Flattening the Curve

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All around the world governments are battling the Coronavirus pandemic. In an effort to combat this disease they have enforced various types of lockdowns. However, despite the lockdowns in different countries differing in their regulations and penalties for violations, all the lockdowns have one and the same goal – to ‘flatten the curve’ of transmission.

In other words, the objective is to slow the spread of the disease so that the healthcare systems do not become overwhelmed. In this manner, instead of the entire population becoming infected at once, small, isolated pockets of people may be infected, thus making it easier to deal with and contain the infection.

From the governments’ approach to dealing with the Coronavirus, there is a lesson for us all – the lesson of flattening the curve of sin. As we approach Ramadhaan, we all desire to derive maximum benefit and reap maximum rewards in this blessed month. However, if we enter the month ill-prepared, persisting in our bad habits and evil ways, then the ‘virus’ of our sins will continue to infect us and overwhelm our systems throughout Ramadhaan. Then, before we know it, the month will be over, and we will be no better off than we were before the month – or we may even be worse off.

The effort is thus to totally ‘flatten the curve’ of our sins before Ramadhaan arrives. This will be achieved by subjecting our evil desires to a self-imposed ‘lockdown’. If we can do this effectively, by putting measures into place to curb our appetite for sin, we will be able to make rapid progress. We already have an advantage – the national lockdown – as it has put many sins out of our reach (cinemas, casinos, nightclubs, functions with intermingling, music and other sins, etc.). All that remains is for us to implement some form of lockdown within our homes and our hearts for the remaining sins.

Generally, these sins will revolve around the TV, internet and cell phone. Hence, if despite trying we find ourselves still caught up in some of these sins, some more concrete steps must be taken to eliminate them. We could at least start by limiting our indulgence (e.g. only switching the WiFi on for about an hour or two a day). Then gradually, as we edge closer to Ramadhaan, we can continue to decrease the time, until eventually, we can put an end to the sin, once and for all, before the commencement of Ramadhaan.

Conversely, if we continue to indulge in these vices, then Ramadhaan will pass us by like any other month. In fact it may be even worse, as being house-bound means that most people now have even more free time on their hands.

In the hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) – who hardly even cursed his enemies – actually cursed the person who allows the month of Ramadhaan to pass without him using it to reform himself and gain forgiveness. By implementing our own lockdown on our vices and sins, we can hopefully avoid this curse and qualify for the mercy and forgiveness of Allah Ta‘ala.

May Allah Ta‘ala assist us all to flatten the curve of our sins, strengthen our spiritual systems and make them sin-resistant, and bless us all with Jannah, aameen.