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Articles


The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Family Ties

Author : Dr. Ahmad al-Harasees

Date Added : 10-01-2023


The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Family Ties

 

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds; may His peace and blessings be upon Prophet Mohammad, his family and noble companions.

Allah the Almighty says {What means}: "Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere," {Al-Baqarah, 155}.

In light of this global pandemic and the spatiotemporal frame of the social reality in Jordan, two trends can be observed:

First: The positive trend.  Creating opportunity from the very womb of affliction and positive changes in the visible and clear patterns of behavior in society as a whole or in the family. Both sociologists and specialists in social and family relations must consider these changes, work on the change management process, strengthen the positives and build on them.

There are several examples on this; some of which are: abstaining from what is called "Conspicuous consumption", investing in new positive patterns in the family system and building on them in the future; particularly since the pandemic has given a bigger chance for interdependence and solidarity within the family itself. In addition, the family system and solidarity among its members must be worked on in the future. This can be achieved through paying more attention to solidarity and love compared to rights and duties. In this regard, Allah says {What means}: " And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect." {Ar-rum, 21}.

Many aspects of excessive extravagance related to happy as well as sad occasions have changed. This is in addition to terminating extravagance and ostentation, and burdening the family with issues concerning society`s security.

Hence societal effort through the society as a whole, governmental or voluntary, emphasized these positives via media, cultural platforms, and the fatwas-based on divine guidance and Prophetic traditions-issued by the Iftaa` Department in this regard. In fact, several Friday sermons addressing this pandemic were delivered prior to the comprehensive ban. Their theme was the higher objectives of Sharia; namely preserving life and the importance of prevention as it is better than cure. Then a fatwa was issued regarding the permissibility of praying Friday and congregational prayers at home during the time of the pandemic was an act of new Ijtihad.* The latter took the common good into consideration by laying emphasis on preserving life as one of the higher objectives of Sharia. Moreover, many fatwas were issued concerning social distancing, spacing among prayer performers, wearing masks, instructions of attending Friday and congregational prayers, and washing the person who died due to COVID-19. This is in addition to many fatwas and Sharia guidance, which had a significant effect in raising people`s awareness, not questioning the instructions issued about this pandemic within the frames of Ijtihad conducted on the higher objectives of Sharia.

Second: The negative impact of the pandemic. On top of this is the financial status of many families relying on daily income, which led to family problems and divorce cases caused by poverty, destitution, and inability to secure the basic needs of the family.

I refer here to the need to study the poll published by the Center for Strategic Studies of the University of Jordan on "COVID-19 and Domestic Violence." It showed results and indicators that needed careful consideration. However, some results were positive, must be focused on, built on, and encouraged. One of these is society`s rejection to the idea that it is the right of the husband to be violent against his wife. The percentage in favor of this idea was 99%, 85% recognized wife`s household responsibilities, 66% tried to find solutions for their children problems, and 80% was the percentage of parent-child communication, in addition to many other positive aspects.

In conclusion, this pandemic has shown many positive as well as negative aspects in society. It is the duty of the professionals of this field to study further this case, build on the positives within the society change management, and reduce the negative aspects through awareness raising.

We ask Allah the Exalted to protect Jordan and its people, and end this scourge. All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.

 

 

* Ijtihad is an Islamic legal term referring to independent reasoning by an expert in Islamic law, or the thorough exertion of a jurist's mental faculty in finding a solution to a legal question. It is contrasted with taqlid.

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