Natural Disasters

Allah Ta’ala says in the noble Qur’aan, ‘Destruction appears in the land and
sea by the actions of men that they may suffer the consequences for some of
their misdeeds in order that they may return (to Allah in obedience).’ (Rum
41)

In these times of depravity and moral decadence, the punishment of Allah Ta’
ala descending on the disobedient is not a matter to be taken lightly.
Rather, this is an eye-opener and a reminder to all of us to repent to Allah
Ta’ala, to return to the Divine injunctions and act upon them as shown to us
by the Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) before we too are seized fro
our misdeeds. May Allah Ta’ala save us all from His displeasure and grant us
the wisdom and ability to obey him.

All natural occurances and happenings, including, earthquakes, hurricanes,
volcanic eruptions, etc. are in the control of Allah Ta’ala. In numerous
Aayats of the Qur’aan, Allah calls our attention to this fact that upon
witnessing these signs, we may come to recognize the greatness and might of
Allah Ta’ala. The cycle of the sun, moon, the movement of the planets and
stars are all signs for us to take heed.
‘For the sun, a fixed cycle. That has been decreed by the Mighty the
All-Knowing. And for the moon, we have set stations (to traverse) until she
(wanes) to become like a withered date stalk. Not permitted it is, for the
sun to catch up the moon, nor for the night to precede the day. Each (just)
swims along in it’s (fixed) orbit.’ (Yaseen)

despite being witness to these manifestations of Allah’s power, the Merciful
Allah sent His apostles to guide them to the way of submission. Thus, were
the Messengers sent to the nations and many were ruined for their refusal to
accept the truth. Allah Ta’ala says about the nation of Aad, ‘Concerning the
Aad, they walked the earth in arrogance proclaiming, ‘Who could be greater
than ourselves in strength’. Could they not realize that Allah Ta’ala, the
One to give them existence, He was stronger by far? But they denied our
signs, so we loosed upon them an icy wind. An evil omened days to give them
a taste of the punishment of humiliation in this very life. (Sajdah). In the
same chapter, Allah talks about the nation of Thamood, ‘As to Thamood, We
showed to them the way, but they preferred the blind path to the road of
guidance. Thus, were they seized by the Thundercap of a humiliating
punishment, in lieu of their deeds.’

Therefore, these natural conditions have been controlled by Allah Ta’ala to
punish those who transgress against His law. ‘Say (O Muhammad) He is easily
able to loose upon you from above a scourge, or to bring it from beneath
your feet.’ (A’araaf)

There can be no doubt that we are suffering these disasters by our own
misdeeds. ‘Destruction appears in the land and sea by the actions of men
that they may suffer the consequences for some of their misdeeds in order
that they may return (to Allah in obedience).’ (Rum 41). ‘Whatever disaster
afflicteth you, it be by the earning of your own hands, And Allah forgiveth
much.’ (Shuraa)

The Ahaadith have shown us that close to the advent of Qiyaamat, when whole
societies will be steeped in sin and evil, the punishment of Allah Ta’ala
will become a common occurrence. It is stated in one Hadith, ‘When public
property is treated as personal wealth and trust as booty (to be looted) and
Zakaat (obligatory charity) is taken as a fine, when knowledge is acquired
for motives other than Deen (religious) and a person obeys his wife (in
disobedience of Divine command) and disobey his mother (in things lawful),
and has a close relationship with his friend yet distancing his own father,
when voices are raised in the Musaajid and the leader of a nation is an open
sinner, the head of a family is the most mean among them, and a person is
honoured out of fear for his mischief, when dancing girls and music is
become rife, wine is consumed greedily by all, and the latter part of this
Ummah curses the former, then wait for red winds, the quakes, the swallowing
up in the earth, the disfiguring of faces, the pelting of stones from the
skies and the signs which will follow one after the other, as do the beads
of a necklace whose thread is broken.’ (Mishkaat).

When each and every one of these vices is prevalent in our society, it is
indeed only the Mercy of Allah that the punishment has not seized us as yet.
How long can we remain fearless of this? ‘What the are the people of the
villages fearless that our punishment will not descend upon them at night
whilst they slumber.’ (A’raaf)

These frightening occurrences are indeed an eye opener to us all. How long
are we going to remain in Allah’s disobedience. ‘Has not the time come for
the believers that their hearts submit to the mention of Allah and the
revealed truth?’ (Hadeed). Now is the time to repent and avail ourselves of
Allah’s Mercy, before we too suffer the consequences of our deeds.

May Allah Ta’ala save us all from His displeasure and grant to us the wisdom
and the ability to obey Him.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
FATWA DEPT.

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