DoubleTake, a podcast by Yaqeen Institute

Has COVID Impacted My Faith?

April 07, 2021 Dr. Rania Awaad Season 1 Episode 6
DoubleTake, a podcast by Yaqeen Institute
Has COVID Impacted My Faith?
Show Notes Transcript

COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more available around the world, and people are starting to return to their places of work, recreation, and worship. However, life still feels far from normal for many of us. How have the lives of Muslims changed during the past year? What can we learn from the experiences of early Muslims who endured similar plagues?
Host Mohamad Zaoud explores these questions and more as he speaks to Dr. Rania Awaad, Research Fellow at Yaqeen Institute and lead author of the paper “Coping with Pandemics: Psychological and Spiritual Lessons from Islamic History.

DoubleTake will be going on hiatus during Ramadan and will resume on May 19th insha'Allah.


 00:00 
 covert 19 vaccines are becoming more 
 00:02 
 available around the world 
 00:03 
 and people are starting to return to 
 00:05 
 their places of work 
 00:06 
 recreation and worship but although 
 00:08 
 we're returning to familiar places 
 00:10 
 life still feels far from normal for 
 00:13 
 many of us 
 00:14 
 how have our lives changed during the 
 00:16 
 past year what have we learned 
 00:17 
 and what can we learn from the 
 00:19 
 experiences of earlier muslims 
 00:21 
 who endured similar plagues 
 00:27 
 welcome to double take a podcast by akin 
 00:29 
 institute 
 00:30 
 about questions and ideas around the 
 00:32 
 islam and muslims 
 00:33 
 that give us pause remember to subscribe 
 00:35 
 on spotify 
 00:36 
 youtube apple podcast or wherever you 
 00:39 
 get your podcasts 
 00:40 
 i'm muhammad zhad and today on the show 
 00:42 
 we're discussing some of the 
 00:43 
 psychological 
 00:44 
 and spiritual lessons we can take from 
 00:46 
 the covet experience 
 00:48 
 with me is dr ranya awad lead author of 
 00:51 
 the paper 
 00:52 
 coping with pandemic psychological and 
 00:54 
 spiritual lessons 
 00:55 
 from islamic history dr anya assalamu 
 00:58 
 alaikum and welcome to double tech 
 01:02 
 it's my pleasure to be here in honor 
 01:05 
 thank you thank you so much for joining 
 01:06 
 us dr ranya 
 01:08 
 you're a clinical associate professor of 
 01:10 
 psychiatry at stanford mashallah 
 01:12 
 and you're the director of the muslim 
 01:14 
 mental health and islamic psychology lab 
 01:17 
 you also studied classical islamic 
 01:19 
 studies in damascus and served as the 
 01:21 
 first 
 01:22 
 female professor of islamic law at 
 01:24 
 zaitan zaituna college 
 01:27 
 where you talk and quranic sciences is 
 01:29 
 my understanding 
 01:31 
 so i'm going to ask you a few questions 
 01:32 
 about our lives 
 01:34 
 but i'd like to start off with one 
 01:37 
 question that only you 
 01:39 
 would be able to answer right from the 
 01:40 
 outset so my question to you is 
 01:43 
 how has the pandemic affected our 
 01:45 
 psychological 
 01:46 
 and spiritual well-being on an 
 01:48 
 individual level 
 01:55 
 i think you're absolutely right about 
 01:56 
 the psychological and spiritual being 
 01:59 
 you know subhanallah it's been a year as 
 02:01 
 you mentioned and what a year it's been 
 02:03 
 and in the midst of this year we 
 02:05 
 actually have been very interested in 
 02:07 
 trying to figure out exactly the same 
 02:08 
 thing because anecdotally and amongst 
 02:10 
 ourselves 
 02:11 
 we all have our coveted stories we all 
 02:14 
 know and can tell you about 
 02:15 
 how how different life has been how 
 02:17 
 difficult life has been and we also 
 02:19 
 panel also had 
 02:20 
 our share of stories either directly 
 02:22 
 impacting ourselves and our family 
 02:24 
 members loved ones community members 
 02:26 
 that have either had a copit illness or 
 02:28 
 actually have passed away from it 
 02:29 
 bellows pontiac grant 
 02:31 
 those people um genna and and ease from 
 02:34 
 patients for their families 
 02:35 
 so it's been it's been quite a year and 
 02:37 
 so when you think about 
 02:38 
 psychologically and spiritually how are 
 02:40 
 we doing 
 02:42 
 the research studies that we've done 
 02:43 
 actually in collaboration with euclidean 
 02:45 
 and the stanford muslim and health 
 02:46 
 islamic psychology lab 
 02:48 
 you know has brought about such a really 
 02:51 
 interesting data we thought 
 02:52 
 as researchers that for sure that given 
 02:56 
 how difficult life has been 
 02:57 
 before the pandemic that when the 
 02:59 
 pandemic hit it would be that much 
 03:00 
 harder 
 03:01 
 and although it has been what's 
 03:03 
 interesting is that 
 03:04 
 spiritually speaking there are many who 
 03:07 
 are actually saying that this period of 
 03:08 
 time has been 
 03:09 
 at a time of getting closer to allah 
 03:11 
 subhanahu wa ta'ala a reminder 
 03:14 
 you know that this this very microscopic 
 03:17 
 thing called the coronavirus that we 
 03:19 
 can't even see 
 03:20 
 how that put the whole world as a 
 03:22 
 standstill has actually made us stop and 
 03:24 
 really reflect on 
 03:25 
 allah is in charge that he is boss 
 03:29 
 capital b and that he is you know he 
 03:32 
 could put everything and just make 
 03:33 
 the whole world as we know it kind of 
 03:34 
 shift and come to a stand still come to 
 03:37 
 its knees 
 03:38 
 literally prayer wise i mean to say and 
 03:41 
 um that's what we found our research has 
 03:43 
 actually found that over 75 percent 
 03:46 
 of muslims stay that in this last year 
 03:48 
 their faith or dependence on allah has 
 03:50 
 gotten stronger 
 03:52 
 right and that's a huge number i'll tell 
 03:55 
 you in comparison to 
 03:56 
 to non-muslims for example there are pew 
 03:58 
 research study did exam 
 04:00 
 study where they looked at all faith 
 04:02 
 groups and people of no faith 
 04:04 
 in the us and they found the number is 
 04:05 
 much higher than what they expected at 
 04:07 
 24 
 04:09 
 but our number is more like 75 right so 
 04:12 
 there's something about muslims in islam 
 04:14 
 the resiliency this deen gives us 
 04:16 
 that has actually allowed us to cope 
 04:18 
 better 
 04:19 
 you know i'd love to i'd love to hear 
 04:22 
 more about that because um 
 04:24 
 you know alhamdulillah i think in some 
 04:26 
 in some aspects of my life 
 04:28 
 anecdotally as you mentioned um i i feel 
 04:31 
 like i've come closer to allah yes he's 
 04:33 
 in control 
 04:34 
 and you know when i feel um that i'm 
 04:37 
 gonna be challenged with 
 04:38 
 earning a living during a covert um 
 04:41 
 experience that allah somehow you know 
 04:44 
 finds a way to 
 04:46 
 to give me a risk but 
 04:49 
 um on the other hand i've faced some 
 04:52 
 challenges 
 04:52 
 personally in maintaining my 
 04:55 
 spirituality 
 04:56 
 like i enjoyed the whole the whole idea 
 04:58 
 of praying um 
 05:00 
 home that was that was quite you know uh 
 05:03 
 that was a blessing it was spiritual my 
 05:04 
 family was together 
 05:06 
 but at the same time um my religiosity 
 05:09 
 is probably 
 05:12 
 linked to community service and i wasn't 
 05:15 
 able to 
 05:16 
 go out there on the front lines and help 
 05:18 
 and organize 
 05:19 
 and and support as much as i'm used to 
 05:23 
 and i was uh recently reading an article 
 05:26 
 in the atlantic about how covert has 
 05:29 
 basically demolished many friendship 
 05:33 
 circles 
 05:34 
 um and for me that's one of them like my 
 05:37 
 friends have become a lot 
 05:38 
 less fewer like i've got you know deeper 
 05:41 
 connections with fewer people 
 05:42 
 um but that broad spectrum of 
 05:46 
 muslims that you see at the mosque or 
 05:48 
 community 
 05:49 
 uh activities has kind of disintegrated 
 05:52 
 and it's affected my spirituality so 
 05:54 
 do you mind just talking uh more to the 
 05:57 
 to the research that you did and 
 05:59 
 is this just um was a momentary 
 06:03 
 spike in people's spirituality or 
 06:06 
 are they going to be residual effects on 
 06:09 
 on people's faith 
 06:10 
 i think that's that's really really 
 06:12 
 important and as most researchers will 
 06:14 
 tell you this is room for more 
 06:15 
 research to really figure out what we 
 06:17 
 did along with 
 06:19 
 along with the octane is really look at 
 06:21 
 um three stages 
 06:22 
 you know the first the first study 
 06:24 
 actually came out right 
 06:25 
 at the beginning within the first week 
 06:27 
 of kovit so march 
 06:28 
 of 2020 and then there was a second um 
 06:32 
 you know pulse checking right where we 
 06:34 
 kind of check the pulse again 
 06:36 
 right around um you know pre ramadan 
 06:39 
 because there was always this fear of 
 06:40 
 like they'll be the very first ramadan 
 06:42 
 as you mentioned 
 06:42 
 a different ramadan than ones we've ever 
 06:44 
 had before 
 06:46 
 and then again a third pulse check in 
 06:49 
 uh post ramadan to see what would happen 
 06:51 
 what was it really like 
 06:53 
 and then there was a fourth one actually 
 06:54 
 right around the summer when there was 
 06:56 
 here in the us there was a lot of 
 06:58 
 tension of you know racial injustice and 
 07:00 
 just all kinds of societal 
 07:02 
 um historically societal issues that 
 07:04 
 have really come 
 07:05 
 came to a head over the summer so we 
 07:07 
 kind of pulse checked all throughout to 
 07:09 
 see what was happening 
 07:10 
 and absolutely would want to continue 
 07:12 
 checking that so what 
 07:13 
 i'm presenting to you is really data 
 07:16 
 from 
 07:16 
 you know about 9 000 muslims globally 
 07:20 
 throughout these different stages and 
 07:23 
 what we're finding is that even though 
 07:25 
 yes 
 07:25 
 there is yes there's more mental health 
 07:27 
 concerns than before 
 07:28 
 yes there's more difficulty than before 
 07:31 
 somehow psychologically and spiritually 
 07:34 
 there is still this again compared to 
 07:38 
 other faith groups right and compared to 
 07:39 
 other groups of people 
 07:40 
 there's more kind of this connection 
 07:43 
 with the divine 
 07:44 
 um and i i can't help but imagine that 
 07:46 
 this is something that 
 07:48 
 is very indigenous to the muslim faith 
 07:50 
 there is something about 
 07:51 
 the resiliency building and the 
 07:53 
 understanding of this life 
 07:54 
 this dunya that we're in is 
 07:58 
 the the abode of tribulation right 
 08:01 
 and that what's coming after this will 
 08:03 
 be better and so the kind of patience 
 08:06 
 that we live through that subruin jimmy 
 08:08 
 that beautiful patience that we live 
 08:10 
 through 
 08:10 
 even when it's difficult even when 
 08:12 
 things seem like they're crumbling even 
 08:14 
 like you mentioned job concerns and 
 08:15 
 monetary financial concerns all of these 
 08:18 
 things kind of understanding that if 
 08:19 
 allah sent us something 
 08:21 
 difficult he will send with it it's ease 
 08:24 
 right in namaste right that kind of 
 08:26 
 concept 
 08:27 
 so yes i don't want to oversimplify a 
 08:29 
 very very complex 
 08:30 
 issue but there's something very 
 08:32 
 beautiful about 
 08:33 
 the kind of resiliency that islam gives 
 08:35 
 us i think 
 08:37 
 you are comparing us to other faiths and 
 08:39 
 you mentioned that you know 
 08:40 
 uh it where we're at 75 of people 
 08:43 
 feeling closer to 
 08:45 
 to god than than those of other faiths 
 08:47 
 but there's generally speaking a net 
 08:48 
 positive effect on spirituality as i'm 
 08:50 
 understanding from the research 
 08:52 
 correct that's absolutely right 
 08:55 
 i i wanted to kind of draw just on 
 08:58 
 on europe and america after world war 
 09:01 
 one and two 
 09:02 
 um uh based on kind of what i've read 
 09:05 
 i've i've seen just a general trajectory 
 09:08 
 of people being 
 09:09 
 less faithful or less spiritual 
 09:12 
 after world war one and two maybe that's 
 09:15 
 because there were 
 09:16 
 you know a hundred million casualties um 
 09:19 
 so from a psychological perspective 
 09:22 
 uh people probably lost faith in in a 
 09:25 
 god 
 09:26 
 um when it was two you know christian 
 09:28 
 groups i guess fighting each other 
 09:29 
 on um in world war one at least and 
 09:32 
 uh and on a practical level with less 
 09:36 
 less people out there doing community 
 09:39 
 work 
 09:40 
 women having to look after their family 
 09:43 
 and without the nucleus of the family 
 09:45 
 husband and wife and kids 
 09:47 
 the sunday sunday church became less 
 09:50 
 active 
 09:51 
 so physically people were less religious 
 09:54 
 and mentally people were less spiritual 
 09:57 
 do we see the same thing in islamic 
 09:59 
 history with regards to 
 10:01 
 pandemics or is this just 
 10:05 
 um is this just unique to to other 
 10:07 
 faiths 
 10:08 
 i think these are really important 
 10:10 
 questions in fact 
 10:12 
 i would say that we were curious of the 
 10:13 
 exact same thing there was there was 
 10:15 
 um really the the impetus for doing the 
 10:19 
 study that we did that we publish 
 10:20 
 on pandemics and islamic history was 
 10:22 
 exactly to answer your question 
 10:24 
 because it's you know this pandemic is 
 10:27 
 definitely 
 10:27 
 the one we are currently experiencing in 
 10:29 
 modern history but it's not the first 
 10:31 
 it's certainly not the first epidemic 
 10:33 
 and there have been many a plague 
 10:34 
 in human history before this so what did 
 10:37 
 the people of old 
 10:38 
 do what are the people before us our 
 10:40 
 predecessors the ones who 
 10:42 
 you know clearly we derive from them 
 10:44 
 right so what what is it and especially 
 10:46 
 the muslim ones we're very curious 
 10:48 
 because islamic history 
 10:49 
 is you know kind of riddled with 
 10:51 
 different plagues over time and how did 
 10:53 
 muslims 
 10:53 
 respond and did they use islamic 
 10:56 
 spirituality in this 
 10:57 
 or not and i think that is a key 
 10:59 
 difference if you will 
 11:00 
 then maybe some other reports that you 
 11:02 
 were reading which which are very true i 
 11:04 
 want to say this 
 11:05 
 that is reality but where are the 
 11:07 
 muslims in the story 
 11:08 
 what were they doing and what we found 
 11:11 
 and this is what the paper highlights 
 11:12 
 um anecdotally all kinds of stories 
 11:16 
 in the history books of muslims that 
 11:19 
 talk about how 
 11:20 
 they came together and how some of 
 11:23 
 sometimes 
 11:24 
 when it was important to isolate they 
 11:25 
 isolated so there was kind of both 
 11:27 
 happening 
 11:28 
 there was a coming together and an 
 11:29 
 isolating um depending on the contagion 
 11:32 
 or the issue that was that they were 
 11:33 
 facing at the time 
 11:35 
 and as a society right there was this 
 11:38 
 kind of like we have to move forward 
 11:40 
 um the what you find in islamic history 
 11:43 
 related to the plagues 
 11:45 
 is uh you know a lot of the same kind of 
 11:48 
 verses and ayats of quran that we're 
 11:50 
 hearing now in this year of the 
 11:51 
 coven 19 pandemic urging us and 
 11:54 
 reminding us that this is a 
 11:56 
 you know this is a test and tribulation 
 11:57 
 from allah that ease will come after 
 11:59 
 this 
 12:00 
 and also reminding us the importance of 
 12:03 
 doing our civic duties and due diligence 
 12:06 
 right 
 12:06 
 of you know now and this year it's all 
 12:08 
 been about you know social 
 12:10 
 distance and wash your hands frequently 
 12:11 
 and sanitize and wear your masks and all 
 12:13 
 of this 
 12:14 
 and there have been parallels to all of 
 12:16 
 these things historically amongst 
 12:18 
 muslims as well 
 12:19 
 so and a lot of times the scholars are 
 12:22 
 using 
 12:22 
 islamic uh principles or proofs 
 12:26 
 to show how those things are important 
 12:28 
 so it's almost like look if you don't 
 12:29 
 want to listen to 
 12:30 
 your you know national or federal 
 12:32 
 guidelines listen to the sunnah the 
 12:34 
 prophets of the audio center which is 
 12:36 
 actually very intriguing and interesting 
 12:37 
 so it's almost like a parallel almost 
 12:39 
 like a repeating of certain things that 
 12:41 
 have happened historically for the 
 12:42 
 muslims 
 12:43 
 so if we're going to use ramadan 
 12:45 
 specifically as just like a 
 12:47 
 scenario so we're saying spiritually 
 12:50 
 generally speaking muslims are closer to 
 12:52 
 allah during the pandemic 
 12:55 
 but there are a lot of aspects of 
 12:57 
 ramadan that are 
 12:58 
 directly affected obviously the the 
 13:01 
 prayers in the mosque and hopefully this 
 13:03 
 year 
 13:04 
 things are getting better but also the 
 13:06 
 idea of 
 13:07 
 charity and community service um and i 
 13:10 
 know 
 13:10 
 firsthand that the the charity sector 
 13:12 
 has been 
 13:13 
 severely affected on two fronts one is 
 13:16 
 um 
 13:17 
 the the quality of projects is limited 
 13:19 
 just because of logistical purposes so 
 13:21 
 people can 
 13:22 
 can no longer fly to certain areas where 
 13:24 
 they can you know 
 13:25 
 run projects but also the whole 
 13:29 
 idea of caring for other societies 
 13:33 
 caring for global causes people are a 
 13:37 
 little bit 
 13:37 
 more self-centered without sounding 
 13:42 
 negative because they're worried about 
 13:44 
 their own financial situation their own 
 13:46 
 community situation 
 13:48 
 they're less worried about people 
 13:51 
 overseas who are who are doing it tough 
 13:53 
 uh have you seen anything in your 
 13:55 
 research that 
 13:57 
 uh that suggests that it has a negative 
 14:00 
 the whole covert experience has had a 
 14:01 
 negative experience 
 14:03 
 on uh on charity work or 
 14:06 
 on on caring for uh for society beyond 
 14:10 
 your immediate circle well i think 
 14:13 
 definitely 
 14:13 
 this is true in terms of the charity 
 14:15 
 sector that there are um 
 14:17 
 there are i would say the traditional 
 14:20 
 classical ways of fundraising and of 
 14:23 
 you know having uh contributing 
 14:26 
 charitably has been affected i do agree 
 14:28 
 with that very much 
 14:29 
 i do also wonder though if like many 
 14:32 
 other things that have happened with 
 14:32 
 kovid 
 14:33 
 it opened up our eyes to different ways 
 14:36 
 of doing things or kind of 
 14:37 
 shifting the way because that's that's 
 14:40 
 how i would like to see this as much as 
 14:41 
 possible is 
 14:42 
 you know in all of this and in all of 
 14:44 
 the covet experience 
 14:45 
 it you know what kind of messaging is 
 14:47 
 the loss of hands-on is sending to us 
 14:48 
 humans right 
 14:49 
 like you know whether it be health and 
 14:52 
 wealth 
 14:52 
 you know or whether it be other aspects 
 14:54 
 of our daily lives you know and wealth 
 14:56 
 being one of those so when you think 
 14:57 
 about charity 
 14:58 
 you know i i have to say here that i um 
 15:01 
 you know if i'm going to quote uh you 
 15:03 
 know imam shafiri for example 
 15:05 
 if you allow me to who who is very 
 15:07 
 particular when it comes to zakat 
 15:09 
 alms charity to give it locally or 
 15:12 
 within a 50 mile radius of where you 
 15:14 
 live 
 15:14 
 and other opinions change and mashallah 
 15:17 
 and hammed it up for the mercy of the 
 15:18 
 different opinions on 
 15:19 
 how to give your zakat so as you know 
 15:21 
 can be given anywhere but zakat he was 
 15:23 
 very particular about 
 15:24 
 and i think about how something like 
 15:26 
 this has really um 
 15:28 
 changed it realigned it it means a cat 
 15:31 
 has to be given regardless 
 15:32 
 but i wonder if what happens now because 
 15:34 
 his whole theory mama shafi's was if you 
 15:36 
 give it if every person who 
 15:38 
 owes a cat gives it within 50 miles of 
 15:40 
 where they live 
 15:41 
 then every community is self-sufficient 
 15:43 
 and takes care of its 
 15:45 
 self essentially and it's a ripple 
 15:46 
 effect all the way out and you know that 
 15:48 
 was his theory and others agreed or 
 15:50 
 disagreed with him 
 15:51 
 and when you think about what's 
 15:52 
 happening with kovic that sort of 
 15:55 
 kind of organically happened that way 
 15:57 
 where a lot of the giving was 
 15:59 
 kind of focused more locally than it was 
 16:01 
 internationally 
 16:04 
 interesting yeah it is it is very very 
 16:06 
 interesting actually subhanallah 
 16:08 
 how it just there's been like a movement 
 16:10 
 i think in the last 
 16:11 
 few years in western societies where 
 16:14 
 there's there's a 
 16:14 
 there's a bigger focus on local zakat um 
 16:18 
 and i subhanallah i think this has just 
 16:20 
 uh sped that up 
 16:21 
 and realigned our uh our understanding 
 16:25 
 of zakat um 
 16:26 
 i wanna before moving forward i i wanna 
 16:28 
 kind of go back to 
 16:30 
 um the the idea of family and the effect 
 16:33 
 um 
 16:33 
 the pandemic has had on family like 
 16:35 
 countless research has suggested that 
 16:38 
 there's more pressures on family i mean 
 16:40 
 due to financial reasons or 
 16:42 
 um just being uh stuck with the family 
 16:45 
 in four wars for for 
 16:46 
 extended periods of times uh have you 
 16:49 
 seen in the research that this 
 16:51 
 has had an adverse effect on muslim 
 16:55 
 marriages and muslim families oh it's 
 16:57 
 it's definitely had 
 16:59 
 a different effect for short in many 
 17:01 
 cases yes adverse 
 17:02 
 in are specific cases i'll tell you what 
 17:05 
 i'm 
 17:05 
 referring to you know in situations 
 17:08 
 where 
 17:09 
 the um the household or the 
 17:12 
 place where a person lived and who they 
 17:14 
 were living with 
 17:16 
 was already shaky in its foundations and 
 17:19 
 already difficult 
 17:20 
 or even abusive in its foundations this 
 17:23 
 has 
 17:23 
 happened you know covet has made it the 
 17:25 
 pandemic has made it 
 17:27 
 so much worse exponentially worse you 
 17:30 
 know so 
 17:31 
 the the rates of domestic violence has 
 17:33 
 has really soared 
 17:34 
 and so have the rights of divorce 
 17:37 
 interestingly enough too which 
 17:38 
 sort of makes sense it's almost like for 
 17:40 
 for divorce it's like 
 17:41 
 you know for some families they had been 
 17:45 
 you know couples and families they had 
 17:46 
 sort of had been living like roommates 
 17:48 
 if you will 
 17:49 
 there wasn't really a strong family 
 17:51 
 tying connection 
 17:52 
 and when everyone had to quarantine and 
 17:54 
 shelter at home like you said as you 
 17:56 
 mentioned the same four walls over and 
 17:57 
 over again 
 17:58 
 um the people said i don't even really 
 18:01 
 know 
 18:02 
 this person i had almost been like you 
 18:03 
 know and our teacher spiritual teachers 
 18:05 
 warn us about having our marriages turn 
 18:07 
 into like roommate situations 
 18:09 
 and coming to face almost like having to 
 18:11 
 face 
 18:12 
 the the the the strained relationship in 
 18:15 
 the marriage and yes that caused so many 
 18:17 
 divorces to happen 
 18:19 
 um lack of you know lack of all kinds of 
 18:21 
 things you mentioned financial resources 
 18:23 
 but also 
 18:24 
 just the homeschooling that people had 
 18:25 
 to take on if they hadn't been ready or 
 18:27 
 equipped to very suddenly 
 18:29 
 you know the um elder care and the the 
 18:32 
 constant worry 
 18:33 
 of of the health of all the different 
 18:35 
 family members especially if they were 
 18:37 
 at distance 
 18:37 
 from you and you couldn't get to them 
 18:39 
 there were just so many stressors and 
 18:40 
 strains on people that that's almost 
 18:42 
 like their bandwidth 
 18:43 
 went shorter and they couldn't um handle 
 18:46 
 kind of even what would have been 
 18:47 
 everyday normal circumstances to handle 
 18:50 
 the quarantine made it that much more 
 18:51 
 difficult to handle and shoulder 
 18:54 
 so we saw that with domestic life if you 
 18:57 
 will 
 18:57 
 and certainly with abusive situations 
 19:01 
 it has been very difficult and i really 
 19:03 
 want to call attention to that because i 
 19:04 
 think it's 
 19:05 
 imperative to really understand what 
 19:07 
 does that mean and how do we help 
 19:09 
 folks that are in those situations so 
 19:10 
 yes family life is really 
 19:12 
 um the adverse part of it is very clear 
 19:17 
 there is also the positives where people 
 19:20 
 were if they had healthy foundations 
 19:22 
 this potentially even though it was 
 19:24 
 difficult made them closer 
 19:26 
 knit to each other and more you know 
 19:28 
 parents and children spent more time 
 19:29 
 with each other and there were 
 19:30 
 things that our busy modern lifestyles 
 19:32 
 didn't allow for 
 19:34 
 it almost forced us to slow down and 
 19:37 
 you know take you know go on a hike with 
 19:39 
 your family right 
 19:40 
 or have actual conversation with your 
 19:42 
 family because that's all you could see 
 19:44 
 or at least with the people you were 
 19:45 
 living with right so 
 19:47 
 uh there were both i would say the 
 19:49 
 research and anecdotally and research 
 19:51 
 both have 
 19:52 
 shown that there's both the pros and 
 19:53 
 cons of this situation 
 19:56 
 um for that i mean at some stage i'd 
 19:58 
 love to hear more about your 
 20:00 
 your strategies um or your advice to 
 20:03 
 to families who are experiencing 
 20:04 
 difficulties in in the pandemics 
 20:06 
 hopefully in a in a 
 20:08 
 future episode inshallah um moving 
 20:11 
 forward 
 20:11 
 i'd like to just ask a very broad 
 20:14 
 question like 
 20:15 
 it's been a year now since covert um 
 20:18 
 what have we as muslims learned you 
 20:21 
 mentioned before that we learned that 
 20:23 
 allah is in 
 20:24 
 full control and i 
 20:27 
 fully acknowledge that what are the 
 20:30 
 other things that we've learned 
 20:32 
 as a community and as individuals with 
 20:34 
 regards to 
 20:35 
 like what can we take out after after a 
 20:37 
 year of this experience 
 20:40 
 subhanallah there are so many things to 
 20:41 
 take out of this experience and i think 
 20:43 
 we're still learning i don't think we 
 20:44 
 fully 
 20:45 
 have figured it out yet one thing um of 
 20:48 
 my list of things one thing is to 
 20:50 
 to remember this is something i actually 
 20:51 
 learned from the historical research we 
 20:53 
 were doing 
 20:54 
 was that um time 
 20:57 
 is not something that we own it's 
 20:59 
 something that allah owns 
 21:02 
 and um we always keep talking about 
 21:04 
 inshallah it's only going to be a year 
 21:06 
 you know first when we started was a 
 21:07 
 three 
 21:07 
 three weeks you know a couple months 
 21:10 
 okay maybe a year 
 21:10 
 but the reality is when i look back 
 21:12 
 historically at many of the plagues and 
 21:14 
 granted this is modern history and 
 21:16 
 that's pre-modern history in many cases 
 21:18 
 um and they didn't have the kind of 
 21:19 
 resources they have we have today 
 21:21 
 right like vaccines being developed 
 21:23 
 within the year before the year was even 
 21:24 
 up right 
 21:25 
 um and so this might change but still 
 21:28 
 many people want to put like a cap 
 21:30 
 on it has to end by this time and that's 
 21:33 
 not how 
 21:33 
 although does things right he determines 
 21:36 
 when it is 
 21:36 
 that things are going to start and end 
 21:39 
 um and so kind of remembering how for 
 21:41 
 some of the plagues in history 
 21:43 
 they went through cycles right like 
 21:46 
 spikes 
 21:46 
 of up and down up and down over a 
 21:48 
 century 
 21:50 
 like it would be one plague but it would 
 21:51 
 cycle throughout and so inshallah that 
 21:53 
 doesn't happen to us where it's like 
 21:55 
 you know a century worth of code right 
 21:57 
 inshallah it's eradicated well before 
 21:59 
 that but 
 21:59 
 to think about um what does that mean in 
 22:01 
 terms of our relationship with 
 22:04 
 time and how much do we take it for 
 22:07 
 granted 
 22:08 
 and how much is there barakah and 
 22:09 
 blessing or lack thereof 
 22:11 
 in our time and i i do really believe 
 22:14 
 that that's one of the biggest lessons 
 22:15 
 out of this needing to 
 22:17 
 uh you know literally put everything to 
 22:20 
 a standstill and nothing is happening at 
 22:21 
 the speed 
 22:22 
 it's supposed to happen in modern times 
 22:25 
 right 
 22:26 
 subhanallah that's one big lesson i 
 22:28 
 think another is 
 22:29 
 um you you called it realigning which i 
 22:32 
 really agree with kind of realigning the 
 22:33 
 way we look at the world 
 22:35 
 and opportunities one of the most 
 22:38 
 positive things that i think and i'll 
 22:39 
 speak here from the women's 
 22:40 
 world if you will uh we were speaking 
 22:42 
 earlier ramadan 
 22:43 
 and how you were mentioning how 
 22:45 
 community has was you know is a really 
 22:47 
 key factor and it's really felt like 
 22:49 
 it's been very different almost like 
 22:50 
 you've lost 
 22:51 
 community in this quarantine and i think 
 22:53 
 many would say agree with you men and 
 22:54 
 women both 
 22:56 
 on the woman's side it's really 
 22:57 
 interesting because for many women their 
 22:59 
 complaint forever 
 23:00 
 has been a lack of community 
 23:04 
 because they can't not because of a 
 23:06 
 pandemic we're talking pre-pandemic 
 23:07 
 couldn't get to 
 23:09 
 the masjid or mosque community in the 
 23:11 
 first place right 
 23:12 
 and there were limited opportunities to 
 23:14 
 engage and somehow virtually 
 23:17 
 that's changed if you look at last 
 23:19 
 ramadan 
 23:20 
 you know there were so many 
 23:22 
 opportunities for women to engage 
 23:24 
 in ibadah right in worship virtually 
 23:27 
 right through these online portals 
 23:30 
 and women's and males scholars and 
 23:32 
 speakers and 
 23:33 
 and so many women were saying they 
 23:34 
 prayed that we are for the very first 
 23:36 
 time in their lives because 
 23:37 
 male members of their family were 
 23:38 
 praying at home or they themselves 
 23:40 
 attempted it 
 23:41 
 at home for the first time or attempted 
 23:43 
 like an attica for 
 23:44 
 at home because women can right at home 
 23:46 
 for the first time 
 23:47 
 because they didn't have the social 
 23:49 
 obligations of cooking for everybody and 
 23:51 
 inviting and cleaning up after everybody 
 23:53 
 and they were you know that 
 23:54 
 ramadan brings about so there was a lack 
 23:57 
 of community on one hand 
 23:58 
 but there was all kinds of other 
 24:00 
 spiritual openings and growth 
 24:02 
 on the other hand so one other thing 
 24:04 
 we're learning from all of this is maybe 
 24:06 
 you know what are we uh inshallah what 
 24:09 
 are we meant to take 
 24:10 
 out of all of this because i think about 
 24:11 
 when kovitz ends and misajit are open 
 24:13 
 again 
 24:14 
 will the woman lose all of what they 
 24:15 
 gained spiritually and access 
 24:16 
 access-wise 
 24:18 
 like it's maybe it helps us kind of 
 24:19 
 rethink and reshift 
 24:22 
 how we run a lot of our institutions and 
 24:24 
 organizations right 
 24:26 
 childhood um i think um i just add to 
 24:30 
 that the 
 24:30 
 the idea of uh trusting allah 
 24:34 
 when i think of the pandemic i think of 
 24:36 
 allah 
 24:37 
 as al-wakir because 
 24:40 
 you're you're faced with many doors 
 24:43 
 closing in your face 
 24:45 
 both in terms of work in terms of 
 24:49 
 social activities in terms of community 
 24:52 
 in terms of extended family maybe seeing 
 24:55 
 extended family or seeing your 
 24:57 
 grandparents and 
 24:58 
 and there's a lot of challenges that 
 24:59 
 come but allah somehow 
 25:02 
 uh in his wisdom uh is able to provide 
 25:05 
 during this uh during this pandemic so 
 25:08 
 for me the the biggest 
 25:09 
 lesson was that you know allah is in 
 25:12 
 control absolutely and 
 25:14 
 uh it's it's it's important to trust in 
 25:18 
 allah and not 
 25:19 
 uh think that we have our hands on on 
 25:21 
 every lever in our life 
 25:23 
 um i'm going to ask you a random 
 25:26 
 question i i didn't add this in in the 
 25:28 
 earlier um plan for this episode but i 
 25:31 
 i feel like answering uh asking i think 
 25:33 
 maybe i'm inspired by all the books 
 25:35 
 behind you 
 25:36 
 um if there is uh 
 25:39 
 if there's one name of allah ta'ala 
 25:43 
 of the 99 names and attributes 
 25:46 
 that comes to the fore when you think of 
 25:49 
 the pandemic and 
 25:50 
 and the research that you've you've 
 25:52 
 undergone 
 25:53 
 in your various capacities what is one 
 25:56 
 name of allah subhana tala that comes to 
 25:58 
 mind 
 25:59 
 when you think of the pandemic i think 
 26:02 
 uh the one that's really really i found 
 26:05 
 myself connecting to quite a bit 
 26:07 
 is 
 26:10 
 and for me the reason for that is 
 26:13 
 because when i think about 
 26:14 
 even in the origins of the word and what 
 26:16 
 the word is originally tied to and 
 26:18 
 especially as a woman i have to say this 
 26:19 
 is very powerful for me because 
 26:21 
 the um you know 
 26:26 
 and named and named the room 
 26:30 
 after his own name because it is 
 26:33 
 what it does right it's it's very much i 
 26:35 
 think about this quarantine and how it's 
 26:36 
 exactly felt this way 
 26:38 
 it is um it is an isolative 
 26:41 
 protective nurturing 
 26:44 
 place that allows you to grow and to 
 26:47 
 really be able to sustain this next 
 26:50 
 stage of life right this fetus that's 
 26:51 
 growing inside that's going to become a 
 26:53 
 child inshallah one day 
 26:54 
 once it's ready to be born and i feel so 
 26:57 
 much of this quarantine has done that 
 26:59 
 like it's made us you know isolate from 
 27:03 
 everything else around us 
 27:04 
 and for those who've tapped into the 
 27:06 
 spiritual into spirituality and deen i 
 27:09 
 hope inshallah it's also helped us 
 27:10 
 nurture 
 27:11 
 that relationship and then inshallah 
 27:13 
 once it's ready to be done and over it's 
 27:15 
 almost like the cocoon right the cocoon 
 27:17 
 where you the caterpillar came in 
 27:19 
 unbeknown to all of us we came into this 
 27:21 
 cacoon right 
 27:22 
 and then if it goes well then 
 27:24 
 insha'allah 
 27:25 
 once this is all over we meant are meant 
 27:27 
 to emerge out of it 
 27:28 
 like that newborn baby like that 
 27:30 
 butterfly right that's meant to come out 
 27:31 
 on the other end and that's all from the 
 27:33 
 rahmah of allah subhanahu wa ta'ala 
 27:37 
 that's kind of kept us in quarantine in 
 27:40 
 this period of time that's that's what i 
 27:41 
 would say it's most been 
 27:43 
 the parallel that's most connected to me 
 27:46 
 you've been uh 
 27:47 
 really positive during this episode um i 
 27:50 
 didn't think we're going to be that kind 
 27:52 
 of 
 27:52 
 hopeful um talking about uh covert 19. 
 27:55 
 um i'm going to kind of flip the table 
 27:57 
 uh and suggest a scenario to you 
 27:59 
 um and uh basically uh 
 28:03 
 what if there was someone who you know 
 28:06 
 you were saying that 
 28:07 
 that it's been a net positive by and 
 28:09 
 large to 
 28:10 
 85 or 75 of muslims you know they feel 
 28:13 
 closer to god um 
 28:16 
 and what if i'm one of those 25 percent 
 28:19 
 who when i think of the pandemic 
 28:22 
 i think of allah punishing me 
 28:27 
 number one and number two i've struggled 
 28:30 
 in the last year 
 28:31 
 uh my marriage broke down um my 
 28:34 
 you know my wealth has has decreased 
 28:37 
 um i've lost my job and i certainly 
 28:41 
 haven't used this last year to get 
 28:44 
 closer to allah 
 28:46 
 what's what's your take on someone in 
 28:49 
 that 
 28:50 
 bucket absolutely and that bucket is a 
 28:53 
 very 
 28:54 
 very very important bucket because the 
 28:56 
 reality is 
 28:57 
 and i want to make this very clear too 
 28:58 
 there is that 25 percent i don't believe 
 29:00 
 that 
 29:01 
 it's that and we're just this is 
 29:02 
 statistics remember like these are 
 29:04 
 numbers this is not 
 29:05 
 etched in stone we as humans are fluid 
 29:08 
 we move all the time and how we think 
 29:09 
 and feel about things move with it 
 29:11 
 and even though in those studies yes 25 
 29:14 
 percent 
 29:14 
 are it was a 75 25 kind of split but 
 29:17 
 even from the 75 i want to make this 
 29:19 
 very clear 
 29:20 
 it's not like it's a net positive so i 
 29:22 
 like what you said they are net positive 
 29:23 
 but on a day-to-day basis right our 
 29:26 
 iman our faith and our connection to 
 29:28 
 allah is kind of like waves that go up 
 29:30 
 and down and up and down so it's not 
 29:32 
 always high like if you were to talk to 
 29:34 
 me on another day 
 29:35 
 right where all kinds of things are 
 29:37 
 breaking down around me i might say to 
 29:38 
 you the opposite as well 
 29:40 
 right subhanallah but the hope is that 
 29:41 
 the net positive 
 29:43 
 it would be a net positive at the end of 
 29:44 
 it right that in the ups and the downs 
 29:46 
 the struggles 
 29:47 
 that actually would come out on the 
 29:48 
 other side right 
 29:51 
 understanding that actually allahu adam 
 29:53 
 whether this is a test a lot of people 
 29:54 
 have asked you know is this a test this 
 29:55 
 is a punishment 
 29:56 
 right and so these are two different 
 29:59 
 things we know the test part 
 30:00 
 because allah has stated it as such in 
 30:02 
 the quran allah about the punishment 
 30:06 
 it could be for some and it could be not 
 30:08 
 for the others right 
 30:09 
 and that's what the study interestingly 
 30:11 
 enough we actually asked that very 
 30:12 
 question on the study as well 
 30:14 
 and we found that the overwhelming 
 30:15 
 majority of muslims in the study 
 30:17 
 actually believed 
 30:18 
 that this pandemic was a 
 30:23 
 there was like about a 12 percent who 
 30:24 
 felt that it was a punishment and so but 
 30:27 
 it was it's significantly 
 30:28 
 the minority right compared to the 
 30:30 
 majority who understood or felt that 
 30:32 
 this is yes a test the tribulation it is 
 30:34 
 difficult but 
 30:35 
 you can't necessarily call it a 
 30:36 
 punishment and 
 30:38 
 um and so to speak to the person who's 
 30:40 
 kind of going through 
 30:42 
 difficulty who this has been a very very 
 30:44 
 difficult year 
 30:45 
 is to acknowledge you and to say i hear 
 30:47 
 you and that is 
 30:49 
 your truth and that is real right and 
 30:52 
 from here the question then becomes and 
 30:55 
 now what would you like to do with it 
 30:57 
 right because sometimes it takes falling 
 30:59 
 to rock bottom 
 31:01 
 to be able to get back up again 
 31:03 
 sometimes it takes 
 31:04 
 falling flat on our face and losing 
 31:06 
 everything and kind of before you're 
 31:08 
 able to dust yourself off and kind of 
 31:10 
 mend the scrapes and the bruises and the 
 31:12 
 so on and to get up again 
 31:13 
 and to be it to actually become better 
 31:16 
 even better than before and that allah 
 31:19 
 subhanahu ta'ala replaces 
 31:21 
 one of the duas the prophet sallallahu 
 31:22 
 alaihi would often say is that 
 31:24 
 um may allah replace what you have lost 
 31:28 
 with better than you can even have 
 31:30 
 imagined right 
 31:32 
 and sometimes that's what happens with 
 31:33 
 loss we literally shed 
 31:35 
 off what we think and we hold we want to 
 31:37 
 hold on so much to that what we used to 
 31:39 
 have because 
 31:40 
 it was ours but nothing actually in the 
 31:42 
 studio is actually ours right but we 
 31:44 
 hold on to it because we think it's ours 
 31:46 
 but then almost on it makes it go right 
 31:48 
 he sheds it from us that we literally 
 31:50 
 shed 
 31:50 
 from our whole system and ourselves only 
 31:53 
 to then grow into something that is 
 31:55 
 actually better 
 31:56 
 to move forward and that's been a 
 31:57 
 consistent theme in this covid 
 32:00 
 era that we've been in and i pray that 
 32:02 
 this what we would come from it is 
 32:03 
 actually better 
 32:04 
 inshallah ta'ala but i hear you and it 
 32:06 
 is real 
 32:07 
 and never minimizing the difficulty 
 32:10 
 that's come through this 
 32:11 
 subhanallah so dr ranya let's just let's 
 32:14 
 assume 
 32:15 
 i'm doing it tough during the pandemic i 
 32:18 
 don't have 
 32:18 
 a very strong immediate circle um you 
 32:21 
 know i'm i'm 
 32:22 
 cut off from friends and family and i'm 
 32:24 
 really struggling and i don't feel 
 32:26 
 close to allah what's what's your advice 
 32:29 
 to 
 32:30 
 to me absolutely and i think this is so 
 32:32 
 important to make sure that 
 32:34 
 anybody who feels like what you've 
 32:36 
 described that this has been difficult 
 32:38 
 and it has been difficult 
 32:40 
 to actually make sure that we reach out 
 32:42 
 for help and i'll tell you why 
 32:44 
 you may have heard advice like this 
 32:45 
 before but but here's my take on it my 
 32:47 
 take on it is that 
 32:49 
 you know in the quran and yes i'm going 
 32:50 
 to quote here 
 32:52 
 that you know allah specifically asks us 
 32:56 
 to make sure to ask the people of 
 32:59 
 knowledge 
 32:59 
 if we do not know and when a person is 
 33:03 
 in need of help and is struggling and is 
 33:04 
 having a hard time and things are not 
 33:06 
 seen i mean 
 33:07 
 the gray clouds are not going away right 
 33:09 
 things seem really bleak 
 33:11 
 reaching out for help and asking someone 
 33:14 
 who does know or 
 33:15 
 can help or is even trained right as a 
 33:17 
 professional 
 33:18 
 a mental health professional a counselor 
 33:20 
 a person who has the kind of 
 33:23 
 ability to help not only is important 
 33:27 
 but actually i would say is part of our 
 33:29 
 deen and so i really recommend 
 33:31 
 that you know we tune into that and we 
 33:33 
 we take away all the 
 33:35 
 you know any shame or discomfort or 
 33:37 
 stigma or 
 33:38 
 so on of asking for help or even saying 
 33:40 
 oh what does it mean to talk to a 
 33:42 
 counselor or a professional 
 33:43 
 in the these this is exactly if again if 
 33:45 
 covetous taught us 
 33:46 
 anything it's that all of us are 
 33:48 
 struggling everybody 
 33:50 
 and in that struggle we have a spectrum 
 33:53 
 there are those who are able to do this 
 33:55 
 you know because of the different 
 33:56 
 resources and networks and so on that 
 33:58 
 they have 
 33:58 
 to get through or just what their person 
 34:01 
 experiencing maybe isn't allah tells us 
 34:03 
 right he's going to give us each test 
 34:05 
 that differ from one another 
 34:06 
 and so for some they're on the spectrum 
 34:08 
 that they're able to actually get 
 34:10 
 through this without that extra level of 
 34:11 
 help 
 34:12 
 but for others and then many of us we 
 34:14 
 actually do need that help 
 34:16 
 and so i really want to recommend that 
 34:17 
 we reach out for that kind of help and 
 34:19 
 care 
 34:20 
 and that inshallah once you knock on the 
 34:22 
 doors allah will help open them 
 34:24 
 inshallah 
 34:27 
 um i have one last question um as has 
 34:30 
 become tradition in 
 34:31 
 in the double take podcast if my 
 34:35 
 say nine year old niece was to come to 
 34:37 
 you and ask 
 34:39 
 i hate covert i'm sick of it 
 34:42 
 i don't get to see my extended family 
 34:47 
 the good thing is that i'm seeing my my 
 34:48 
 parents more often or 
 34:50 
 you know my dad's more at home and 
 34:52 
 working from home and my mom's 
 34:53 
 you know helping me with school work but 
 34:57 
 i i i'm not enjoying it um 
 35:00 
 and it is affecting putting a strain on 
 35:04 
 my family's life 
 35:05 
 um and it's changed my life upside down 
 35:08 
 is this 
 35:09 
 a punishment from allah this is my 
 35:12 
 nine-year-old niece 
 35:13 
 asking and when will allah free 
 35:16 
 everything up again 
 35:18 
 i would say to your lovely nine-year-old 
 35:20 
 niece who's very very emotional very 
 35:21 
 insightful 
 35:23 
 i would say to her you know allah adam 
 35:27 
 right the reality is i don't know and i 
 35:29 
 don't have the answers only allah knows 
 35:32 
 and when he's ready to let this lift 
 35:33 
 from us it will get lifted 
 35:35 
 that much i can tell you and that with 
 35:38 
 the difficulty will come ease that much 
 35:40 
 i can tell you because allah stated so 
 35:42 
 in the quran 
 35:43 
 but ultimately is this a punishment 
 35:47 
 it is a test and it is difficult and it 
 35:50 
 has strained 
 35:51 
 our relationships and our families 
 35:52 
 you're probably missing your friends and 
 35:54 
 life the way you knew it beforehand and 
 35:56 
 i pray that allah 
 35:58 
 gets us all through this and so we're 
 36:00 
 going to have to kind of get through 
 36:01 
 this 
 36:01 
 together and know that we're all in this 
 36:04 
 together 
 36:05 
 right and if she's able to comprehend 
 36:06 
 that piece of it then we can you know 
 36:08 
 move forward with that discussion and 
 36:10 
 kind of 
 36:10 
 sometimes especially with our younger 
 36:12 
 folks but even ourselves 
 36:14 
 kind of reassurance of saying you know 
 36:16 
 this is one of those tough things in 
 36:18 
 life 
 36:19 
 but this too shall pass dr ranya 
 36:22 
 jazakallah 
 36:23 
 for joining double take thank you so 
 36:25 
 much and your work on 
 36:26 
 on the pandemic and the research you did 
 36:28 
 on the pandemic but also everything else 
 36:30 
 you're doing 
 36:30 
 at stanford and everywhere else 
 36:32 
 mashallah that you're working 
 36:35 
 and thank you for joining uh yeah 
 36:37 
 institute's podcast double take 
 36:39 
 baruch thank you so much for having me 
 36:41 
 it's been a pleasure and my duas 
 36:42 
 with all of you please keep me in your 
 36:44 
 duas as well 
 36:45 
 assalamualaikum guys we hope you've 
 36:47 
 enjoyed the first half of this first 
 36:49 
 season 
 36:50 
 of double take we're going on hiatus for 
 36:52 
 ramadan 
 36:53 
 so that you can focus on your worship 
 36:54 
 and not have to see me all the time 
 36:57 
 feel free to visit the akin youtube 
 36:59 
 channel to see all the ramadan content 
 37:01 
 from yakreen institute salaam alaikum 
 37:08 
 you