Tackling the fear of the unknown with gratitude

The holy month of Ramadhan is a time when we try to find many answers to pressing questions.  This Ramadhan amongst many other issues is also the element called fear of the unknown.

Currently many fear about the pandemic at the same time about the future as well.

“A fear is a normal emotion a human being can have in any normal circumstance, especially when it is vague, when it is not clear or when it is a new experience.  People have the right to have fear but at the same time they should be optimistic because we do not know what the future holds for us,” explained Hatim al Abdulsalam, member of the Islamic Information Center of Oman while speaking in Observer’s podcast named, Essence of Ramadhan.

He urged to look at the experience of Covid_19.  “Before Coronavirus, we did not have many of the industries that we are focusing on now.  We used to depend on import of many things but during the pandemic we learnt to make our own hand sanitizers, learnt to make our own face shields using 3D printing,” he noted.

Sometimes these calamities make us stronger and smarter so according to Hatim, instead of bowing down to fear one should explore the opportunities because something positive comes out of the negative.

Fear could be illusion he pointed out but what about planning for disaster?

“In the Holy Quran it is said that one’s sustenance is recorded in the heavens.  None of us can guarantee about tomorrow.  Each one of us is guaranteed with our sustenance so we should do our part and leave the part of sustenance to the Almighty.  And let us not forget he is the one who brought us to this world.  The means will be given for the ends to be met,” Hatim replied.

Many are going through the anxiety of tomorrow and the insecurities regarding the payments of bills, jobs and businesses.

“We should not worry about what is not present.  Let us focus on the pandemic and how to protect ourselves and let tomorrow speak for itself.    Lot of industries have been effected at the same time we are alive and we can still be productive go back and work from zero all over again.  We just have to think on what is more important – losing my business or losing my life or the loved ones?

My life and my health and the health of my loved ones have more priority compared to everything else.  It is a privilege that we are alive.  So tomorrow we can focus on other issues,” he explained.

Hatim urged that we focus on today and blessings we have.  “If we are not thankful and practice gratitude because of our fear what about other places that are going through the pandemic where they do not even have enough hospital beds for the sick? We have a caring government and people who are involved in charity.”

A shift of focus could result in not having the time to indulge in the insecurities of tomorrow.  So along with the fasting and the prayers let there be practicing of gratitude by counting one’s blessings.