Saturday, April 6, 2013

The DELUGE in Mauritius and the Ark of Noah

Rejection of the Divine Message entails evil consequences for a people. When the Divine advices and instructions are being trampled upon and the Messenger is being ignored, it questions the majesty and wisdom of God Who causes the Message to be revealed to the Messenger in the first place. Such mindless and reckless rejection triggers a process of events that inexorably manifests Divine anger and wrath which affects individual destiny and alters national fortunes. All of spiritual philosophy and secular history bear witness to this. For instance, the Deluge in the times of Hadhrat Noah (as) continue to remain deeply imprinted in the spiritual psyche of Jews, Christians and Muslims. And the Holy Qur’an repeatedly confirms: “We never punish until We raise a Messenger”.   

In his Friday Sermon of April 05, 2013 the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius reflected upon the recent Deluge in Mauritius, which he himself predicted in 2012 December. Drawing upon Qur’anic principles, Hadhrat Sahib throws searching spiritual light on the concept and special features of Divine punishment as against incidents of natural disasters that take place in the world. Hadhrat Sahib points out that in the case of Divine punishment; it is foretold before its actual occurrence by a Messenger of Allah. We hope and pray that this incident of extraordinary nature that has destroyed property, resources and precious human lives in Mauritius will lead to much soul-searching by men of intelligence and purity of heart, everywhere.  
Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon:

Mauritius has since last week (Saturday 30 March 2013) lived till date its worst days in the form of a unique kind of deluge which came and upturned the lives of many inhabitants, especially in Port-Louis, the Capital of Mauritius. Non-stop rainfall which the climate experts define as “deluge” as the rain water kept rising second by second, not diminishing in any case.

Houses, buildings, roads, the Caudan subway were inundated by water which came with force and dragged in its way lives of 11 people, one of which was a mother who got a heart-attack when seeing the sudden rise of water in her home. The Mauritians had never seen such a deluge in such a short span of 2 hours non-stop destructive rainfall, which accumulated, and for at least 3 hours, the intensive rising water kept flooding the lives of the inhabitants of Port-Louis, Pailles, Camp Chapelon, and (to some lesser extent) some areas in Plaine Wilhems also, and the south.

In the Holy Quran, Allah says: And this is a Book which We have sent down, blessed and confirming what was before it, that you may warn the Mother of Cities and those around it.” (Al-Anam 6: 94)

Verily, the Mother or greatest of cities in the times of our noble Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) was the Holy Mecca and its surroundings, but in the times of this humble servant of Allah who is present before you today, in the context of Mauritius, it refers to Port-Louis and its surroundings; Port-Louis which is the capital and heart of Mauritius.

The heart of Mauritius – Port-Louis – and its surroundings have been touched by this calamity. Now ponder over the fact, that had this calamity stroke during the working days of the week, when there is school and offices are open etc., then what would the people have done, how could those children have been saved from that deluge, which imprisoned many people, who thus had to make a human chain to help out those stranded in the flood water, from difficult situations. They even had to bring out small boats so that they can go rescue those people as the level of water was too high. The level of water even reached the ceiling of houses.

Now think over the serious aspect of the deluge striking during school days, when businesses, offices, primary and secondary schools and the universities are open, what would those people have done? How many more cars would have met with an accident and how many would have become useless, just good to be put away? Think over it, my brothers, sisters and children because Allah has verily given a demonstration of His anger. Ponder over the many more people who could have died in this calamity!

The Government of Mauritius, in the memory of this tragedy kept the 1st of April as a Public Holiday, a mourning day. The national flag of the country was at half-mast.  Several small and big businesses had to clean up their locals and buildings which were severely touched with the flood.

The Mauritians kept a spirit of solidarity and many from the different parts of the island came to those who lost everything in the deluge and helped them to clean their houses, and made it a must to see to it that they get warm clothes and food to subsist for some days. There are many, about 200 families who are deprived of their homes.

Alhamdulillah, the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam also has got an opportunity to participate in this form of service to humanity, by extending our help, to the best of our abilities to the families in dire needs.

This calamity is food for thought for the truly intelligent, those who think with the heart of their soul, who are truly God-fearing. This is just a “publicity”, a demonstration of what the actual calamity shall be. We have witnessed not a natural calamity but an actual divine punishment. We have lived for 2 to 3 hours what the people of Prophet Noah (as) had to undergo. This prompts this humble self to expound on the distinguishing features of Divine Punishments.

1. The foremost feature to distinguish a divine punishment from a natural disaster is that divine punishment is foretold before it is afflicted. A very clear Indeed not only is it foretold but the precise nature of the punishment is described in great detail, example of this can be found during the time of Noah (as). He had forewarned his people that they would be destroyed because of their evil ways and their constant rejection of his claims. He forewarned them in the same breath that the means of their destruction would be water, a deluge whose like had never been seen before (like recently, more precise last Saturday, in Mauritius) and that neither man nor animal would be safe from it.

No sooner had the warning gone, that Noah (as) began to build the ark that he had been commanded by God Almighty to build, aboard which true believers were to be saved. Those who rejected him would laugh and ridicule him and his companions. No one could bring himself to believe that the skies would fall and cover the land (what happened in Mauritius, you have seen on TV, Newspapers etc.) so much so, that not an inch of dry territory would be available for man to save himself from the rising deluge. At last came the say, when according to the Holy Quran:

“Therefore, We opened the gates of Heaven with water pouring forth.” (Al-Qamar 54: 12)

It rained so heavily as has never been seen before. Noah and those who believed in him boarded the ark and carried with them some provisions for a limited period, and some animals and birds, which had been gathered before. The onlookers kept watching the spectacle unfold before their eyes and kept pouring scorn on him. With the rising water, the ark began to float and homes and high ground began to submerge under the water.

Even at the eleventh hour, the unbelievers would not accept that, apart from those in the ark, all others would drown, not only that, even Noah’s unfortunate son could not bring himself to face the dire reality of what was happening before his very eyes. To his very end, this son continued to dismiss the non-stop rain, which had by then become a flood to be no more than a quirk of nature. (He might have thought that those aboard the ark would drown). Not for a moment did the thought cross his mind that the water would rise way above the mountains. Thus, according to the Holy Quran, mankind’s last cry in the wilderness is that made by the son of Noah:

“I will betake myself to a mountain: it will save me from the water.” (Hud 11: 44)

But a high wave came between Noah’s ark and his son sheltering on a mountain. The water kept rising and the peaks of mountains began to disappear under water. Apart from the floating ark, nothing could be seen above the water level anywhere along the horizon. All territory had been inundated with water.

Barring some differences in details, this event is acknowledged by the world’s three great religions, that is, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. At least for the followers of these great religions, this event is a powerful argument and they cannot but accept that while keeping within the laws of nature, rain can sometimes fall as a punishment from God. It suffices to say that the first distinction evident from the Holy Quran is that the divine punishment is forewarned in advance and sometimes its nature is also defined.

It needs to be remembered that the kind of divine punishment we are currently considering are those which distinguish believers from unbelievers and about which the prophet of that age gives a very clear forewarning that the righteous people of God will suffer no misfortune.

A gradation and arrangement prevail in divine punishment and until the ultimate triumph of good over evil, the series of punishments worsen and become more severe with the passage of time. If a graph is drawn in the severity of divine punishment, barring some minor ups and downs, the scale of severity of misfortunes would always incline to the more severe as time progresses. If a people do not accept the ideology of a prophet at that age, and destruction becomes the writing on the wall for them, then the final affliction of divine chastisement is in the severest and most decisive form. Such organised severity does not exist in ordinary disasters.

Subject to God-given ability, I shall Insha-Allah also explore the responsibilities that impose themselves upon a community of believers when a people are being afflicted by divine punishment or a prophecy of some divine punishment hangs over such people. What should be our code of conduct in such circumstances? This part of the subject is extremely important for the spiritual training of Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam in this day and age. It behoves not that some Sahih al Islam should out of ignorance follow a course that is inconsistent with the noble practice and traditions of past prophets or which is in any way below the dignity of a true believer. May Allah preserve us from this. Ameen.