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COVID-19: Sense of Responsibility and Power of Solidarity

Scope of Responsibility

In Islam, the primary focus and scope of responsibility is the individual himself, in the sense that every person has what it takes to constitute a legal personality in the eyes of the Shariah, thus making him or her a responsible person, or, rather, an ultimate repository of the divine trust (al-Amanah), as the Quran puts it:

{We surely offered the Trust (al-Amanah) to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it, and feared it. But man (undertook to) bear it, he was unjust and ignorant.} (Al-Ahzab 33: 72) 

What the above verse indicates is that as man was created with certain potentialities and features by which he was made superior to other creatures, he is equally charged with the responsibility to rise up to the occasion of translating those potentialities into development and growth; he is expected to be able to fully discharge the trust he undertook to bear.

Moral and Legal Obligations

On the moral level, the concept of responsibility pins certain obligations on every individual on what he does or says. On the technical/legal level, the obligation rises up to a level where a wrongful act becomes punishable by law. 

So, responsibility in this context is about fulfilling obligations and upholding rights. This includes personal rights among which is the right to protect your soul and body. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) says; “Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you…” (Al-Bukhari)

If we put this in the context of COVID-19, we will see clearly how important are the instructions of health and state authorities with regard to the measures of protecting and safeguarding personal rights. But it’s up to a self-responsible person, in a first level, to heed these instructions. 

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Responsibility to Combat COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic ravages and threatens survival, man must pluck up his courage, tighten his belt and come up with solutions and means of containment.  

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So, the virus is part of challenges and problems through which the Supreme Creator frequently puts man to test. He tests his ability, his acquired knowledge, and level of advancement in technology, medicine, etc. This is the area where man believes too much of himself and brags about his so-called technological advancement.

Surprisingly, this test (COVID-19) has proven highly strenuous so far, rendering the fallacy to crack under the strain, thus revealing man’s weakness and limited faculty, despite huge fortunes spent annually on explorations and  technological researches.  

It’s very interesting to see that the virus has hit the so-called “developed nations” so hard that till now, they are still scrambling for solution. 

Man by nature never surrenders, he always wrestles with emerging situations and challenges; that is why we see all hands now on deck in every corner of the globe as nations keep on fighting and battling the virus, using every means in his potentials. This is really a reflection of human nature; man believes Allah made him superior and he has to win this war. 

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