8 Lessons that 2020 has taught us
Channel: Sulaimaan Ravat
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Alhamdulillah Allah Allah, Allah,
Allah, Allah for so work will lay the data for
us short one hula, hula hula hoop. lagoon usma
watershed one now Mohammed Abu humara surah so Hey Bo McConville Mala. Am I bad founder will he ministry honorable jeem Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim Allah knew the upon whom in Allah either bill Dune Allah other bill akbar Allahu miraggio own walk Allah tala enough either Likud vichara lemon kennela Hoople boon Alka sama Hua Shahid sakalava
honorable Allah respected brothers listen is
no one alive on the planet will forget this year 2020 for as long as we live
it is the year that will go down in history,
there has been a lot that has been spoken about and written about. And for many more years to come, perhaps even centuries to come, they will they will be much more that will be spoken and written about this year 2020
not only spoken and written, but debated as well.
What I want to focus on this afternoon is what lesson do we take more of this?
There were many significant events, significant moments, significant stories in history. And the poor is replete with such narratives.
Allah says, for example, to the very beautiful and detailed story of use of a Salatu was Salam. Lakota kana fear cost him a rotten little Albert. In events and in happenings, the people of intelligence take lesson
and the people who are not a spiritual intelligence, they debate minor details, the different angles, irrelevant aspects. But the people of intelligence say, What lesson do we take. And it is on this note that I want to share with you a few thoughts this afternoon. That as this year draws to a close this year 2020, which we will never forget an hour into holiday mood or leave mode even if you're just holiday home. It's time for us to reflect, to introspect and to internalize lessons.
I want to share with you eight lessons eight that we learned from the year 2020. The first is about
the unlimited unbridled power of Allah.
Today we live in an age where science, medicine and technology is at its peak.
Yet one virus which cannot even be seen by the naked eye, which is microscopic in nature, brought all of the world with all of its intelligence and all of its science and all of its medicine, and all of its technology to its knees for over a year.
And we still not out of the woods. This is a great lesson which allies highlighting that it is only a law that has absolute power. It is only a law that has absolute control. womma Yeah, alemu Junu, the rock Becca Illa, who Allah can take anything and turn it into an army of his, Allah can take a virus which we cannot see with the naked eye, and humble humanity.
And humble all of the experts and all of the scientists and all of the doctors and all of the scholars. The second lesson that we learn is about our limited knowledge.
The foremost minds when it comes to science, technology and medicine, to the hands up right in the beginning and said this is a novel virus. We don't know too much about it. We grappling they were academically honest enough to say that we are uncertain how this is going to play out. We don't exactly know what measures to take. We're trying to earn on the side of caution. We need to do certain things to try and strike preemptively so we can ready ourselves. But humanity's knowledge was never tested in real history like it was tested this year. Even now.
They don't have a total grip on it. There's a lot of ambiguity there's a lot that still vague. There's different mutations and variance Li showing and displaying his absolute power. He's absolute control. He is unlimited knowledge.
He's in finite knowledge, our limited restricted and finite knowledge.
The third lesson that we learn
is about we plan a love lens. Oh, individually, just think back hit the rewind button in your mind. Many different plans we had for some we're going to go for O'Meara, some are going to get married, some are going to expand the business, some are going to start renovations at home. Suddenly, abruptly like a boat out of nowhere. All of our plans came to note, we had to put it on a back burner and says coma Kuru Macron mama Karna Macron. You plan they plan everyone plans but ultimately it is only Alice plan that prevails wama Kuru mama Kerala
our prior to change overnight.
our priorities are to change overnight
because of the plan of Allah that prevail, what is the lesson we learn from this? You must be flexible in your plans. But you remain loyal to your noble objectives. Objectives don't change. intentions don't change. But you have to be flexible in your planning because you don't know to what extent allow will allow you plan to materialize and to what extent Alice plan will overwhelm your plan.
Another lesson that will This is the fourth out of the eight. His life can change so suddenly and so drastically.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it's this that life can change so suddenly and so drastically.
we which are a beehive of activity.
I fly often in the early part of the morning. O R. Tambo is almost like Mena on the first day of hatch. In the early part of a Monday morning. You can find parking, the queues are snaking those airports became like deserted graveyards
that were pumping 24 seven ground to an abrupt halt. streets that were hive of activity became deserted during the hard lockdown.
Businesses had to be shut overnight.
flourishing enterprises collapsed, never to start again.
And then struggling people found opportunity and they flourished
as those guys which selling cigarettes
cannot possibly refer to making a side comment shala so much of Baraka, some people fried houses, and they bought cars and what so you see the system of a lump people who had flourishing enterprises, they had these big ideas in their mind this year I'm going to invest a I'm going to open up a new friend, I can open up a new business and open up a new department take my business to the next level just collect
some had to struggle to get up again some just could not get going again, and others who are hustlers and stragglers and battlers a manufacture masks and then became millionaires, sell the thermometers and overnight you made a killing. They saw market there's an opportunity in the market. Of course, Allah gives Baraka to whomsoever He wants. Some drop suddenly, and some just sprung up suddenly, such as the nature of life. What will kill a Yama Willow have been a nurse, let's say sometimes we take you from the top to the bottom. And sometimes we take you from the bottom to the top. What is the lesson? Yeah.
That if this year has taught us that life can change so suddenly and so drastically. The lesson is we need to value each day in our lives.
Each day that passes is the day that passes away to never return.
Each second that goes is a second that has lapsed never to return. The problem is, we fret too much over what happened in the past. We obsess too much about what could possibly happen in the future. We forget to live to enjoy and to appreciate the present.
Make the most of every day of your life. Enjoy your cup of coffee, smell the roses.
Take the enjoyment from smiling with your wife and children. If anything this year ought to have taught us don't get caught up in the rut and in the rat race of this modern day lifestyle.
When a lack of balance in material pursuits has become glorified. Oh you know me I work 14 hours a day. Wow, I
don't envy you. I don't want to emulate you because you need to have balance in your life. You need to when life is
so fragile 2020 has taught us, life is so fragile. When life is so fragile, then you need to have urgency in matters that are important. matters that are important. You cannot delay matters that are trivial, should not get disproportionate attention in your life, on your scale of priorities in your itinerary, and in your schedule.
So that's another lesson that we learned from this great day that we learned from this year, that value each day, have a schedule, have an itinerary, have a routine, so that not even one second of your life gets wasted.
You know, I always give this example, shekel Islam. Mufti Mohammed talking about money, I feel a whole lot.
When he goes for
he has a special target. That how many items will I in that duration, when I walk from my hotel door, the room of my hotel, to the door of the home,
even that time mustn't go wasted, you and I, when we go, we say, Okay, once I enter the home, then I start,
then I start my body, then I'm going to make the offer, and I'm going to perform Salah, and I'm going to read or I'm going to do this and that when people value their time, they say no, no, I want to go five times, if not seven, or eight times between the door of my hotel, it takes a while even if you're staying at the closest hotel, by the time you're down the lift through the foyer, across the marble area, to the door from the door to the port, the
number of atoms of the puram just in that period. So that's what happens when you value your time, when you're conscious of every second that Allah has blessed you with because every second that comes from Allah is a bounty from Allah for which Allah will hold us accountable. Hello, okay, it was December. So you don't have to account for what you did during December. Every day, every minute, every hour, is a bounty from Allah. The first lesson that we learned
from this year 2020, is how little we actually need to live our lives.
You know, we constantly speak and I even gave one talk in this Masjid about needs versus once what we really need and what the ego and the neffs desires, the ones
when we went into lockdown, that's when we realized how little we actually need in order to survive and to have decent good, comfortable life. There's so much of excess in our lives. There's so much of unnecessary baggage that we carry.
There's so much that is superfluous to our needs. And even just seeing basic needs, that you must only eat that much that keeps you alive. No, I'm saying that which is comfortable.
there's so little we need to live a comfortable life not just a basic life where you survive. And there's so much extra in our lives, which has made our lives cluttered, which is complicated our lives, which is skewed our scale of priorities, sucking out the balance, sucking out the enjoyment and sucking out the experience of life. You're just chasing and chasing to fulfill your once with your needs already fulfilled.
They say we sacrifice our health in the pursuit of wealth. And then if a big if if you secure the wealth, you're now use that wealth to restore your health and thus is the irony of life.
You sacrificed your health in the pursuit of wealth and then you have to use the same wealth to try and restore your
you sacrifice those moments with your children because you want to invest for them. Then when you've invested for them, they already grown up and out of the house and then you realize I should have invested in them.
It's more important for you to invest in your family than to invest for your family. I'm not saying don't invest on your children to be beggars, to stretch their hands, but at the same time, how much have you invested in them.
So needs versus once we killing ourselves to pursue the fulfillment of our own ones and the ones of our family, whereas our needs alone fulfilled and we compromising the quality of life.
At times, Allah forbid and Allah forgive we even compromising our eligibility for salvation and success in the after, because of pursuit for once, and I was just telling my IITs, I see if only you guys were little elder Hellman, I would have saved a lot of money getting your metody locked down
a lot of money.
But what did you just
what did the teachers that you can get married without having a color scheme?
deco wedding planner Monday night, one week of events prior to the main event, six months of preparation, elaborate through so people still got married and Alhamdulillah. their marriages are working out well needs versus once. That's the lesson the first year 20 $20. The sixth thing
is that we are more resilient than we realized.
This year has taught us
that we stronger and we tougher than we actually give ourselves credit for.
We have to make major adaptions like all of a sudden overnight, children are no longer schooling in school, the schooling online.
All of a sudden you're no longer working from the office, you enjoy your dining room at home has become your office.
All of a sudden you're not selling the products that you are accustomed to selling.
I mean some people in certain industries, those industries will shut tourism, travel agents May Allah make it easy for them. So they had to adapt. They had to try other things. They had to now resort to other mechanisms in order to be able to cope.
Part it shows the strength of human resilience to the verse of the Quran. It's not just a beautiful ruku that we enjoy every time that Mr. Murray science, it's a beautiful lesson in life. Allah says, Now you can live Allahu nevsun illa hoose Aha, Allah says, If I give you a test, I've also given you the ability to meet the test, you just need some guts, some courage.
So COVID was a test for all of but individually, we all have our tests in life, Allah will never test you more than you can withstand a lot always gives you the capacity to deal with that with the test. So humans have this amazing ability to adapt. That's the sixth lesson that this year 2020 has taught us.
We move on to the seventh listen.
And this is a bit of a sensitive one. And I know
many people will be feeling mad today. But I'm not going to wish you Mary anything is enough. It was over my head anyway.
But jokes aside, sometimes we have to even at times like this, when we only want to focus on the positive we have to talk about some of the negative but with a positive intention.
You know, the seventh lesson, in my opinion out of the eight is that when there are underlying weaknesses in a community, the left untreated, that in the moment of crisis, unfortunately, those underlying weaknesses become more pronounced more problematic in the surface. If there are issues that we did not deal with as a community, and we swept it under the carpet, in the moment of crisis, it comes to the fore. And then it cripples us what we saw, and this was unique to the South African Muslim community. It happened nowhere else in the world It happened here is that we inclined towards the sensational even if it was fake news. Even if it was unsubstantiated.
You will struggle to count even if you have a degree in mathematics, how many WhatsApp move T's and how many WhatsApp doctors graduated in the year 2020.
People who are passing big fatwas ordinary people on WhatsApp on what it what it means to have our cool
on what is contagion.
ladwa every Tom Dick and Harry any scattered now on the interpretation of that Hadith
all of a sudden, Whatsapp doctors know it's harmful to wear your mask you breathing out carbon dioxide
really, which is 36 years of medication then pronounce.
People were not only circulating but they were starting to believe that which has centered
no chain of narration no substantiation no authenticity, you see one clip on the harms of something, you forward it you believe you don't know who the speaker is? You don't know what his qualifications you don't know where he graduated. You don't know who produced the clip. You don't know where it's coming from. You don't know where it's going through. But no we will spend it because it's sensational. It was an underlying problem in our community that became more pronounced during this year 2020 Oh substance to most of the theories that we were circulating and not only circulating, but we ourselves were subscribing to it. Not only was there no substantiation of basis, there was no
And what was unfortunate was even the educated people started to succumb to this. It's important to have an open mind.
I for one will say you don't believe everything that the establishment tells you
Because at times they can,
and at times they can have a less than noble objective. So you don't have to take everything hook line and sinker which is coming from established sources beat spiritual, medical or otherwise, you keep an open mind, but not such an open mind that your brains fall out
that you start degenerating to the illogical
you know, the what was shocking, even after after things opened up, and now you started having functions and events. Some things just sit on the table a percentage of mana, all the big hoax. I say let's just rather agree. Yeah, it's a big hoax and call it a day because the level of debate degenerated to such a low ebb that you would struggle now to even have a decent, logical, coherent substantiated evidence based discussion with even intelligent people who have qualifications. Think back to some of the Oh no, if they don't do it in the Texas Why must we do it? Since when is the taxi industry become the benchmark of what is right and what is wrong for us as models and citizens
and Muslims? so must we drive like how they drive?
Was? Where's the logic? No, no, I don't take no precaution. I make the work cool. Really. So why you lock your door at night at home?
Why you take your instrument for diabetes? Why you take tablets for headache? Where's the logic? In some of what we were speaking in some of what we were writing in what we were forwarding each one of us including myself, we need to make Toba to Allah for what we forwarded during this year on WhatsApp. The Miss information whether it was intentional or inadvertent, some people became as I said WhatsApp boost is nothing bad can happen in the midst of really where was Omar was assassinated. On the masala Rasulullah sallallahu Sallam in mosquito number one. Where did the Bedouin urinate? Why are you complaining athlete's foot? When people don't dry their feet in Ghana?
Nothing bad can happen in the masjid. Nothing can spread from the masjid. There was no it was it was shocking. The low ebb to which the discussion in the debate has degenerated to in our community. We over simplified issues that were nuanced. And we over complicated issues that was simple.
We over simplified issues that were nuanced. And we overcomplicated issues that was simple. I don't have to go into another discussion about vaccines but somebody asked me the other day someone will you take the vaccine when it comes to South Africa.
You know how will you know whether it's the right thing or the wrong thing said sample by Allah forbid if I have a heart attack tomorrow who will ask whether Emma's go for a bypass or not my doctor who I trust. So that same Muslim doctor that I trust with every other aspect of my good health and my medical issues. I will ask that doctor that is it safe for me to take the vaccine? If he says yes then Yes. Why do we over complicate issues? unnecessarily?
Yes, the AMA will check about the ingredients and if the ingredients are problematic whether the dilemma here 10 metamorphosis takes place, and whether out of necessity, you can even take it with the problematic ingredients. But it's not an issue of scholars. It's a it's a medical issue. Respect every profession, stay in your lane, don't overcomplicate issues, you don't want to take it, don't take it, you want to take it then take advice from those people that you usually trust. All of our leaders go
bankrupt overnight, morally bankrupt, that we no longer trust them now because of COVID-19 all the doctors that we trusted with much more complicated issues. Now all of a sudden, we want to doubt them because of a WhatsApp Mufti. I'm a WhatsApp surgeon. The eighth
of the eight lessons that we need to take from this year 2020 is that this year, showed us the best of humanity and the worst of humanity.
We saw the best of humanity during hard lockdown. When people dug deep into their pockets, and made sure that those who live hand to mouth and who could not earn a living will fit. We saw the best of humanity. When our doctors put their lives at risk every single day by treating those patients who are either positive or possibly positive. Imagine what happened to the mind of a doctor every day. It's got to go to the surgery and deal with hundreds of people. And it's going to come back home where his beloved wife and beloved children at risk because of his work. Those people who are on the frontline nurses, paramedics, from our communities, those who are ready to make the hustle of people
who passed away from COVID-19 putting their own lives at risk and the lives of their families and loved one that risk COVID-19 in this year 2020 showed as the best of humanity, but it also served as the worst of humanity. Corruption was not only in the government circles, how many Muslims were also involved in those corrupt tendencies.
It takes two to tango when it comes to corruption. Then
it showed the worst of our, our community in South Africa, because we had too much of time on hand. And because of pre existing undercurrents, and fault lines,
smoothly Muslim community the only Muslim community in the world turned on each other.
We turned on each other in a steady way. The Muslim community split in an unprecedented way we fragmented and we divided in a way that was unimaginable. The debates became so extreme the titles of carfare and forsaken Mona Frick were thrown around like cheap toys.
We displayed the worst of us unsubstantiated allegations against respectable people. Even if you disagree with the person. You don't throw mud, just because there's mud to be thrown. pettiness I went to one country town, the poor guys would say Mawlana we put sanitizer there, one muscle Li so it is a virtuous act to steal the sanitizer.
I said what is that the level of pettiness to which we degenerated in this year. In some mistakes, people would go and pull the notices off because they had a different view.
Intentionally go and gap in between those people who followed a justified ruling that allowed for spacing
is that the level of pettiness to which we degenerated and I think to myself first which for us to take lesson, it's not to pour fuel on wounds that I don't know have started to heal. What was so unfortunate in this country, that a mustard, which is supposed to be a place of unity, became a place of friction and fragmentation. What an indictment on all of us.
It was heartbreaking that in some mistakes, people were resorting to vulgarities and resorting to physical violence, over issues in which there was room for difference of opinion over issues which are subsidiary in nature, which are not principle in nature.
You see, when they were pre existing problems that we never dealt with as a community, it became more acute and more pronounced.
And this was something that happened only in South Africa, the world over, people rose beyond their divisions, and they united to combat the virus. In South Africa, the virus split us like in no way that we could imagine it brought us to a new low, but inshallah from this new low, we will rise to a new high
lesson to take from this of course, the scholars have to take a beta share of the responsibility. But it was not only scholars who feel the fire, who forwarded the rubbish,
who intensified the speculation, who perpetuated the debates, to one of us needs to introspect and say, What could I have done better? Even if it meant I should have just kept quiet at certain times? What could I have done better? What lesson can island? You know?
Our fit is premised on the concept of Zurich and necessity. I asked you anyone Have you? oldest amongst you in this congregation? Did you ever see a year of necessity more than this year? are you dealing with a novel virus, you cannot argue that you have to hold on to certain ideals. And if you don't hold, we're going to declare war on you. All of us grew up performing Salah shoulder to shoulder, all of us grew up performing Salah without the mask, nobody enjoyed it. But this is not the best of situations. It's a situation of necessity. If you don't deem it a necessity, that's your opinion, but respect the opinion of others. Of course, they were those that unhandled I must
acknowledge our muscle easier that showed a great degree of tolerance. There were varying views by the handler we never had those issues. I'm talking General, throughout the country. That this was a period of necessity, we ought to have had tolerance to divergent viewpoints.
We became more extreme in our responses than ever before. Let me conclude with these few thoughts. Look, we may have reached the new low.
But Islam always says Sahaba had reached a very difficult moment after awkward because let me say this and I'm told them Don't leave the mountain. They left the mountain. As a result they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as a result 70 Sahaba were martyred let me slowly slums uncle's body was mutilated. When they were walking back to Medina. They were still walking back to Medina. The physical wounds were fresh. The emotional wounds were worse than what did we do? We messed up we move from the mountain. Allah said Wallah he No, no, don't grieve, don't become weak one to one alone. I mean, you will rise again if you become
Through Muslims come back to the true values of the deen from this lowest of low this Muslim community that has such talent that has such capacity that we are the envy of many majority Muslim countries in the world. We can rise inshallah, from this low to the high that we have never enjoyed before. Let me conclude by saying
this year has taught us to appreciate what we have not to obsess over what we don't have. I said the other day after Murray. If you have a job, consider yourself lucky. If you have good health, consider yourself lucky how many young foot people with no comorbidities dropped because of this virus. If you have a family, consider yourself lucky how many people in one family were wiped out because of the pandemic. prioritize the right things in your life. This is what the year has taught us. Work on your on work on your spirituality. Let all of this bring you closer to Allah increasing the Toba in the East far in the Diwan in the Seneca in the charity, develop emotional intelligence.
We lack emotional intelligence. That's why we don't know how to manage our differences. We react we don't respond. Emotional Intelligence will teach you how to respond not to react. Learn to keep silent, let me say Listen, I'm sad, it can be totally something while silence is not always golden. But in the time when this polarization in a community. Silence is great. You don't have to get involved in every debate. Life is short, it's fragile. The only certainties The only certainties are cara, the only constant is change. And this year has showed showed us change can happen very suddenly and very abruptly that will leave you with these thoughts but others let this year 2020 let
this COVID pandemic be a test that we passed and came closer to Allah not a test that we failed because we did not improve or we became worse. And from a test it turns into a punishment. Use these holidays to reflect on this question with which I will conclude Have I become a better Muslim?
After all of this, have we become better Muslims after all of this? If we have then it was a test that we passed. If we haven't, then the second wave is not there for a second round of debates and pettiness. The second wave is a second knock on the door a second opportunity to get our affairs in order to take heed to learn the lessons and to be better Muslims insha Allah May Allah grant me in all of us the tofik was salam wa Salaam, Ocala, Nabina Muhammad wa ala Dhawan and in hamdulillah Hello Bellarmine