For the last few weeks, I have been quite busy watching and reading the news about the Coronavirus. As a result, my lawn and plants in the garden were neglected. So one sunny day, as the weather was enjoyable, I decided to spend some time in the garden. Mithu saw me outside and decided to join me. Mithu is a parrot. Below is the transcript of the chat between myself and Mithu.
Mithu: How are you doing? It looks like you have not been looking after these plants.
Me: I am a bit stressed these days. To catch a breath of fresh air, I came out.
Mithu: Stressed? You do know that it is not good for your health. What is the source of your stress?
Me: Coronavirus, due to fear of Coronavirus I have locked myself in, just like the government instructed. I am terrified of meeting my friends and family members. After a week of self-isolation, I am becoming paranoid.
Mithu: OK, tell me, what are your sources of information?
Me: I watch the news channels and I also watch the videos and information people have shared on the social media. It is so confusing. Some people suggest 5G is causing the problem, others suggest ruling elites have some sinister agenda to reduce the global population. I do not know who to believe.
Mithu: Yes, the human mind is peculiar. It does not like uncertainties. This is why most people choose to know something bad is coming than not know what to expect. The problem you have, as I see it, is fear. You need to overcome this fear. As the fear is creating the stress, and the stress weakens the immune system. With the weakened immune system, you will become vulnerable to any kind of disease or virus.
Me: You are correct. I too feel I have built an unhealthy obsession with these conspiracy theories. It is because I cannot verify nor reject them.
Mithu: There is always some element of truth in conspiracy theories. This is why conspiracy theories are difficult to disapprove. All three theories may coexist independently of each other. For example, there is a spread of a normal type of influenza (flu) and this happens every year. “There were an estimated 50,100 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2017/18 – the highest recorded since winter 1975/76, figures from the Office for National Statistics show” (Telegraph).
Secondly, Coronavirus is being hyped by politicians and media, say the sceptics. Some argue it is a total fraud. However, if you look at statistics for normal flu-related deaths for the last 10 years, then you realise the panic is unnecessary. For example, the graph below from Office of National Statistics shows that in the winter of 2019 there were over 1500 daily deaths. You might be wondering why there was no lockdown. To be honest, I am wondering the same too.
Another graph from the National Centre for Health Statistics in the USA shows that the pneumonia death rate declined for 2019-2020. Why? Are they fiddling with the numbers to create fear? Are pneumonia cases being labelled as Covid-19 cases?
As for the 5G, there might be human health-related issues with 5G (I am ignorant of) but Covid-19 is not one of them. It is said that one should never let an opportunity in a crisis go to waste. Yes, 5G is being rolled out and installed during this Coronavirus pandemic. 5G is a faster communications system which will most likely help monitor and control anything and everything by the AI in a synchronised way.
It is also very possible that those who coveted the global economic collapse, to enslave the masses (the capitalists), are also behind the conspiracy theories (creating fear). Some powers enjoy playing on all sides. As Sun Tzu, the author of The Art of War says, “attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”
There are many methods for mind-control and fear is one of them. In such cases, the agenda behind spreading fear is to make individuals mentally stressed and/or mentally numb. This drains the much-needed energy that is needed for thinking lucidly. Too much information overflow combined with too much fear, as well as social distancing, are changing people’s habits and their way of life, and not always in a positive way. People should be wary of the overuse of technology.
Me: Yes, you are right. Now tell me a simple method to de-stress my mind?
Mithu: Well, I have a friend his name is Mr. B. and he is a student of love, love for the Beloved.
Me: Hmm, interesting a lover. Why do you call him Bee then? (jokingly).
Mithu: B is for Bloch. He has the heart of a Sufi. His method might be beneficial for you.
Me: Ok (feeling bashful). Tell me the Sufi method.
Mithu: Do you know who is a Sufi?
Me: To be honest, I have never met a Sufi. I never had much interest in this subject either.
Mithu: A Sufi is someone who surrenders to the will of His Creator, someone who accepts that this life and this world, as well as everything in this world, belongs to the Creator.
Me: That sounds like a believer, a Muslim?
Me: I believe in the Creator too but I am still so stressed. So, why the same wisdom is not working for me?
Mithu: It means you have not fully understood the purpose. Why worry, when nothing in this world belongs to you, everything belongs to the Creator. Your task is to submit yourself to the will of your Creator. Then you leave everything to Him, whenever He wills it, He will grant you the wisdom. Your reward is in practicing patience and in accepting His will. Staying on this path will bring you true peace of mind.
Me: Patience, is a rare commodity these days, especially with family responsibilities and the children growing up faster and faster. Who can afford to slow down in this race of chasing dreams?
Mithu: Then you need to cut the chase. The Sufi recognises the higher purpose of life. He recognises that the children are a gift from the Creator entrusted to him. A Sufi focuses not on the gift but rather on the gift provider, the Almighty. He concerns himself with his spiritual development and the strength of his connection with his Creator, not his bank balances. Some hermits say the banks and everything from them is the real source of the stress. But those are few. Many Sufi feel it suffices to avoid indulging in a hedonistic lifestyle.
Me: What are the main principles that any Sufi follows.
Mithu: The mains principles include:
- A Sufi seeks serenity in the remembrance of his Beloved.
- Removes any doubts within him about the Creator, by continuous contemplation.
- Maintains focus on purifying thoughts.
- Sees the world as finite and desires nothing of it, rather strives to only please the Creator.
- Avoids pride in worldly credentials.
- A Sufi gives his suffering to Allah, surrenders completely.
- Helping all other creations and being compassionate towards them increases spiritual strength.
- Always being grateful for everything and being humble.
Me: Lastly, tell me one thing, a significant step that would help me gain closeness to the Creator.
Mithu: Hope. Always have hope in Allah’s mercy. In the Quran, Allah reminds you, “Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”” (Quran, chapter 39 verse 53).
And in chapter 12 verse 87, Allah says, “and despair not of relief from Allah. Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.”
It seems the virus has exposed our fakeness. We fear losing our materialistic lifestyles more than we fear Allah. Here, we have been given a second chance, a true hope. We need to realise and grab this opportunity our Creator has provided us and seek His mercy, seek His forgiveness. The panic should be a wake-up call, a call to remember Allah. Sometimes the only option available is to return to remembrances of Allah. Maybe this is that point. This is the moment to fear Allah only and place your hope in Allah only.
Keep your morale strong and stay safe.