‘God Created the Virus. But Now He Has Lost Control.’

badshahi mosque

Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, Pakistan. Suggested reading by the Muslim Times: Did God Speak to the Fundamentalists of All Abrahamic Faiths Over the Weekend?

Source: New York Times

Pakistan’s government is dithering in the face of the epidemic because it’s not sure what to fear the most.

By Mohammed Hanif, (@mohammedhanif), who is the author of the novels “A Case of Exploding Mangoes,” “Our Lady of Alice Bhatti” and “Red Birds.” He is a contributing opinion writer.

KARACHI, Pakistan — Is the coronavirus an expression of God’s wrath, a punishment for our sins or, as some of us believers like to think, merely another sign that He is testing us? I’ll address later the godless anthem that insists this epidemic is about nature healing itself, because matters of God are urgent and they might be getting us killed at the moment.

Until a few years ago, Fridays in Pakistan were an occasion to remember God’s grandeur and His kindness, as well as the terror exacted in His name. We used to get together in mosques for weekly prayers, and regularly mosques used to get blown up. Security guards were posted at the entrances, and the terrorists were hunted down or made peace with. But the mosques were never shut down.

Karachi mosque during Corona

Credit…Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

And so last month, as the first Friday after the coronavirus’s arrival in Pakistan approached, the government dithered: Can you close the mosques during an outbreak? You can shut down McDonald’s — yes, even home deliveries — but the mosques? Wouldn’t that be like declaring war on God?

But maybe it’s God who has declared a war on us? Or is this epidemic just a test? How can anyone be sure?



Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times in charge of health section

Suggested reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times about Fundamentalism in all Abrahamic Faiths:

‘God is with us’: Many Muslims in Pakistan flout the coronavirus ban in mosques

When Not Going to Jumma is a Huge Blessing

Maulana Abdul Aziz, 6 others booked for violating govt order

Ultra-Orthodox Israeli town of Bnei Brak under lockdown

Virus Soars Among Ultra-Orthodox Jews as Many Flout Israel’s Rules

India confronts its first coronavirus ‘super-spreader’ — a Muslim missionary group with more than 400 members infected

Pastors sue California governor over coronavirus restrictions on church gatherings

Suggested reading for the 21st century understanding of God and religion:

Answering the Question of Suffering for Sir David Attenborough

A Slight Twist Makes David Attenborough a Great Teacher for God of the Abrahamic Faiths

Corona — our debt to Darwin

Everything is a Miracle According to the Holy Quran and Albert Einstein

Corona Fear’s Cure: Chanting from the Bible and the Quran

A New Commentary of the Holy Quran Emphasizing Compassion, Justice and Human Rights Launched

6 replies

  1. The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has stated that this pandemic is just that. A ‘normal’ pandemic, pandemics come and go.

  2. There are Ahadith for praying at home during natural disasters. There are Ahadith for offering Jummah at home in the face of danger. What is the point of your Namaz if you cannot care to protect your loved ones? Also, imagine if a person got the virus from the mosque, how many more will be affected there? It is turning out to be a mess because of these Maulvis and Maulvi minded people.

    • I agree with you, it is rational thinking. Covid -19 has divided us on issue of whether we shut down mosque or we open for praying as usual.

      Those muslims who is against shutting down mosque are ignorance or stupid Muslim who do not care other’s life.
      They are misunderstand of Islam..very sad indeed

  3. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) has, on more than one occasion, told believing Muslims to pray in their homes. Whether it is a contagious disease or dangerous weather, your home becomes your mosque when needed. It is wrong to think that the only way to stay near God is to go to the mosque.

  4. During this time of Crisis, we need to understand what is best in our interest. If the government and health officials are suggesting that we stay home and avoid any type of gatherings then we should. When we follow the guidance and stay home and don’t go to the mosque it doesn’t mean that we are doing injustice with Allah, but Allah will be happy with us because we are caring for what he has created, i.e other humans. Namaaz is still Namaaz when you pray at home and Allah knows best what is in the hearts. 

  5. Pandemics and epidemics have come and gone. Many may say that it is something brought upon us by God, and maybe it is. That we will never know. What we can do now is focus on humanity. Do what we think and know is best, and do that in order to keep the people around us safe. This includes praying at home. You do not need a mosque to pray. All you need is a believer and Allah. After all, the matter of religion is only between Allah and his people. Reading at home, keeping away from others is what will keep people safe.
    In his time, The Holy Prophet ( peace and blessing of Allah he upon him), advised people to pray at home, because it was muddy outside. If the Holy Prophet ( peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) advised us to stay home for such a minuscule reason, imagine what we should do in such a serious situation.
    Stay home and keep everyone safe.

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