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Author/Source: hkhan  (hkhan135@aol.com) Posted by: hkhan
Hits: 3005 Rating: 8 (4 votes) Comments: 3 Added On: Monday, January 3, 2005 Rate this article


I would not have thought of writing anything about this event as I feel there are very good writers out there who must be doing this job much better than I can do because I realize that I have my limitations in writing essays. However I had to make it happen as, this morning, I got a call from our dear friends at BBC Radio Berkshire who asked me for my opinion about the Tsunami disaster and that what did I think about it as a Muslim. They put some stress on the question of:

Why would God do this to innocent people if He is so kind?

In answer to this I came out with the following reasons.

It cannot be that God is responsible for this. In other words we cannot blame God as He has clearly said in His revelations that whatever good reaches you, is from God, (obviously because He is The Kind and The Loving All Mighty) but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself. Qura’n chap: 4 verse 79

We can argue against this, however, by saying that God allowed such a terrible incident to take place as He is, after all, the one Who created this law of ‘cause and effect’.

But, as He is the Kind, (Rehma'n and Raheem) many a times He still helps us and saves us despite our mistakes, as He says again, that “And If God/Allah were to seize humankind for their wrongdoing, he would not leave on the earth a single living creature, but he postpones them for an appointed term”. Qura’n chapter 16 verses 61

The Lord allows such catastrophes to take place every now and then, not to punish the inhabitants of the area because of their mistakes, but to warn the whole of the humanity. For example, in this very incidence, there is a lesson for those nations who are using up all their money to encourage wars and the killing of innocent people when they should rather use these resources, including skills and money, to set up such systems which could warn beforehand of such miserable disasters.

This Tsunami tragedy should also be taken as a warning from God to the whole of mankind. This warning should be telling us to check ourselves and see where we’re going wrong because not just a certain area of the world has been affected by the events of Saturday the 26th of December 2004. The entire world has been affected by what has happened.

Secondly the people who have directly been effected by this tragedy are being tried for their patience but the ones who are away from it and have not been struck by this calamity (I refer to us, the people reading this in the warmth and comfort of their homes or workplaces), are having our gratefulness tested and how hard we work to help these people.

As we read that: “If anyone killed a person it would be as if he/she killed the whole mankind and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he /she saved the life of all mankind “
chap 5 namely aLMAIDA MEANING "the table spread with food" : verse 32) Qura'n

When we look at our beloved prophet Jesus PBUH, we find him as a healer and lifesaver who did this job with the leave of God in order to help the humanity and please God who loves His people.

Nobody can say that which part of the world can face what sort of disaster in future and who amongst us will be in this situation of need then.

This should be taken in relevance to the general rule of trials in life. See chapter 67 verse 2 “We have created Life and Death to see which of you is the best in conduct” Qura’n.

God therefore tries some people by their patience like in this case, and some by their gratefulness, that is, the ones who have riches and skills, resources and goods; that whether they remain humble and kind in spite of having all these blessings or they become arrogant, self centred and careless when it comes to helping the needy. We have to check ourselves. Do we feel that we can spend at least one day’s salary/income or the money we spend on some extra things for recreation or comfort, in order to help these people suffering in the present situation or at other such times? Do we feel that we can spend time to involve in these activities or we do not bother to upset our own routines? Cosy homes, nice dinners, drinks, parties and holidays; our own family involvements do not allow us to spare time for the suffering humanity.

I perceive this disaster as a reminder from God for all those who have witnessed this calamity, that there is a God, because humans, being humans, easily forget His existence.

I also feel that it depends a lot on one’s perspective of this life. If we believe in the Hereafter, then there is nothing to despair. One hopes to get the compensation of all the losses in the life after death, if one has been patient. See chap. AlBaqarah (the cow) verse 155 to 157. (Qura’n) Explaining catastrophes befalling humankind, God says:

"And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the ones who remain patient and steadfast; who, when afflicted with calamity say ”Truly to God/Allah we belong and truly to Him we shall return”. These are the people upon whom the blessings of their Lord shall descend and these are the guided people."

Some people call this a sadistic view: to take it as a trial in life and therefore to be patient.

In truth, the sadistic way of looking at such disasters is that it all happens to punish us. Islam contradicts this opinion as it gives hope. “Verily after every hardship there comes ease.” (Chap. 94 verse 5 and 6) and hope lies in the belief in Hereafter that this life is temporary. Those who died in Tsunami disaster, those who are innocent, shall be rewarded justly in the Hereafter.

For the innocent deaths, the reward is eternal bliss not that these deaths have come to “The End”. For those who have passed on, it’s rather the beginning of a blessed and eternal life in the heavens.

For those who are alive and are shocked, they are tested for their patience and are reminded to be steadfast.

So the very essence of life is test and trial, to rise to the occasion and to come to the terms. It is wrong to name it punishment for the inhabitants in the disastrous area because of their mistakes. However every calamity has lessons to be learnt and requires actions to be taken.

Junaidj I agree with Dr. Henna Khan. It cannot be termed as Divine scourge for several reasons. 1) In all cases of Divine scourge, the Prophet sounds the warning first. In this case there was obviously no prophet and no warning either. 2) The Muslims of Indonesia have the correct belief set, which is very important. Is it that they are more vile than the libertarians of Amsterdam and San Fransisco, I think not! 3) If we started terming such calamities as Divine scourge, then perhaps we should start including all accidents under this category, including war. After all the Koran speaks of subjugation of nations by other evil nations. Will we consider Hitler as God's scourge on the European Jews. I think not! Because how can we have the concept of punishment of son (European Jews) for the sins of the father (Jews at time of Moses/Muhammad (pbuh). This idea reeks of the concept of original sin, which is alien to Islam. 4) By the same argument Palestinians would be considered as punished for their sins. Does this not sound a bell? 5) Anyone who believes that this was God's scourge believes in a capricious and sadist and unjust God (because there was no warning to those who believe in One God and Islam, and that sex traders - the real villians are trying to thrive on orphans owing to the tragedy). Thus anyone believing in such a theory, believes in an unjust God, which I would consider as BLASPHEMY! Thnak you Sister Henna Khan for your article :)
zest Agree to most of what you say BIT: you write: It cannot be that God is responsible for this. In other words we cannot blame God as He has clearly said in His revelations that whatever good reaches you, is from God, (obviously because He is The Kind and The Loving All Mighty) but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself. Qura’n chap: 4 verse 79 I do not think that the verse refers to that kind of infliction.
StudyingIslamUK Subject: Thank You!!! Date: 2/1/2005 5:19:56 PM GMT Standard Time From: @hotmail.com Reply To: To: hkhan135@aol.com CC: BCC: Sent on: Sent from the Internet (Details) Internet Address Card Attached Dear Dr.Henna Khan, I wanted to thank you for putting some things into perpective for me. I had the opportunity to read the article you wrote about the Tsunami disaster. I felt you wrote it beautifully and from the heart. I was raised christian and am married to a muslim man, and am in the process of learning as much as I can before I revert myself. What you wrote gave me a great sense of hope for human kind. I hope everyone can learn from this horrible disaster. I believe you are right in your opinion of why the disaster happened. Thank you for helping me understand. Betty Mackenzie
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