We have been hearing people , including the extreme right wing, blaming God again- this time for the pandemic caused by Covid-19 virus as a punishment from God for all our sins and evil that exists in today’s world. These opinions are not limited to any single religion. I simply don’t think this is the case, and I will explain why.
I think we were all blind sided by the Corona virus pandemic. As of writing this post, over a million people have been diagnosed with it and number of fatalities has exceeded 210,000 worldwide. These numbers have risen exponentially over a span of weeks. There is no known vaccine against it- yet. There are no specific medications to kill the virus, though numerous trials are in place to develop a vaccine.
The pandemic has caused a scare throughout the world and has affected life that had not been witnessed in our lifetime. Many countries are in a virtual lock down. Over a million people have lost their lives, and tens of millions have lost their livelihood. Many states are experiencing ‘shelter in place’. Most people are now working from home.
You cannot watch a few minutes worth of TV without hearing about how the virus is playing havoc with our lives.
The devastation as a result had led many to feel that this is a punishment from God. this sentiment is perhaps more prevalent in the followers of the Bible and the Qur’an. After all, the Abrahamic scriptures are full of stories of God’s wrath over many communities in history.
I simply don’t think this is punishment from God.
I would like to remind everyone that the most common attributes mentioned in the Qur’an is Ar-Rehman and Ar-Rahim– meaning the Most Compassionate and the Most Merciful. Allah is full of love for his creation. After all God is the Sustainer, the Cherisher for all. Every chapter of the Qur’an (except chapter 9, At-Tawba) starts with Bismillah Ar Rehman Ar Raheem– in the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. How could the Most Merciful and loving God punish us with Corona virus/
Sure, the Scriptures do tell us about various types of calamities that befell the Biblical communities.
However, the Qur’an tells us that these communities earned God’s wrath for their evil deeds and transgression. These communities were repeatedly warned beforehand by the messengers. Moreover, these calamities befell on the evildoers of specific communities, and were not widespread like we see now with the Covid-19 pandemic.
And the faithful came to know about these calamities being sent by God as punishment for certain communities only because we were told so- by the sender.
We simply don’t have any way of knowing whether Covid-19 is a God-sent punishment.
Who is most affected by the pandemic directly and indirectly? In addition to the health care crisis, the virus has resulted in financial meltdown across the globe, causing millions to lose their jobs. They have hard time putting food on the table for their families. The hardest hit are the ones who were living paycheck-to-paycheck, and are earning hourly wages.
What kind of divine calamity would befall on the weak, the poor and the needy- worldwide?
The Covid-19 resembles like no other calamity from the Bible and the Qur’an.
Of course I don’t claim to know God’s intentions. I am not delusional. But it simply makes no sense to me to think that this is punishment from the All Compassionate, All Merciful, God.
Does it make sense to you?