Coronavirus: The Great Disruption. Will religion post-Covid-19 be more personal, less communal?

empty kaaba

The day Kaaba was empty given the pandemic. We want the Hajj to open soon, Inshallah.  The Muslim Times has always emphasized secularism and personal aspect of piety and shown limitations of organized religion, as unlike national defense, seeking the truth is an individual sport not a team sport

By Mohammad Alami Musa For The Straits Times

How will religion adapt to the pandemic? The answers to five key questions point to more individualism, and a new state-religion relationship

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of religious life, given its huge communal and collective dimensions.

Religious activities have been active contributors to the spread of the virus. Religion experienced the same fate as other worldly preoccupations like the economy – its communal aspects had to be shut down amid lockdowns, circuit breakers and the like.

How should the embrace of religion be reshaped for a future with a real threat of mass infections like this pandemic?

Five hypothetical questions need to be asked.

1. Can religion become less communal and collective?

2. Can there be non-conventional ways of practising the communal dimension of religion?

3. Can there be less “institutional” religion so that substantive “ownership” of religion reverts to individuals?

4. Can a more individualised practice of religion result in less inter-religious competition?

5. Can a unique model of state-religion coalescence be the new normal?

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Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times and author and collector of this post

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1 reply

  1. Yes, the annual conventions of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Communities are being affected. And of course the Hajj ! We pray that things will return to a ‘new normal’ as soon as possible.

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