with one of the highest rates of coronavirus cases in that country. Coronavirus fear added with Islam phobia has been fueling anti-Muslim sentiment in India.
Some religious bigots gave wrong sermons that the bug will not affect believers as God will not punish them. Keeping the belief in heart some of them are violating health directions and have are now sick with covid-19.
There are lot of example in the history and holy books that in the course of time, many nation and human residences have been destroyed by natural disasters and pandemics.
That’s why every religion asks believers to pray to God for safety and forgiveness.
Islamic scholars have mentioned Islamic precedent of demeanor during pandemic and advised people not to move. Pope Francis has asked God to stop the coronavirus epidemic and said people should use their time in quarantine to reconnect with their families.
Every religious leaders trying to pacify people from religious perspective and advising people to obey health rules directed by authorities.
It could not be considered as a result of creator’s anger to human or not against any particular beliefs or nation. Irrespective of religion, caste and creed, coronavirus has affected across the world.
If food habits are to be blamed, then why not bribery? If illegal sexual activities are to be blamed, then none of the countries are from such practices.
Year after year people are destroying forest, emitting more carbon, abolishing natural eco system.
Media reports said as carbon emission has reduced people are enjoying clear sky, fresher air, water species are celebrating life and world temperature is becoming normal.
COVID-19 has united people to fight the against common enemy. It is expected that very soon men will win in the fight against coronavirus. Concerted effort will make world livable for all creatures.
Coronavirus has brought a small message that human power is very little compared to supernatural power. Richest and biggest countries of the world and their health system failed to an invisible coronavirus.
Military budgets in the name of security has been on the rise, but all securities are failed to tackle covid-19 virus. So, it is important not to politicise this struggle.
Our prayers for now should be for us, the human species, and for our mother earth.