My 5-year-old nephew suddenly asked me, “Why is there a virus?”
He must have wondered so, seeing how it has impacted his daily life; he can no longer go to the playground or go out as often. He knew that there is a virus and how it can make people sick. So the question is no longer about “what”. But now, the question is, why must there be a virus.
Realizing how it can make people sick and die, he asked, “Can’t Allah control it and just make it go away?”
Explaining to kids about the virus
I wanted to explain to him from the Islamic perspective because these are questions that even adults are struggling to understand. In summary, here is what I told him;
- Allah is the Creator of everything and that includes the virus.
- The virus is from the creations of Allah who listens to Allah’s command. Because Allah has control over everything, including the virus.
- Allah can also make the virus disappear. But Allah knows best when it will happen.
- Allah chooses who will fall sick and who will not fall sick from the virus.
- It doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, a king, the president, or a cleaner, anyone can get sick.
- Allah can make the virus go to a bad person and even a good person.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
My nephew was taken aback when I told him that. “But why do good people get the virus too?”
It reminded me of a hadith;
‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:
I asked the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) about pestilence and he said, “It is a punishment which Allah sends upon whomsoever He wills, but Allah has made it as a mercy to the believers. Anyone who remains in a town which is plagued with pestilence maintaining patience expecting the reward from Allah, and knowing that nothing will befall him other than what Allah has foreordained for him, he would receive a reward of Shaheed”.
And so I told him, Allah sends the virus to us a form of tests or punishment.
When a person is tested with sickness, they will get huge rewards and their ranks in Jannah will be raised if they are patient and remember Allah.
However, if they are not patient and do not remember Allah, this is a punishment from Allah and they will not be rewarded. I then told him that no matter what, we must try to be patient, remember Allah always and strive to be a good person.
There were a few more things that I shared with him. But this little sharing suffice insyaAllah.
Free Ebook to explain kids about the virus
The conversation that I had with my nephew kept replaying in my head and it made me wonder if other kids are trying to make sense with whatever that has been happening around them too.
So I decided to make it into a simple ebook to help other parents or teachers explain to their kids about the situation.
The main objective of the book is to help the kids focus on being patient in this difficult situation and thankful for the blessings that they already have based on the hadith;
Suhaib reported that Allah’s Messenger ( صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.
(Sahih Muslim 2999)
And so here it is.
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