Natural disasters and calamities have been hitting different parts of the world throughout human history. People have different views about them; some take them as mere events and accidents taking place by chance, while many others take them as torments and trials from the creator. Times of disaster bring uncertainty and fear. They can test us and stretch us beyond our own limits of possibility. And yet, these times—personal or collective—can also reveal a resiliency and strength unknown. When you are facing a new kind of trying time, faith can offer clarity, encouragement, reassurance and hope for the days ahead.
The session on Hope During Calamity delivered by Dr Mahera Ruby addressed how families can focus on faith, family and health to get through and overcome this calamity by focusing primarily on the emotions such situations evoke. The session explored how individuals on a daily basis are faced by a host of new problems and difficulties, which can cause distress, and with each distress individuals dip into their inner resources and external sources of support to overcome them. Despite this, there are instances when external calamities can bring added change, anxiety and distress. An individual can consider these to be chance occurrences or mere coincidences, thus never pausing to even consider the actual cause and reason behind these calamities. However, the session further explored for a person of faith, who are momentarily stirred by this state of affairs, how can they become more reflective and turn to the creator for solace and guidance? Using COVID-19 as the current trial, the session concluded with how families can recalibrate our focus on Faith, Family and Health with guidance from Islam, looking at key verses from Quran and hadith to generate hope and a positive mindset.