A boy in a protective mask prays with men last Friday outside a mosque in Bahrain's capital Manama. (Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty Images)

It is Important that All Faiths Come Together in Prayer and in Deeds

This coronavirus pandemic happened unexpectedly.

From a faith perspective, it’s part of God’s divine plan. It’s a big test. God wants to see how humanity reacts, how people of faith react, and how human beings in general react.

There are two reactions. One of faith, which is prayer, and one of action, which is medical research and all activities to prevent and eradicate the disease.

As a faith leader, I will address the spiritual aspect.

We start with prayer in our home, or prayer in our church, synagogue, mosque or temple. A national day of prayer is very important.

All faiths in their own way call upon God for divine intervention, for mercy and to solve this calamity. Divine intervention works, as exemplified by the story of Moses and his people.

In Islam, God reads hearts and thoughts. The purity of one’s faith in God and in the hearts reaching out to the Almighty leads to divine intervention.

No one faith has a monopoly on faith. God hears us all, as the Quran mentions in   Chapter 2, Verse 62.

I had the privilege to travel with Muhammad Ali, the champion boxer. When he was asked what he thought of other religions, he said all rivers run to the ocean.

In the past, plagues came, as mentioned in the Old Testament and the Quran. When Pharaoh wanted to kill the first born, God sent a plague. It was a wrath from which only those who knew the secret of how to be protected were saved.

This is the power of faith. Our prayer is connected to divine intervention. Coronavirus is a wake-up call to all people of faith.

Why is humanity suffering? God will replace us unless we start serving humanity. People should not die because there is a lack of clean water. God’s children on this Earth should not die because there is not enough food in their stomach.

God’s children should not die because of wars. A majority of the victims have no input in decisions. God will replace us if we do not stop hunger, stop hate and stop violence. This is the wake-up call.

The whole world is being shut down. Let us reflect and serve humanity without discrimination. We all have our unique faith, but we are all children of Adam and the special creations of God.

All faiths are responsible when coronavirus comes. It doesn’t ask whether you are a Muslim, a Jew, a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist. Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate. It takes us all.

As people of faith, we cannot discriminate. We are all God’s children on Earth. It’s a test for us all.

To some Muslims, it could be a sign of God’s wrath. For example, China imprisoned Uighur Muslims, and now God has put the whole of China in a prison camp. But the fact is, China is in crisis, and the Chinese leadership should reassess its treatment of its people, its role in serving humanity globally, just as all governments in this world should question what they are doing for humanity.

Some say it’s also a sign of wrath because the Burmese military and government destroyed the lives of Rohingya Muslims, and India’s government harmed its minorities by imposing a lockdown on Kashmir. It’s a wrath due to global oppression.

Many other faiths have their theories.

I’m not sure I agree with the assessments of doom and gloom. We are not here to interpret why God sent this calamity. On the contrary, we are here to ask ourselves what are we doing for others.

There are those who say we are not fulfilling our calling as servants of the Almighty. We are not doing our job in serving the whole of humanity. God will replace us unless we sacrifice and serve.

We all came together on the recent National Day of Prayer, praying that God uses us as a tool not just to end coronavirus, but to cure the diseases in our hearts. Ego. Greed. Lust for power. Intoxication from materialism.

We pray to spread peace and have compassion in our hearts. We ask God to use us as tools to help the homeless, the poor, the women who are victims of violence.

Coronavirus is a wake-up call. We ask God to help us in this crisis, and help us serve humanity.

We ask God to empower our medical professionals to solve this crisis.

The Quran states that God will not put a burden on us that is greater than we can bear.

On a practical note, some people have blind faith. They think that by going to gatherings in their respective places of worship, God will protect them. But the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, said: “Tie up your camel. Then put your trust in God.”

Follow the advice of our medical professionals. After all, this is their calling for God, so we are all protected.

Our prayers are for divine intervention. They are the tools God uses to answer our prayers.

The author of this blog or other opinion piece is a third-party contributor who is independent of The Media Line Ltd and its partners or supporters. All assertions, opinions, facts, and information presented in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and are not necessarily those of The Media Line and/or all parties related thereto, none of whom assumes any responsibility for its content.

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