Disasters, or Divine Wrath?
What are natural disasters, according to human terms? These are on one hand repressible calamities and on the other uncontrollable disasters varying according to the intensity of the calamities in question, for example: earthquakes, storms, droughts, floods etc. They are classified into two parts: (1) those which manifest as the consequences of what the hands of men have brought forth. For e.g. Global warming by the greenhouse effect, pollution, etc. (2) those which manifest by the nature itself of how the earth and the heavens function, sometimes predictable, sometimes unpredictable.
In themselves, by their nature they are form an integral part in the overall scheme of things in which all life is created. Their roles in this scheme are determinants and are not at all nonsense. So in the interest of a great number of lives, some small individual interests are often sacrificed. This is the accepted principle. Because of the important role that these disasters play in the planning of things and in the journey of life and progress, they cannot then be taken as meaningless just because some individuals are victims are them.
Ethics of Creative Destruction
The general philosophy behind these disasters could be understood if you study the phenomenon of life and death – the fight of one in the face of the other. Every step forward in the evolution of life brings in its wake millions and millions of victims. Each step causes the destruction of countless potential life. Even when we see in the universe millions of species and a number, which cannot be counted, of creatures in various forms of life – then what is their ultimate goal? If you understand how things are patterned you will discover that they are made to serve man and their roles are ultimately to serve the ecology of which man needs. All this is only part of the process. Thus the number is sacrificed for the profit of quality. This is the essence of this whole plan. If billions of lives are sacrificed for the benefit of man – the superior creature/ being – in order to increase his qualities and this after taking the test/ trial – then some sacrifices are justified for this great planning of things.
The Human Culpability
But apart from that, when you apply the situation of disasters in the human context, you will understand that these disasters could have been avoided or greatly mitigated if human beings were at the height of what was expected of them, especially concerning their morale and their sense of humanity in their daily lives. Because these disasters have their purpose and direction, then do men deserve what they have been given or in short, do they deserve to be destroyed after everything that has been made available (by Allah) to them during billions of years? The answer is simple: If you take a look at what God has done for mankind, it will be justified that it be completely destroyed because they have lost the sense of the purpose of creation and show themselves shown hostile (to God and His commandments).
Hence, natural disasters that are transformed into divine punishments are phenomena that are not new, for it existed since long before. As I have already said, by explaining the concept of natural disasters, and by what is mentioned in the following verse of the Quran, which says:
“Mischief (or Corruption/ Evil/ Disasters) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that He (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may return (to Allah).” (Ar-Rum 30: 42)
What there is to understand is firstly the philosophy which aims to identify the real causes of natural disasters. As they are understood by humans is something incomplete. The real cause lies far back in history – millions of years ago – as the Quran makes us understand. To this end, it (the Quran) gives examples of cities and peoples destroyed by what people know usually as natural disasters, but the “natural” nature of this kind of disaster fades away to make clear to people that it is the wrath of God Almighty which is manifested through these apparently benign (not serious) and natural disasters. But when Allah’s wrath seizes a city or a nation or even nations/ countries at the same time around the world, so these natural disasters cease to be natural and are transformed into manifestations of divine wrath and punishment to make the man reflect on the seriousness of the situation, and their own inability to make the world which God has entrusted to them breathe, mainly because of their rejection of the Truth of the Existence of God and His role in the creation of man and the rejection of His worship or association of other (false) gods with Him.
Promise of a new Earth
Thus, the true cause extends in various stages throughout the entire duration of human evolution. So if we look back for a moment, we will see that these manifestations of divine wrath were a blessing for future generations (those who came after them). The seeker of truth will well understand this because these kinds of intense disasters occur when nations deviate from the worship of God. They also manifest as the execution of the prophecies of God’s messengers who came (in the past), who is present before you today (in this era) and who will come (in the future) to warn people of the wrath of God if they do not return to the exclusive worship of the One God.
So these disasters have their use. As I have said, they played a prominent role in the history of human development or that of life. Moreover, if a nation was disobedient to God and His Messenger, then it suffered the consequences of its actions.
Apparently, there is a dilemma which people face in their thought that innocent animals become victims of crimes committed by men. The Quranic Verse 62 of Surah An-Nahl brings more light regarding the purpose of the creation of different species of life – created for the good of man. So if the latter does not live up to the expected standard, then all life (living mechanism) must disappear with him. All must disappear and there should be nothing left. Allah says:
“If Allah were to punish men for their wrongdoing, He would not leave on the earth a single living creature: but He gives them respite for an appointed term: When their term expires, they would not be able to delay it (the punishment) for a single hour, just as they would not be able to advance it (for a single hour).” (An-Nahl 16: 62)
This means that if Allah were to judge humanity for his transgression, He would not have left living any kind of life on earth. The purpose of the creation of species was to put them at the service of man, and when the latter ceases to deserve the control over the rest of creation – that creation disappears with him.
The Renewal of Faith through Divine Elects
The Earth receives from time to time another life in the person of the Messenger of Allah, a Warner who comes to warn the people of future calamities so that they realize the seriousness of the situation, and abandon their misdeeds and they reform themselves physically, morally and spiritually. These three types of reforms are important for him because they provide him the necessary flow of wills to guide him to his Creator. Therefore, the same calamities become for him a way to realize that the world is wrong, that is to say, that something is wrong and that he must take actions before it too late.
The times we are now living are then the very image of the Day of Judgement when God turns the land and sea as the people upside down, so that they become aware of their real duty, their true purpose on earth. The time is that of the coming of the Messenger of God to warn and thus, every calamity which is referred to as “natural” turns into something terrifying because behind this event is the hand of God operating to destroy those who defy His orders and His Messenger. The situation is serious because corruption is everywhere. All nations/ religions want to reign supreme on earth, and some are desperate to defy the laws of God to establish their own laws like the pharaoh at the time of Moses (as), Nimrod in the days of Abraham (as), etc.
This thirst for worldly power made them forget their true God. Therefore, like Allah revealed to me: “Arise, and Create a New World,” which also means that the world is moving towards its own destruction, and the day will come when God will create a new world for His true servants, those who are obeying Him.
This world is a spiritual world based on faith and trust in God and His messengers. I am just a link in the chain of God’s elects. Others will come after me and will manifest themselves through me (through my Jamaat, through their belief in me), and the world shall bear witness to more renewals for if on one hand this world is to die, but it will revive in another way. It can be revived only if people obey the code of law, the Quran and follow the true guide, the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and his deputies, the Islamic messengers who come only to reinforce his mission and veracity.
May Allah help us, the community of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), which represents the large Muslim family to be united in obedience of Allah and His commandments to win victories after victories for the cause of Islam, for the cause of the one God, Allah (twa) and that we may we also succeed to make humanity, all people aware of their errors so that they all return to the worship of Allah and not that of fake gods. Ameen.
--- Friday Sermon of 04 March 2016 ~ (23 Jamad’ul Awwal 1437 Hijri) delivered by Hazrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al-Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.