The online gathering was held on 3 June 2020 featuring HR. Rhoma Irama, an Indonesian well-known ustadz and singer as resource person. The gathering was virtually attended by 100 people from SEAMEO BIOTROP and BoDs from other SEAMEO Centres in Indonesia.
In his talk, HR. Rhoma Irama shares Islam's perspective in responding to disasters, especially the one that we are currently experiencing worldwide, the Covid-19 plague. As Muslims, we need to be retrospective of Islamic viewpoints of disaster i.e., as test of faith and as warning.
Disaster as test of faith bears a meaning that human beings will be tested to prove their true faith to Allah SWT. With true faith, human beings accept that any disasters that they experience are already written in al-Lawh al-Mahfooz (the Preserved Tablet: the place where the decrees of Allah are kept). Based on this, human beings shall refrain from overly joyed due to happiness and from excessively saddened due to misery, because any occurrences that happened in our lives are already determined by Allah long before we are born to this world.
Disaster as warning indicates that human beings should be aware of any deeds that they do to the nature and other God’s creations. In the long run, any wrongdoings to the nature and other God’s creation will come back in the form of disaster, as warnings for human beings.
Human beings are created by Allah to worship Allah. In the journey, human beings face a lot of temptations and hence, make mistakes along the way. Ramadhan, the holy fasting month, is meant for cleansing the mistakes. It is believed that after passing through the Ramadhan patiently, sincerely and consistently, the mistakes will be forgiven. It is hoped that no more mistakes will be done afterwards.
Ied Al-Fitr celebration is held after the Ramadhan as a token of thankfulness for having passed the Ramadhan safely.
Subsequently, human beings should maintain the Qa’naah attitude in their lives. Qa’naah is the feeling of contentment with the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon us. Such contentment affirms their belief in Allah’s decree, and thus they would rather continue to strive and work hard, while praying and doing their best in search of a better life. (zi/sis)