Once again a massive earthquake hits many countries across the globe and tremors felt in many others, only refreshes our grim memories of the past catastrophic calamities. These calamities not only cause colossal damage to public and individual property but also takes life of many. In recent history (2004) a tremendous earthquake of magnitude 9.8 struck Indonesia resulting in a destructive tsunami which lashed across Indian Ocean destroying millions of lives and altering demographics. Many lost their near and dear ones. Property worth billions of dollars was lost. Dreams of millions were shattered in just a few minutes. News websites and other media have covered a lot of stories and pictures of nightmares. These are the data by the official sources but the facts are even more horrifying than the official reports.
Let us take a look on what Islam has to say about earthquakes. Earthquakes are nothing but signs of Allah SWT (The Omnipotent). Allah SWT says: We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur’an) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things? (Fussilat 41:53).
A question arises in any inquisitive mind, that why these earthquakes? The answer could be best explained by the narration of Aishah (May Allah SWT be pleased with her) to Anas (May Allah SWT be pleased with him). “Anas says, “I went into the presence of Aishah whilst someone else was seated with her. The person asked, ‘O Mother of the believers, relate to us regarding earthquakes (as to their cause)’ She turned her face away. I (Anas) asked her, ‘Relate to us regarding earthquakes, O Mother of the believers!’ She said, “O Anas, if I were to inform you thereof, you will live a sorrowful life and you will die in this state of grief and you will be raised on the Day of Judgment whilst this fear is in your heart.” I said, “O Mother, relate to me.” She then said, “When a woman removes her clothes in a house other than her husband’s (an indication towards adultery), she tears the veil between her and Allah. When she applies perfume to please a male other than her husband, this will be a source of fire and a blemish for her. When the people then begin to commit adultery, consume alcohol and use musical instruments, Allah becomes enraged in the heavens and orders the Earth to shake them. If they repent and refrain, then it is good for them, otherwise Allah will cause it to fall upon them.” I asked, “Is this their punishment?” She said, “It is rather a mercy, means of blessings and admonishment for the believers, and a punishment, display of anger and torment for the unbelievers.”
These reprehensible evils like adultery, alcoholism, music enthusiasm, wanton display of beauty, females glorifying themselves (by use of perfumes, cosmetics, attire, etc) to please men other than husbands are nurturing at a rapid speed in the ummah of the last Prophet PBUH. How many times do we hear the unlawfulness of these evils and seldom do we realize that we need to abstain from them. Our souls have become so corrupt that they are not prepared to heed to Islamic advices.
Allah SWT says “When We decide to destroy a town, We (first) send a definite Order (to obey Allah and be righteous) to those among them who are given the good things of this life. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against (them). Then we destroy it with complete destruction.” (Al Isra 17:16). This is how the creator shows His rage against the evildoers. In another verse of the glorious Qur’an, Allah SWT says to Prophet Say: He has power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to cover you with confusion in party strife, and make you to taste the violence of one another. (Al-An`am 6:65)
These frequent earthquakes point us to that dreadful day that all Prophets of Allah SWT would fear their respective clans. Prophet PBUH said “The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until … earthquakes will be very frequent”. (Bukhari).
Whenever there was an earthquake, some of the salaf (pious Muslims) would say: Your Lord is warning you. When Madinah was struck by an earthquake, `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with you) addressed the people, saying: If there is another earthquake, I will not stay here with you.”
Oh believers! Isn’t it the time for us to introspect our souls and cleanse it with the aroma of prophet’s teachings, isn’t it the time for us to shun our atrocious attitudes towards our religion. Oh Allah! Keep us steadfast and help us to attain piety. Aameen.