Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 155:
وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ وَٱلۡجُوعِ وَنَقۡصٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡوَٲلِ وَٱلۡأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٲتِۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ
“And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the steadfast.”
Undoubtedly, the days we are in are full of trials and turbulence. The news we have been listening to over the past few weeks make most people constantly in a state of uncertainty and concern for health, safety and final outcome of coronavirus pandemic. However, the believer is aware that health and safety is in the domain of God’s provision, the Qada’-and-Qadar, or expressed through the sixth article of faith in Islam: “Wa bil qadari khayrihi wa sharrihi minallahi ta’ala”, “We believe that everything what is happening, both good and bad, is with the will and the determination of God. “
As a responsible people and Institution that is caring for the people, The Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, led by Raisu-l-ulema, has made several decisions and instructions over the past few days on how to deal with the emerging situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Among them, hardest was the last one regarding Jumuah prayer. History does not remember global inability to perform Jumuah prayer by the believers as it is today. In very few countries, or better said, very few cities believers will be able to perform Jumuah prayer which is making us sad. Based on the instructions of Riyasat, as well as the decisions and instructions of the authorities in the United States and Canada, on March 11, I sent a letter to all the local communities of the Islamic Community of North American Bosniaks stating that we would monitor the situation and make decisions in accordance with the recommendations from Riyasat and the relevant local authorities. Following the emergency meeting of the ICNAB’s Executive Board, it was decided to postpone the ICNAB Annual General Assembly. All of these decisions were made primarily with the aim of protecting human lives and health.
Islam places the protection of life on the top of its priorities. The right to life and health is woven into the very foundations of Islamic teachings and is drawn from the source of Islam, the Holy Quran. Allah says in the 32nd verse of Surah Al-Maida:
وَمَنۡ أَحۡيَاهَا فَڪَأَنَّمَآ أَحۡيَا ٱلنَّاسَ جَمِيعً۬ا
“And whosoever saves the life of one person, it shall be as if he had saved the lives of all mankind.”
The decisions of our leaders in local communities reflect a high level of responsibility and professionalism, consistency in following aforementioned verse, as well as consistency in following the instructions and recommendations from Riyasat and Islamic Community of North American Bosniaks. I take this opportunity to thank all the Imams and the Board members of the local communities of ICNAB for their timely reactions and the decisions they have made based on the aforementioned recommendations.
Since we are in a time when we are physically distanced from each other, I urge all Imams and leaderships of the local communities of ICNAB to take advantage of the technological tools available to us through the Internet, such as social networks, emails, telephone communications, etc. to maintain communication and contact with our members. I also urge that we take care of our elderly at this time which is especially difficult for them. Finally, I invite all believers in this time of self-isolation to spend as much time as possible in worship, remembrance of Allah , reading and studying the Quran, reflecting on ourselves and the world around us. Let us become aware of how small and powerless we are in comparison with the Lord of the worlds, and strengthen our hope in Him. We should not forget that we are in the chosen holy month of Rajab, in which worship is even more significant and powerful.
Allah says in surah Yunus, verse 107:
وَإِن يَمۡسَسۡكَ ٱللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ۬ فَلَا ڪَاشِفَ لَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا هُوَۖ وَإِن يُرِدۡكَ بِخَيۡرٍ۬ فَلَا رَآدَّ لِفَضۡلِهِۦۚ يُصِيبُ بِهِۦ مَن يَشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِهِۦۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
“And if Allah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favor which He causes it to reach whomsoever o His slaves He will. And He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”
At a time when our mosques are closed, let us make all of our houses masjids. Let’s perform our daily prayers on time in our homes. Let us ask Allah in our duas to save us from trials we cannot bear, to give us health, to us and to our families, to purify and enlighten our souls and our hearts with the light of Iman, to strengthen us through these trials, and most importantly let us ask Allah in our duas to forgive us the sins we have committed, and to come out of this trials spiritually stronger, free from sin and closer to our Creator, Ameen!
Sabahudin ef. Ceman