For more on this topic, see Faith in the Time of Coronavirus


“Is the coronavirus a punishment from Allah?” “Is Allah angry at us?” “Is the coronavirus a blessing, test, or punishment?” These theological questions are in the hearts and minds of many Muslims since the coronavirus spread worldwide, infecting over two million and taking the life of over 100,000 people thus far.[1] Answering these questions requires a discussion of core theological concepts, including a thorough understanding of the concept of punishment. In this paper, we seek to answer these questions, describe what American Muslims actually report believing about the topic, and provide practical solutions to the questions.

The concept of punishment

Benefits vary at the individual level

A cautionary note about qadar (fate)

So is the coronavirus a punishment?

Muslim beliefs about the coronavirus as punishment

Responding to the coronavirus: Practical steps

Protecting ourselves from punishment