Why are there so many earthquakes?
Many countries have had earthquakes, such as Turkey, Mexico, Taiwan, Japan, etc. Does this mean anything (from an Islamic point of view)?
Praise be to Allaah.
Praise be to Allaah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah, and upon his family, companions, and those who follow his guidance.
Allaah is the All-Wise, All-Knowing in all that He wills and decrees, and He is the All-Wise, All-Knowing in all that He legislates and commands. He creates and decrees whatever signs He wills, to frighten His slaves and remind them of their obligations and duties towards Him, and to warn them against associating anything in worship with Him, going against His commands and doing that which He has forbidden. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And We sent not the signs except to warn” [al-Israa’ 17:59]
“We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur’aan) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things?” [Fussilat 41:53]
“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’aam 6:65]
Al-Bukhaari narrated in his Saheeh from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that when the aayah (interpretation of the meaning) “Say: ‘He has power to send torment on you from above” was revealed, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “A’oodhu bi wajhika (I seek refuge in Your Face”; “or from under your feet”, he said, “A’oodhu bi wajhika (I seek refuge in Your Face).” (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, 5/193).
(Abu’l-Shaykh al-Isbahaani narrated from Mujaahid concerning the Tafseer of this aayah, “Say: ‘He has power to send torment on you from above”: (this means) al-Sayhah (the shout or tumult), stones and strong wind; “or from under your feet”, (means) earthquakes and being swallowed up by the earth.)
Undoubtedly the earthquakes that are happening these days are among the signs which Allaah uses to frighten His slaves. All the earthquakes and other things which happen and cause harm and injury to people are because of shirk and sins, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):
“And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much” [al-Shoora 42:30]
“Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allaah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself” [al-Nisaa’ 4:79]
And Allaah said concerning the nations of the past:
“So We punished each (of them) for his sins, of them were some on whom We sent Haasib (a violent wind with shower of stones) [as on the people of Loot (Lot)], and of them were some who were overtaken by As-Saihah [torment — awful cry, (as Thamood or Shu‘ayb’s people)], and of them were some whom We caused the earth to swallow [as Qaaroon (Korah)], and of them were some whom We drowned [as the people of Nooh (Noah), or Fir‘aun (Pharaoh) and his people]. It was not Allaah Who wronged them, but they wronged themselves” [al-‘Ankaboot 29:40]
What Muslims and others who are accountable and of sound mind must do is repent to Allaah, adhere firmly to His Religion and avoid all that He has forbidden of Shirk and sin, so that they may be safe and attain salvation from all evils in this world and the next, and so that Allaah will ward off from them all harm, and bless them with all good. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwaa (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn (polytheism and crimes).” [al-A’raaf 7:96]
And Allaah says concerning the People of the Book (interpretation of the meaning):
“And if only they had acted according to the Tawraah (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), and what has (now) been sent down to them from their Lord (the Qur’ân), they would surely, have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet” [al-Maa’idah 5:66].
And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep? Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing? Did they then feel secure against the Plan of Allaah? None feels secure from the Plan of Allaah except the people who are the losers.” [al-A’raaf 7:97-99]
Al-‘Allaamah Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Allaah sometimes gives the earth permission to breathe, which is when major earthquakes happen; this makes people feel scared, so they repent, give up sins, pray to Allaah and feel regret [for their sins]. When there had been an earthquake, some of the Salaf said: your Lord is warning you. When Madeenah was struck by an earthquake, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with you) addressed the people and said: if there is another earthquake, I will not stay here with you.”
And there are many similar reportes from the Salaf.
Our response when there is an earthquake or some other sign such as an eclipse, strong winds or floods, should be to hasten to repent to Allaah and pray to Him for safety, and to remember Him much and seek His forgiveness, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said when there was an eclipse: “If you see anything like that, hasten to remember Him, call on Him and seek His forgiveness.” (Part of an agreed-upon hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari (2/30) and Muslim (2/628)).
It is also mustahabb (recommended, encouraged) to show compassion to the poor and needy, and to give charity to them, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Show mercy, you will be shown mercy.” (Narrated by Imaam Ahmad, 2/165)
“Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Have mercy on those who are on earth, and the One Who is in heaven will show mercy to you.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood (13/285), al-Tirmidhi (6/43)).
“Whoever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5/75), Muslim (4/1809)).
It was reported that when there was an earthquake, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez (may Allaah have mercy on him) would write to his governors telling them to give in charity.
One of the things which will help to keep people safe and sound is if the authorities impose an immediate crack-down on the foolish elements in society, forcing them to behave and applying the laws of sharee’ah to them, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“The believers, men and women, are Awliyaa’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another; they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give the Zakaah, and obey Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah will have His Mercy on them. Surely, Allaah is All-Mighty, All-Wise” [al-Tawbah 9:71]
“Verily, Allaah will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allaah is All-Strong, All-Mighty. Those (Muslim rulers) who, if We give them power in the land, (they) enjoin Iqamat-as-Salaah [i.e. to perform the five compulsory congregational Salaah (prayers) (the males in mosques)], to pay the Zakaah and they enjoin Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism and all that Islam has forbidden) [i.e. they make the Qur’aan as the law of their country in all the spheres of life]. And with Allaah rests the end of (all) matters (of creatures).” [al-Hajj 22:40-41]
“And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him.” [al-Talaaq 65:2-3]
And there are many aayaat on this topic.
The Prophet ( peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever meets the need of his brother, Allaah will meet his needs.” (Agreed upon; al-Bukhaari, 3/98; Muslim, 4/1996).
And he ( peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever relieves a believer of some of the distress of this world, Allaah will relieve him of some of the distress of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever makes things easier for one who is suffering hardship, Allaah will make things easier for him in this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever conceals a Muslim’s faults, Allaah will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allaah will help a person so long as he helps his brother.” (Narrated by Muslim, 4/2074). And there are many ahaadeeth on this topic.
Allaah is the One Whom we ask to reform the affairs of all the Muslims and to bless them with proper understanding of Islam and help them to adhere steadfastly to it and repent to Allaah from all their sins. We ask Him to reform all those who are in authority over the Muslims’ affairs and to support the Truth and eradicate falsehood through them, and to help them to rule the people according to the laws of sharee’ah, and to protect them and all the Muslims from misguidance and temptation and the tricks of the Shaytaan, for He is Able to do all that.
May the blessings and peace of Allaah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and companions, and those who follow them in truth until the Day of Resurrection.
Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him).
I have seen on TV many of the calamities that have befallen the Muslim ummah (global community); in Palestine our wounds are bleeding; in Chechnya our bodies are cut; in Afghanistan our houses are destroyed; in the Philippines and in Kashmir… and now in Iraq.
Tomorrow only Allah knows who will meet this fate…
Are these calamities and these disasters that we see good or bad?
Praise be to Allah.Disasters and calamities have been created for a reason, which none can fully comprehend but Allah. Some of the things that Allah has shown to us indicate this.
1 – Disasters and calamities are a test of the believer’s patience. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, ‘When (will come) the Help of Allah?’ Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!”[al-Baqarah 2:214]
2 – This is a sign of man’s weakness and his need for his Lord, and shows that he cannot succeed unless he realizes his need for his Lord and starts beseeching Him.
3 – Calamities are a means of expiation of sin and raising one’s status. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is nothing that befalls a believer, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allah will record one good deed for him and will remove one bad deed from him.”
Narrated by Muslim.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Trials will continue to befall the believing man and woman, with regard to themselves, their children and their wealth, until they meet Allah with no sin on them.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2399; classed as saheeh (authentic) by al-Albani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 2280.
And it was narrated that Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, when people who had suffered affliction are given their reward, those who were healthy will wish their skins had been cut to pieces with scissors when they were in the world.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2402. See al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, no. 2206.
4 – One of the reasons for calamities is so that people will not feel content only with this world. If the world were free of calamities, man would love it more and feel content with it, and would forget about the Hereafter. But calamities wake him up from his negligence and make him strive for the place in which there are no calamities or trials.
5 – One of the greatest reasons behind calamities and trials is to warn against falling short in some matters, so that man can make up for the areas in which he has fallen short. This is like the warning that is issued to an employee or student who is falling short. The purpose behind it is to make him make up for his shortcomings. If he does that, then all well and good, otherwise he deserves to be punished. The evidence for that includes the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you (O Muhammad). And We seized them with extreme poverty (or loss in wealth) and loss in health (with calamities) so that they might humble themselves (believe with humility).
When Our Torment reached them, why then did they not humble themselves (believe with humility)? But their hearts became hardened, and Shaytan (Satan) made fair‑seeming to them that which they used to do.”[al-An’am 6:42]
Another reason for calamities is as a punishment for those who were previously warned, but did not benefit from the warning and mend their ways, and persisted in their sin. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“…so We destroyed them for their sins …”[al-Anfal 8:54]
And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And indeed, We destroyed generations before you when they did wrong, while their Messengers came to them with clear proofs, but they were not such as to believe! Thus do We requite the people who are Mujrimoon (criminals).”[Yoonus 10:13]
“And when We decide to destroy a town (population), We (first) send a definite order (to obey Allah and be righteous) to those among them [or We (first) increase in number those of its population] who lead a life of luxury. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete destruction.”[al-Isra 17:16]
Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Grief may be accompanied by that for which a person will be rewarded and praised, so it may be good in that sense, not that grief is good in and of itself, such as one who feels sad for falling short in religious matters or for calamities that befall the Muslims. In this case a person will be rewarded for what is in his heart of loving good and hating evil, and so on, but grief in itself, if it leads to failure to do that which is enjoined, namely patience, jihad (fighting for Allah’s cause), seeking benefits and warding off harm, is forbidden, but if the person does not give it up, and it is not recorded as a sin for him then he is fine.”
So the one who wishes that Allah would change his situation without any effort on his part and that of others like him needs to understand this.
6 – Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you (O Muhammad). And We seized them with extreme poverty (or loss in wealth) and loss in health (with calamities) so that they might humble themselves (believe with humility).”[al-An’am 6:42]
Al-Sa’di (may Allah have mercy on him) said: (This means) We sent (Messengers) to the nations who came before you, and they disbelieved in Our Messengers and rejected Our signs. So We seized them with poverty, sickness, calamities and disasters as a mercy from Us to them, so that they might humble themselves before us and turn to Us at times of hardship.
And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Evil (sins and disobedience to Allah) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds), that He (Allah) may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging His Pardon).”[al-Room 30:41]
Al-Sa’di interprets the word fasad (translated here as “evil”) as referring to the disasters that develop on land and sea, which are making people’s lives difficult and causing a lot of problems with regard to their livelihood and well-being.
And the disasters that befall them themselves, such as diseases, plagues and the like, which happen because of the things their own hands have wrought of evil deeds that can only lead to bad consequences.
The phrase, “that He (Allah) may make them taste a part of that which they have done,” means, so that they might know that Allah is requiting them for their deeds, so He gives them a foretaste of the recompense of their deeds in this world, “in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging His Pardon)” i.e., repent from their deeds that have had this bad effect on them, and set their affairs straight.
Glory be to the One Who blesses by means of His punishment, for if He were to make them taste all that they have done, no living creature would be left alive on earth.
7 – Worship at times of hardship and tribulation has a special flavour and a special reward.
It was narrated from Ma’qil ibn Yasar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Worshipping at times of tribulation and confusion is like migrating to join me.” Narrated by Muslim, 2948.
Al-Nawawi said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Worshipping at times of tribulation and confusion is like migrating to join me.’ The reason why worship at such times is of such great virtue is that people become negligent about worship and are distracted from it, and no one focuses on worship except a few.”
Al-Qurtubi said: “Tribulation and great hardship will happen until the matter of religion is taken lightly and people will care about nothing but their worldly affairs and how to earn a living. So worship becomes very important at times of tribulation, as Muslim narrated from Ma’qil ibn Yasar in the marfoo’ report (one attributed to the Prophet): ‘Worshipping at times of tribulation and confusion is like migrating to join me.’”
8 – Blessings that come after pain, hardship and calamity are more precious to people.
So then they appreciate the blessings of good health and safety as they should be appreciated.
Another of the benefits of calamity is a reminder of how Allah has blessed man, because the man who is created with sight – for example – forgets the blessing of sight and does not really appreciate it, but if Allah tests him with temporary blindness, then restores to him his sight, he will fully understand the value of this blessing. If things are always easy a person may forget this blessing and not be grateful for it, so Allah takes it away and then restores it, as a reminder to him to be grateful for it.
Calamity may remind the person to whom it happens and others of the blessings of Allah. So when a person sees one who is insane, he appreciates the blessing of sanity; when he sees one who is sick, he appreciates the blessing of sound health. When he sees a kafir who is living like cattle, he appreciates the blessing of faith. When he sees an ignorant man he appreciates the blessing of knowledge. Only the one whose heart is open will feel this. Those who have no heart do not give thanks for the blessings of Allah, rather they are arrogant towards the creation of Allah.
9 – The benefit of calamity is that it rescues man from negligence and alerts him to his shortcomings in keeping his duty to Allah, so that he does not think that he is perfect, which would lead to the hardening of his heart and negligence.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“When Our torment reached them, why then did they not humble themselves (believe with humility)? But their hearts became hardened, and Shaytan (Satan) made fair‑seeming to them that which they used to do.”[al-An’am 6:43]
10 – One of the benefits of tribulations and hardships is purification.
Hardships reveal how people really are, and distinguish the good from the bad, the true from the false, the believer from the hypocrite. Allah says of the Battle of Uhud and what happened to the Muslims on that day, explaining part of the wisdom behind this trial (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good.”[Aal ‘Imran 3:179]
So the true nature of all things is shown clearly.
11 – When Muslims help those Muslims who have been afflicted by calamity, they will be rewarded for that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The likeness of the believers in their mutual love, mercy and compassion is that of the body; when one part of it suffers, the rest of the body joins it in staying awake and suffering fever.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 6011; Muslim, 2586.
And he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 13; Muslim, 45.
12 – At times of hardship and war we see the true meaning of the words of Allah (interpretation of the meaning):
“Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety).”[al-Maidah 5:2]
Ways of cooperating in da’wah (propagation) and supporting Islam include: waging jihad against the kuffar (disbelievers) and hypocrites for the sake of Allah, joining with the people of Islamic da’wah in fighting the followers of kufr (disbelief) and misguidance, and preparing all means and tools for jihad for the sake of Allah.
One of the ways of cooperating in supporting Islam that was invented at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is cooperating in killing those who claimed to be Prophets, killing the leaders of the mushrikeen (pagans) and the apostates, including those who insulted the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
And Allah knows best.
Praise be to Allaah.
Yes, there is great wisdom behind calamities, including the following:
1 – To attain true submission and servitude (‘uboodiyyah) to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds.
Many people are slaves to their whims and desires and are not true slaves of Allaah. They say that they are slaves of Allaah, but when they are tested they turn on their heels and lose out in this world and in the Hereafter, and that is an evident loss. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And among mankind is he who worships Allaah as it were upon the edge (i.e. in doubt): if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss”
2 – Trials prepare the believers to prevail on earth
It was said to Imam al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him): Which is better, patience or tests or prevailing? He said: Prevailing is the level attained by the Prophets, and there can be no prevailing except after trials. If a person is tried he will become patient, and if he remains patient he will prevail.
3 – Expiation of sins
al-Tirmidhi (2399) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Trials will continue to befall the believing man or woman in himself, his child and his wealth until he meets Allaah with no sin on him.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2399), classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 2280.
It was narrated that Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “When Allaah wills good for His slave, He hastens the punishment for him in this world, and when Allaah wills ill for His slave, he withholds the punishment for his sins from him his sin until he comes with all his sins on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2396); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (1220).
4 – Attainment of reward and a rise in status
Muslim (2572) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The believer is not harmed by a thorn or anything greater, but Allaah will raise him in status thereby, or erase a sin thereby.”
5 – Calamities provide an opportunity to think about one’s faults and shortcomings and past mistakes.
Because if it is a punishment, what was the sin?
6 – Calamity is a lesson in Tawheed, faith and trust in Allaah
It shows you in a practical sense what you really are, so you will realize that you are a weak slave, and you have no strength and no power except with your Lord, then you will put your trust in Him in a true sense, and will turn to Him in a true sense, and put aside your position, pride, arrogance, self-admiration and heedlessness, and you will understand that you are poor and in need of your Lord, and you are weak and need to turn to the Most Strong, the Almighty, may He be glorified.
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
Were it not that Allaah treats His slaves with the remedy of trials and calamities, they would transgress and overstep the mark. When Allaah wills good for His slaves, He gives him the medicine of calamities and trials according to his situation, so as to cure him from all fatal illnesses and diseases, until He purifies and cleanses him, and then makes him qualified for the most honourable position in this world, which is that of being a true slave of Allaah (‘uboodiyyah), and for the greatest reward in the Hereafter, which is that of seeing Him and being close to Him. End quote.
Zaad al-Ma’aad, 4/195
7 – Calamities drive out self-admiration from our hearts and bring them closer to Allaah
Ibn Hajr said: Yoonus ibn Bukayr narrated in Ziyaadaat al-Maghaazi that al-Rabee’ ibn Anas said: A man said on the day of Hunayn: “We will never be defeated today for lack of numbers.” That upset the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and then they were defeated.
Ibn al-Qayyim said in Zaad al-Ma’aad (3/477):
In His wisdom, Allaah decreed that the Muslims should first taste the bitterness of defeat, despite their great numbers and adequate equipment and strength, so as to humble some people who felt proud as a result of the conquest of Makkah and who had not entered His land and His sanctuary as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had entered it, bending his head whilst riding his horse to the extent that his chin almost touched the saddle, out of humbleness before his Lord.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And that Allaah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:141]
al-Qaasimi (4/239) said:
i.e., to cleanse them and purify them of sin and of pride and arrogance. He also cleanses them of the hypocrites, and make them stand out distinct from them… then He mentions another reason, which is “to destroy the disbelievers”, for if they prevail they will transgress and overstep the mark, which will be the cause of their downfall and destruction. The laws of Allaah dictate that when He wants to destroy His enemies and erase them, he makes available to them the means which will lead to their doom and eradication, among the greatest of which, after their kufr, is their transgression and tyranny in persecuting, opposing and fighting His close friends… Allaah destroyed those who waged war against the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on the day of Uhud and persisted in kufr. End quote.
8 – To demonstrate the true nature of people, for there are people whose virtue is unknown until calamity strikes
al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad said: As long as people are doing fine, their true nature is concealed, but when calamity strikes, their true natures are revealed, so the believer resorts to his faith and the hypocrite resorts to his hypocrisy.
Al-Bayhaqi narrated in al-Dalaa’il that Abu Salamah said: Many people were confused – i.e., after the Isra’ – and some people came to Abu Bakr and told him. He said: “I bear witness that he is telling the truth.” They said: “Do you believe that he went to Syria in one night then came back to Makkah?” He said: “Yes, and I believe him in more than that, I believe what he says of the Revelation that comes to him from heaven.” And because of that he was named al-Siddeeq.
9 – Calamities strengthen people’s resolve
Allaah chose for His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) a hard life filled with all kinds of hardship from a young age, in order to prepare him for the great mission that awaited him, which none could bear but the strongest of men, who have gone through hardship and who are tested with calamities and bear them with patience.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was born an orphan, then it was not long before his mother died too.
Allaah reminded the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) of that when He said (interpretation of the meaning):
“Did He not find you O Muhammad) an orphan and give you a refuge?”
It is as if Allaah wanted to prepare the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to bear responsibility and endure hardship from an early age.
10 – Another reason behind calamities and hardship is that a person becomes able to distinguish between true friends and friends who only have their own interests at heart.
11 – Calamities remind you of your sins so that you can repent from them.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allaah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself”
“And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much”
Calamities offer an opportunity to repent before the greater punishment comes on the Day of Resurrection. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And verily, We will make them taste of the near torment (i.e. the torment in the life of this world, i.e. disasters, calamities) prior to the supreme torment (in the Hereafter), in order that they may (repent and) return (i.e. accept Islam)”
The “near torment” is hardship in this world and bad things that happen to a person.
If life continues to be easy, a person may become conceited and arrogant, and think that he has no need of Allaah, so by His mercy He tests people so that they may return to Him.
12 – Calamities show you the true nature of this world and its transience, and that it is temporary conveniences, and shows us that true life is that which is beyond this world, in a life in which there is no sickness or exhaustion.
“Verily, the home of the Hereafter that is the life indeed (i.e. the eternal life that will never end), if they but knew”
But this life is just hardship and exhaustion.
“Verily, We have created man in toil”
13 – Calamities remind you of the great blessings of good health and ease.
This calamity shows you in the clearest way the meaning of health and ease that you enjoyed for many years, but did not taste their sweetness or appreciate them fully.
Calamities remind you of blessings and the One Who bestows them, and cause you to thank and praise Allaah for His blessings.
14 – Longing for Paradise
You will never long for Paradise until you taste the bitterness of this world. How can you long for Paradise when you are content with this world?
This is some of the wisdom behind calamities, and the interests attained by them, and the wisdom of Allaah is great indeed.
And Allaah knows best.