WHY ARE THERE NATURAL DISASTERS? – E.G. HURRICANES,
STORMS, FLOODS, EARTHQUAKES ETC.
Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, I would like to draw your attention to hurricanes, storms, floods, earthquakes and landslides, and what is the reason for all these troubles.
When the Almighty God (Allaah), commanded his angels to prostrate themselves before Adam (A.S.) he meant that man should reign supreme in the universe not only on earth, and subdue the forces of nature and use them as his tools.
Today we see that man has conquered the land, the sea and has also set out to conquer the outer space. The forces of nature, heat, steam, petroleum, electricity, explosives and atomic energy are all at his disposal and under his command. They are controlled by him and used to serve his ends.
Man through his scientific knowledge, fly in the air like a bird, penetrate the deep oceans and conquer outer space. As a result of his deep knowledge, man has forgotten God (Allaah) and believes he (man) is the maker and destroyer. But at this point when man has risen to his glory, God (Allaah) steps in and causes the very things which man believes to be under his control to act contrary and bring destruction and damage, like hurricanes, storms, floods, earthquakes and landslides etc. Why? For man to remember God (Allaah) and fear God (Almighty Allaah).
The Holy Qur’aan says:
Qa maa kha laq tul, J’inna wal in sa, illa Li ya’a ba doon
“I have not created Jinn and man, but that they should serve me.”
Everything in the universe was created to serve man, but man was created to serve his Lord.
But man who was created to this end has failed miserably to fulfill the object of his creation. Should he (man), being the most unique of Allaah’s creation, be an exemption to the general rule? Why is man so ungrateful to his Lord.
THE FEAR OF ALLAAH
Now peep a little into our past history to see what was done in times of troubles: Ayesha (Rd.A) relates that whenever a strong wind, blowing dense (thick) clouds appears, the Prophet’s face turned pale with fear of Allaah. He became restive and would go in and out with commotion and would recite the following prayer (Du’aa).
“Allaa humma, in nee asalu ka, khaira haa, wa khai ra, maa feehaa wa khai ro, maa ar salt a bih, wa a oo zu bi ka, min shar ri naafee had, wa sharri, maa ar sal a bih”
O my Allaah! I ask thee, the good out of this wind, the good out of that which is the outcome of this wind, and I seek refuge in thee from the evil out of this wind, from the evil out of that which is in this wind and from the evil out of that which is the outcome of this wind.
She Ayesha (Rd.A) said,
“When it began to rain, signs of delight appeared on his face, I said to him once, when the clouds appear, everybody is happy as they foretell rain, but why is it that I see you so much worried at that time.”
“O Ayesha! How can I feel secure that this wind does not foretell Allaah’s wrath?”
The A’ad (the people of the past) was punished with the wind. They were happy when they beheld the gathering thick clouds believing that it brought rain; but it brought utter destruction to A’ad (the people of the past).
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) was obviously (certainly) referring to the following verses of the Holy Qur’aan:
“Then when they (A’ad) beheld a thick cloud coming towards their valley, they said: Here is a cloud bringing us rain, nay, but it is that which ye did seek to hasten. A wind wherein is painful torment, destroying all things by commandment of its Lord, and morning found them so that naught could be seen save their dwellings, thus we treat the guilty folk.” (Ch:24:V:25).
Look at the fear of Allaah in the heart of a person who is the best of all creation, our Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) in spite of a clear verse in the Holy Qur’aan wherein Allaah says:
“Allaah would not punish them (the people) so long as the prophet (S.A.W.) was with them.” (Anfal-33).
He had so much fear of Allaah in him that a strong wind reminds him of the punishment awarded to the people in the past, now let us peep into our own hearts for a while, although we are fully saturated (soaked) with sins.
(c) Yet none of the unusual phenomena (appearance) viz (like) hurricane, storm, floods, lighting and earthquakes etc. arouses the least fear of Allaah. in our hearts and instead of resorting to Istighfar (forgiveness) or Namaaz or Salaat at such times, we only indulge in absurd (worthless) pursuits (occupation).
Nadhar-Ibn-Abdullah (Rd.A) relates:
“One day while Anas (Rd.A) was alive, it became very dark during the day time, I went to him and said: Did you ever see such a thing in the Prophet’s time? He replied, I seek refuge in Allaah! In those days if the breeze grew a little stronger we would hasten towards the masjid fearing the approach of the last day (Qayaamah)”
Who thinks of going to masjid nowadays, even at the time of the worst calamities? Leave aside the common people, even those who regard themselves as good and practical Muslims, do not practice this Sunnah, how are we falling back!
The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said:
“Allaah’s fear is the root of all mankind.”
Sheikh Shibli, a scholar of high position, says:
“Whenever I have felt Allaah’s fear in me I have found a fresh door of knowledge and wisdom opened for me.”
In a Hadees the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said:
“Allaah says I do not combine two fears and two Asylums (shelters) in my servant. If he does not fear me in this world, I shall given him fear in the next, and if he fears me in this world I shall save him from all fear in the hereafter.”
Aqba-Ibn-Amir (Rd.A) once inquired of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) what is the way to salvation? He replied: “Hold your tongue, stay indoors (in the house), and cry over your sins.”
Suryan Soori (Rh.A) says:
“Allaah will punish the people in the hereafter, but in this world, he only warns them through lighting, hurricanes, storms, floods, earthquakes and landslides.
So dear brothers and sisters in Islam: let us all sincerely repent for our past sins and turn to our Creator, who is our only friend whether it be in times of happiness or great troubles. Today we Muslims find ourselves involved in all types of difficulties and if we do not seek Allaah’s protection against all these over hanging disasters and calamities we shall surely be ruined.