He would frequently log into FaceBook and Twitter to mock faith and the believers, without comprehending the reality of what he was saying…

It would bring him such satisfaction – belittling the metaphysical and life in the grave, and glorifying science and rationale… though he would die each night when by himself; with uncertainty consuming him and dismay gnawing away at him…

But then news of the virus filled his ears, and the constant uptick in the number of those infected, and the torment of those trying to breathe as if through the hole of a needle.

“And then what?”, he thought to himself. It was no riddle; death was swiftly on route for all. Whether it was COVID-19 or something else, it was but a matter of “when” now. But how when he hasn’t experienced in his entire life anything to offer him true peace of mind? What if it will be from anguish to anguish?

He used to hate the dark, and the loneliness of being alone in the room. And now the grave may envelop him in a far greater loneliness. Will everything really just end when the heart beats stop?

Or will the eyes, upon being closed by death, open anew to see the reality of existence, and the once unseen world with perfect clarity? Will it be hell on earth in this world, then the Hellfire itself after death?

If only I believed in the Prophet’s statement which Muslims would circulate: “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for there is good for him in every matter, and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks God and thus there is good for him, and if he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him.”

“The believers actually won,” he thought. It suddenly didn’t matter to him anymore who thought they won the debates, or whose worldview was trending during his arbitrary lifetime. It was clear now that by their patience, the believers conquered the trials of this life, firm as unwavering mountains as its storms blew. It was clear now that the believers have triumphed in the hereafter as well, when their patience will be rewarded immeasurably while an atheist like myself watches on, paralyzed by the bitterness of his regrets.

“I lived mocking in a world that testifies aloud to the existence of a Brilliant Creator. I did not trouble myself with pursuing answers for the greatest existential questions. I lived superficially, echoing my arrogant platitudes, and memorizing fallacious rebuttals. I lived oblivious to the reality of science; oblivious to longing for the Truth; oblivious to how short life is – no matter how long; oblivious to how near death is – no matter how far. I lived blind, and died blind, and was resurrected blind.”

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“He will say, ‘My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing?’ [Allah] will say, ‘Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot them; and thus will you this Day be forgotten.’” {Qur’an – 20:125-126}

All praise and thanks be to You, O Allah. You have only increased us in clarity with this tribulation that we are upon the Truth. O Allah, just as You have admitted us into the paradise of this world through the blessing of faith, allow us to inherit the bliss of the hereafter in Your Paradise there!

Adapted from the writings of Dr Sami Ameri د. سامي عامري

Sami Ameri is a Professor of Islamic Studies. He is a prolific author in Arabic on Islam and other faiths’ challenges. He is a co-founder of the Academic Research of Comparative Religion Initiative, a research organization for interfaith dialogue. He strives to provide an accurate picture of the Islamic faith to non-Muslim readers. 

The post Corona and the Tragedy of an Atheist appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

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Source: Muslim Matters