Coronavirus, Between Caution and Panic (By: Shamsi Ali)

By Shamsi Ali, President of the Nusantara Foundation

Since the outbreak of a few weeks ago, coronavirus or currently popularly known as Covid-19, has become a frightening specter for the global world. The World Health Organization (WHO) for example makes it a disease with massive transmission (Pandemic).

Starting from the city of Wuhan in China, to Asian countries, especially Southeast Asia, to the Middle East, especially Iran, Europe, especially Italy, and even the United States. Now declared as a global threat.

In America, there are now hundreds of cases, of which 100 are confirmed as Corona. There are 14 people who died from the virus. Even in the state of New York, my hometown, it was treated by an emergency by its Governor.

The major impacts also occur in the economic field. The world financial markets, including Wall Street, collapsed. This is even considered the biggest financial crisis after the recession a few years ago.

Perhaps no less excited is the market and “retail” shops of basic goods have suddenly experienced a remarkable decline in “stock” (inventory). From food ingredients, household needs, to alcohol hand sanitizers and napkins.

It was only when this was realized by many people in America, it turns out that more than 80 percent of basic daily necessities in America come from the country of origin of Corona. China turns out to be the largest supplier of basic necessities to the daily life of the American nation.

One cheap shop that is also in great demand by Indonesians in America is the 99c store. Right now if you enter the store, you will find that some of the shelves are empty. In addition, because it was bought up by customers, also because of the cessation of shipping cheap goods from China.

What I want to discuss briefly this time is how should we respond to the spread of the coronavirus or the spread of the issue? Should we panic, even fear, so that life must be stopped because of it?

I want to say that in fact in today’s world of media openness, an event anywhere in the world can be an issue that is raised or otherwise minimized.

I am not saying that the transmission of the coronavirus is an issue that has been raised or reduced. In fact, this issue has become a big issue that shakes the world.

Corona seems to have become an unavoidable reality. And so in front of us there is only one choice: FACE.

Indeed it is. Everything that has become reality is inevitable. Even, including the “reality of death” if indeed the time has arrived.

In Islam, addressing the reality of life, anything, whether good or bad, big or small in human consideration, including the Corona issue, should be faced with five things.

First, when there is something that we think is unfavorable, or a calamity happens in life, there is a possibility that it is part of the rewards of the mistakes and sins that we have committed.

Therefore, facing Corona for a Muslim, the first thing to remember is to ask for God’s grace and forgiveness. Because lest this happens because of negligence that we have been doing in life.

Second, from time to time God reminds people of His unlimited power. One way is to remind humans of all the limitations of himself. That man with all his greatness, strength, science, variety of innovations, wealth, and so on, has real limitations and weaknesses.

Coronavirus is not the first in this decade. From the AIDS / HIV virus, bird flu, and now the Coronavirus. All of them remind us of God’s power on one side. While making us aware of our own shortcomings and limitations on the other side.

Third, in fact the universe and all its contents are in a single control. Nothing happens in this life except because it is moved by Him who is in control of heaven and earth.

A hadith of Qudsi narrated by Rasulullah SAW affirms: “If if all the jinn and humans gather to provide benefits to you, surely no one is able to benefit you except by Allah’s decree for you. And if all the jinn and men gather to bring danger (mudhorat) to you, they will not harm you except with the permission of Allah “.

Meaning, this case should strengthen our conviction that what is being discussed throughout the world today will not have an impact unless it is permitted by the controller of heaven and earth. This will also make our hearts find calm in the midst of human unrest.

Fourth, the beauty of Islam is one of them because it is characterized by “kaamil wa mutakaamil” (complete and complementary). The creed aspect must be complemented with the aspects of science and charity.

Likewise in responding to Corona, it certainly requires human endeavors in an effort to keep them from spreading. Starting from science. Learn from those who are experts in their fields.

Experts have said that one of the best ways to fortify yourself from the possibility of this contagion is to always wash your hands, face, and so on. Of course, we are grateful that the teachings of this religion basically teaches that.

This means that faith requires us to understand what and how corona is. Then, with that knowledge we endeavor (charity) to take business steps so that the virus does not affect us and others.

Fifth, one form of endeavor, other than those mentioned above, is to raise your hands up, bow our hearts, ask Allah who controls everything in the universe for intervention.

Believe me, prayer is a powerful weapon. Prayer is a powerful force. And therefore never underestimate. And Allah, the Lord and Ruler of all conditions has promised to answer the prayers of His servants.

Those are the things we must do in the face of this ferocious Corona issue. I just want to emphasize again that this issue has become a global issue. The United States, which is recognized by the world as a “super power country”, is also worried about the corona issue.

Therefore, do not pretend to be immune, or do not care, or may also deliberately be hidden for other purposes. Need caution.

However, we also don’t need to panic. Take care it is necessary even must, even positive. But panic is unnecessary and negative. Caution builds rationality and solutions. Panic causes excessive attitudes outside the classroom. May Allah take care of us all. Amen. (AT/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)