The representative of the Grand Marjaeyah of Sayed Sistani, located in Europe, calls upon the Muslims to seek refuge in Allah and to wake up from the sleep of heedlessness, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the guidance and directions of the physicians and the health organizations to avoid contracting the Corona virus.
18 Rajab 1441
In a speech delivered on the occassion of the inauguration of the Imamia Mission in East London, he said:
The greatest danger that takes man by surprise, defeats and weakens him during his life is heedlessness. It prevents him from knowing his true inner self, his status [to Allah], his place in this universe and the purpose of his existence in this world.
Man is preoccupied with work, profession, residence, clothing, food, taking care of his children, and pursuing his dreams. All the while, he is heedless or pretending to be inattentive to the fact that he is a guest in this world, that this is not his final abode, that just like a traveller on a plane or a ship or car, he is expected to disembark at some point.
This is where divine care for man has intervened, waking him from his slumber, bringing his attention to the fact that he is a creation that has been given a chance in this life to prepare, perfect, and qualify himself for an afterlife that is quite different than this one, one that is eternal.
This divine care has used two methods to awaken man from his heedlessness and remove him from it:
1. Using words in the form of Qur'anic verses and prophetic narrations:
A number of verses and hadiths edging on the thousands use a plethora of methods to do so. Some rebuke the heedless and compliment those that are in a constant state of rememberence, others included the promise of punishment and reward, others told the stories of past nations, while others used vivid imagery of scenes of the Day of Judgement and so forth.
2. Using action including specific or general events, natural disasters, earthquakes, storms, floods, disease, plagues, illnesses, aging, death, fear, hunger, a loss of wealth, profits and life.
All this so that we can pay attention to ourselves and to awaken from the haze of heedlessness. So that we can take a step back and contemplate, "Who are we? What is our role in this life? Are we meant to live here forever? Why are we so fond and so attached to this world and content to be its people, residents and keepers? Why are we not attentinve to the fact that we are merely guests, even if our power reaches the ends of the earth, and we owned all of the wealth, weapons, technology, and controlled nature to do with as we please, we are nothing more than what the poet said while he was in the presence of the Prophet (s) :
ألا إنما الإنسان ضيف لأهله يقيم قليلا بينهم ثم يرحل
"Surely man is merely a guest amongst his family,
He stays for a short while only to depart."
If the doctors were to discover a cure or an immunization today for the Corona virus, will we transform into people who will eternally live in this world or will the result be the same, though we may last alittle longer. There is an end that is written for each one of us in the preserved tablet. Peace be upon the Master of the Faithful (a) who said as he supported the heroes, killed the enemies, and obliterated the challenges, explaining why he did not fear anyone who stood before him:
من أي يومي من الموت أفر ؟ من يوم لم يقدر او يوم قدر ؟
"Which of the two days should I flee from death: from a day that wasn't written upon me to die or from a day that was?"
A believer must emulate the prophets, apostles, desciples and the righteous in how they understand life. When was life different than this:
انك ميت وانهم لميتون
"Verily you will die and they will die."
Can we change life to something different?! How eloquent was Imam 'Ali (a) as he eulogized The Master of all creations, The Messenger of Allah (s), where he said :
المَوتُ لا وَالِداً يُبقي وَلا وَلَداً هَذا السَبيلُ إِلى أَن لا تَرى أَحَدا
كانَ النَبِيُّ وَلَم يَخلُد لِأُمَّتِهِ لَو خَلَّدَ اللَهُ خَلقاً قَبلَهُ خَلَدا
لِلمَوتِ فينا سِهامٌ غَيرُ خاطِئَةٍ مَن فاتَهُ اليَومَ سَهمٌ لَم يَفُتهُ غَدا
Death neither keeps a father nor a child
This is how it will be until no one remains
The Prophet existed and did not remain for his nation
If Allah kept anyone before him then He [the Prophet] would have been more worthy of preservation
Death's arrows never miss their target
If an arrow missed someone today, it will not miss him tomorrow
How true are his words, for he used to call out to people:
ايها الناس تجهزوا فقد نودي فيكم بالرحيل
"O people! Prepare yourselves, for you have been called upon to leave."
وان الدنيا دار ممر فخذوا من ممركم لمقركم
"Verily, the world is but a bridge. Take from your [life on this] bridge for your eternal abode."
These are the sermons of Nahj ul-Balaghah full of admonitions which he describes saying:
لقد وعظتكم بما وعظ به الانبياء اممهم
"I have admonished you just as the prophets admonished their nations."
Just as the supplications and religious scriptures teach us, we must seek refuge from sudden death. Death surprises man when he least expects it when he is heedless, the most dangerous state of being. The scriptures command us and teach us to seek refuge in Allah from sudden death as it does not leave man a chance to review his book of deeds and reconcile all his shortcomings, including what he owes from Allah's rights upon him to that of people. Sudden death does not give him an opportunity to ask for forgiveness, to repent, and return to Allah, to hold himself accountable and to erase his book deeds clean of all his ill-doing.
The spread of the Corona virus is an example for us, as some say, to be reminded of the following:
1. The connection to Allah has increased and voices of diverse languages have called upon Him for salvation.
2. The belief in the unseen has increased and people have sought refuge in His ability to remove all harm and tribulation.
3. Many have been awakened to their true poverty as wealth and status are unable to keep away the tribulations.
4. The amount of fornication and obscene acts has decreased out of fear of contagiousness.
5. Many gatherings of entertainment and of the irreputable have stopped out of fear of mixing with others.
6. The true power of the super-powers has been revealed for they are weaker than a spider's web.
7. One of the scenes of the day of Judgement has been exemplified:
يوم يفر المرء من أخيه
"When man runs away from his own brother."
8. The true value of the unappreciated blessing of health has been uncovered and people are more grateful for it.
We emphasize the importance of adhering to the guidance, directions and advice of the physicians and health organizations to prevent contraction and spread of the Corona virus, as it is important for the preservation of your health and that of others.
We ask Allah Almighty to awaken us from the slumber of the heedless and that he grants us the intercession of Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Holy Household (a).