Eid spells hope again, amid virus gloom - GulfToday

Eid spells hope again, amid virus gloom


Eid teaches us to carry the baton of hope during the tough time of coronavirus pandemic. WAM

Once again, the time to celebrate Eid has come. The celebrations may have been tempered by the rampaging coronavirus, but what hasn’t been tempered is the joy and happiness that binds families, friends and acquaintances on this occasion.

For the second year in a row, the coronavirus pandemic casts a giant, eerie shadow over every aspect of our lives, be it education, sports, health, social interaction or online communication. It has torpedoed normal existence like nothing else could. It has impacted economies of nations like a Godzilla gone berserk, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Airlines have been grounded, layoffs have become the norm, companies have shuttered, people have become nervous wrecks, even committing suicide.

Yes, if there is one dreaded form the virus has taken, it is that of the Grim Reaper, felling people by the wayside. Nowhere is this more evident than in India, where over 400,000 people have been infected and nearly 240,000 have lost their lives.

Yes, Life has become more dear than anything else. It has turfed out pelf, position and power from the No.1 preoccupation of humans. Suddenly, there has been a paradigm shift in focus. Life has become an all-encompassing, all-pervasive, and all-embracing influence. People cling to Life for dear life.

And when people cling to existence by a mere thread, belief in the Maker hits the stratosphere. Surely, the virus cannot be manmade, with its fast-spreading global tentacles hitting millions of living beings rendered totally helpless.

Faith is our only hope, our conduit to redemption. We need Him more than anything else in the world right now. He is our key to survival. And our escape hatch from loneliness.

Eid in 2021 is not the same as the one in 2019, and among the things that are creating problems is the ban on travel. This has prevented many husbands or wives from rejoining their spouses, children or relatives in countries both near and far. Their hapless predicament only strengthens their belief in the Creator, whose decree is final.

At a time when the pandemic has virtually keeled over the health machinery in some countries, the UAE has capped any move by the coronavirus to go berserk. It has kept the virus on a leash, going by the low casualties and the number of infections.

The country just does not score high on the Planet of Wellbeing, it is also the lamp standard of peace and communal harmony. Sectarian violence is totally extinct here. Faith is not a stumbling block here but a rock that makes any disruption stumble.

Smoothness, stability and serenity are the key catchphrases that mark existence here, and that’s what Eid highlights: communal accord in every sense of the word.

Yes, the captious diehards may keep sounding the drumbeats of dissonance, saying they have been deprived of night outings, parties and celebrations with friends, but what they do not realise is they have one thing without which all these so-called social must-dos are rendered obsolete: Life.

Islam teaches us to be tolerant, compassionate and charitable, and these are the virtues that we must follow to the T. They carry more urgency than anything else now. The virus has rebooted our very existence; it has also overhauled our whole way of thinking.

You do not get to meet face to face; you cannot take a walk in the open in some countries for fear of contracting the disease; you just cannot visit a friend at his home as this may lead to heightening fears of being a germ carrier.

But at least, as aforementioned, you are alive. And for that you have to thank God.

Emphasising communion with the Creator is paramount. That is what Eid stands for, and more. It teaches us to carry the baton of hope, not despair; tolerance, not conflict; joy, not sorrow. Eid Mubarak!

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