The reaction of our modern-day proud nations to the Pandemic has been that, after the initial shock, their pride and hubris have recovered. That is not true of nations alone, but of individuals too..
The Qur’an illustrates to us accounts of nations that were shown the path to heaven, after they are gone from this earth. A few accepted the invitations, most did not. What were the reasons behind rejection of a call that cost nothing if it was accepted?
After all, life and its struggles would have remained the same, whether they accepted or rejected. They were not promised that acceptance would open the gates of well-being or material developments.
On the other hand, they were not threatened that their immediate destruction was imminent, if they rejected. It looked like it didn’t matter one way or the other.
So, what was the reason, or reasons, for the leaders of the nations, and that of their people’s unanimous decision for rejection?
If we take our search a little deeper, it becomes obvious that acceptance amounted to the willingness to submit. That was the key. But the nations were not ready to submit to any. They were pretty confident and, further, proud of their achievements, possessions, and developments to find the need to submit.
Their logic was: if the acceptance was not going to bring immediate and massive material rewards, then why submit? They were planning to build so many dams, canals, roads, housing colonies, monuments, and so on. If the call was not promising immediate fulfillment of their dreams and plans, what use was it?
What they had already achieved of material developments was, to them, quite substantial. Majestic palaces, tall monuments, an invincible army, and all-round material developments were their visible achievements and evidences of their greatness. These assured them of a prideful place amongst nations around them. Pride led them to arrogance, haughtiness and hubris.
Initially, Coronavirus seemed to be performing the function of humiliating the nations, scaling down their ambitions, and forcing them out of their pride. Globally, businesses were going down, housing was getting crashed, tourism was tumbling down, small businesses were going broke, and so on. As a result millions became jobless and the economy was shrinking. Predictions were scary, and nerves tense.
But, what was the reaction on part of the modern-day proud nations? And what nation is not proud? The reaction has been that, after the initial shock, their pride and hubris have recovered.
That is not true of nations alone, but of individuals too.
Life and activities are getting back to normal, although they will never be normal again, in the sense of what it was like before the pandemic. A man was found eating a dog’s flesh in the street, a woman was found carrying a load on her head, a hand coiled around a child on the side, and she trudging across the fields and forests to her village a thousand miles away, or a man with his mother on the shoulder, on the same path, to cross on foot miles and miles, scenes of dozens of migrant labor mauled on the railway track – these and many such heart-rending incidents had no impact on the ruling class, the rich, and the proud – except for an occasional sigh.
For them, life is gradually crawling back to normal.
Whatever happens to the masses, they feel assured that they will remain on top. In fact, the corporate owners have doubled their wealth during the lockdown. The Pandemic has been a blessing to them.
Yes, in this sense, things will be normal, despite challenges to pride and hubris.
We believe that the Lord’s powers have been under-estimated.