Coronavirus epidemic has provided the opportunity for all of us to think about the issue of loneliness at a deeper level when an increasing number of the world population is putting themselves in self-Isolation. This situation could be a new experience for all of us. Some spiritual aspects are:  

 

  • Self-Isolation is physical isolation in the context of social separation, but it should not lead to loneliness. Aloneness is more objective, but loneliness is more psychological and subjective. Mindfulness of the difference between loneliness and aloneness is vital. 

 

  • We need to understand that our support is a source of strength for those who are in self-isolation. This situation goes beyond our customary visit to a sick person. It is in a higher place than just to seek the rewards of the Day of Judgement. Our visit (if possible) or virtual connection relates to the spiritual and mental health of self-isolated people, which can have a tremendous effect on the process of their recovery.  And it will make us eligible to get a great reward in the Hereafter and even receive special blessings of Allah in this world. 

 

  • Hawkley points to evidence linking perceived social isolation with adverse health consequences, including depression, poor sleep quality, impaired executive function, accelerated cognitive decline, poor cardiovascular function and impaired immunity at every stage of lifeAccording to Alcaraz, our research shows that the magnitude of the risk presented by social isolation is very similar in magnitude to that of obesity, smoking, lack of access to care and physical inactivity,” she says. In the study, investigators weighted several standard measures of social isolation, including marital status, frequency of religious service attendance, club meetings/group activities and the number of close friends or relatives. 

 

  • Generally, weve spent most of our lives looking outward. Initially we may have lived from ego with focus on more physical things – how we look, how much money we have, social status etc. but these things all fade eventually (or uncontrollably crumble as is sometimes the case during spiritual awakening). Weve also been raised to look outward for guidance on which path to take, or to consistently look to others for our decision making. That all changes when we experience loneliness. 

 

  • We can make our isolation and feeling of loneliness positive and productive. Loneliness can show us how to listen to our voices and trust ourselves. We need to put faith in our skills. Isolation means we have created vacuum in our life. If we do not fill this vacuum with positive things, the fear and anxiety will fill this place. Small positive activities can help us to come out of the loneliness. We should be ready to change our lifestyle. We need to try other options for enjoyment.  

 

  • The term Social distancing is misleading in some way. It is physical distance not social distance. Socialization is essential for our mental and physical health and which is always possible even when we are not allowed to come close to each other physically.  

 

  • Our worldly lifestyle has compelled us to distract from ourselves. We are mostly connected outwardly, not inwardly. It is a good time for self-awareness. We need to know our potentials and deficiencies and think about more pressing matters of our life.  

 

  • From spiritual care point of view, we need to search our sources of strength. There are always some spiritual themes in our life which are still unattended and unknown, but they are there to help us and support us but important is that we connect ourselves to these resources. It is a good time to think about our religious and spiritual powers. If I believe in God and prayers, it is a good time to think about the effectiveness of my belief in God and the prayers I offer. It is a good time to come out from our conventional way of religious and spiritual life and put ourselves in an actual situation. Our real connectedness is different from our theoretical connectedness. It is a good time to think about the practical aspects of our connectedness to our religious and spiritual principles.  

 

  • One of our strengths is that we are protecting ourselves and others. Think about how much intellectualization of this positive aspect can be supportive for us? Saving another’s life is a noble cause. We may not be mindful of this worthy cause.  

 

  • In self-isolation, we got the opportunity to understand the importance of individual worship and connectedness to God at a personal level. Congregational worship sometimes makes us more ritualistic, and as a result, completion of religious service becomes more critical for us than to see the spiritual development of our soulOur ultimate goal is not to complete the congregational prayer; rather to have real proximity to God. These days are very important to establish direct relation to God because of the fear and distress we are experiencing now a days. And at the time of fear, we can better strengthen our faith and look into our faith in a more realistic way.  

 

  • We need to balance our worship at the individual level and the congregational way of prayer. We need to adopt a qualitative approach instead of taking a quantitative approach in our religious gathering. Unfortunately, I witnessed that some mosques were counting the real number of 250 (When less than 250 people were allowed) to start their congregational prayer, whereas, in my view, this figure was most likely metaphoric. Basically, our quantitative approach leads us to this kind of act.  In addition, only with the qualitative approach, real transformation can occur. Self-purification is a dynamic entity. It requires both the congregational and personal levels of connectedness.    

 

  • We are witnessing the cases of self-isolation among the whole of humanity. Hence, this experience can motivate us to shift our attention to think about the interest of all human beings and the universal values we are sharing. It can shift our focus from the local or regional message of the Quran to the universal words of the Quran. 

 

  • We are going through actual feelings of helplessness and that not only our closest family members are not able to help us, but also they are compelled to keep distance from us. This experience reminds us of the time of the Day of Judgment mentioned by the Quran: The Day when everyone will flee from his brother, from his mother, from his father, and from his wife and sons. Everyone will be too engaged to his affairs to care for others (Abasa, 34-37). 

 

  • We need to raise the level of our loneliness to the stage where we feel loneliness only if our God is displeased with us. As we see in Surah Ad-Dhuha verse no 3 in which we see the deepest level of feeling of isolation of the Prophet(s.a) when he thoughts that his God is displeased with him and left him alone. But Allah supported him and said, Your Lord, (O Prophet) has neither forsaken you nor has become displeased. Hence, this verse gives great message to all of us that only God is the ultimate source whos support can bring us out from the loneliness caused by our self- isolation.