بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
So, I was planning to post the “I’m too busy” article today (the one that I mentioned last week). The wind blew and I decided that I could postpone that one until later because I have a reminder for me and for you.
It started with the news of a possible tsunami in Indonesia. When I read this (yesterday or the day before), I was very alarmed because of what had happened in the original tsunami.
Then I read that it might reach the Gulf states. I got scared because I happen to come from a Gulf state.
The article mentioned the UAE. My fear increased. I felt slightly better after it said “Fujairah” and not “Dubai”. [Fujairah is the northern most emirate, and Dubai is in the middle. We have seven emirates overall.]
Then, I found out that we’d have no tsunami after all. I was so relieved.
Then today morning as I’m in class, the wind started to blow. A lot.
The first thing that I thought of was that there was going to be a tsunami after all.
Everyone started looked anxious and proceeded to recite the dhikr (remembrance) for when the wind blows. [You can read it here]
After all, an entire nation was destroyed by the wind.
وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ
سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَانِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُومًا فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَىٰ كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ
فَهَلْ تَرَىٰ لَهُم مِّن بَاقِيَةٍ
“And as for Aad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind; which Allah imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so that you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed), as if they were hollow trunks of date-palms! Do you see any remnants of them?” [Surah Al-Haqqah (69) : 6-8]
Subhan Allah, who can save us from the wind except the One who sends it?
It’s only when we have these kind of situations (tsunami, earthquake, thunder and lighting, violent wind, etc) that we really fear Allah, because we know that only He can save us, nothing else, not our wealth, status, power, etc.
After all, look what happened to Japan, which used to have one of the strongest economies in the world. Could they save themselves from the tsunami? No!
This begs the question: Why do we feel so safe on the other (normal) occasions??
Allah asks us the following:
أَأَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاءِ أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فَإِذَا هِيَ تَمُورُ
أَمْ أَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاءِ أَن يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا ۖ فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ
وَلَقَدْ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ
“Do you feel secure that He, Who is above the heaven (Allah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, then behold it shakes (as in an earthquake)? Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning? And indeed those before them belied (the Messengers of Allah), then how terrible was My denial (punishment)?” [Surah Al-Mulk (67) : 16-18]
However, some of us do something similar to what the disbelievers of the past did: remember Allah only in times of fear.
وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الضُّرُّ فِي الْبَحْرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدْعُونَ إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ۖ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاكُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ أَعْرَضْتُمْ ۚ وَكَانَ الْإِنسَانُ كَفُورًا
“And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you except Him (Allah Alone). But when He brings you safely to land, you turn away (from Him). And man is ever ungrateful.” [Surah Al-Isra (17) : 67]
So, this is a short reminder for you and for me, that we need to fear Allah as He should be feared. Yes, we need to hope in His Mercy but we also need to fear His Punishment. That is the moderate way.
Fearing His Punishment doesn’t just mean becoming righteous for all of 20 minutes during the time of need. It means continuing the good even after the possible calamity has been averted, in order to avoid the major calamity i.e. the hell fire.
All of us are going to die and all of us are going to be raised again. And on that Day, we won’t get a second chance. That will be IT. No more chances.
So, we need to work for that Day from NOW, not just in times of calamity or in Ramadan.
Subhan Allah, just a short time before the wind blew, our teacher was talking about people who finish the Quran in 2 months but don’t understand anything.
He said that ilm (knowledge) was khashiyah (fear) of Allah and understanding and applying just one ayah (verse) would suffice us (as it summarises everything).
The ayah? Here you go:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
“O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for tomorrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” [Surah Al-Hashr (59) : 18]
Something to ponder over, isn’t it?
That’s not all though. The two ayaat (verses) after this are:
وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّـهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
لَا يَسْتَوِي أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ وَأَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ ۚ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ
“And be not like those who forgot Allah (i.e. became disobedient to Allah) and He caused them to forget their own selves, (let them to forget to do righteous deeds). Those are the Fasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah). Not equal are the dwellers of the Fire and the dwellers of the Paradise. It is the dwellers of Paradise that will be successful.” [Surah Al-Hashr (59) : 19-20]
So, let’s get to work.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Not a day goes by except that we hear of some more repercussions from the Japanese tsunami. Today, I read about the government’s dilemma over what to do with the dead bodies that were contaminated (by their close proximity to the nuclear plant).
Earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, etc seem to be happening on a regular basis all around us.
And yet, do we stop and think about these events? Do we ponder about what lessons we can derive from them?
I look around me and I see that most of the people are just the same. I call them “evergreen trees”. They remain in the same lost state, no matter what is happening around them.
That’s not what a believer does. A believer ponders over the events unfolding around him/her and uses them to get closer to Allah.
Someone might say: “Hey, wait a minute. What can I do about the Japanese tsunami or the Libyan civil war? What does it have to do with me?”
Well, at least be grateful for not being there and for being in safety. Every time we complain about our circumstances, let’s just remember what the Libyans and Japanese are going through and then we’ll realise that we really have nothing to complain about.
Here’s a good lecture that discusses the Islamic perspective on the tsunami. Thought-provoking stuff.
Tsunami in Japan: An Islamic Perspective by Brother Karim Abu Zaid
[Note: I’m not equating the situation in Japan with the situation in Libyan. The vast majority of Japanese do not worship Allah whereas the vast majority of Libyans do worship Allah, so there is a big difference.
By the way, for those of you who want to help out our Libyan brothers and sisters, you may do so by donating. They are really in need of food and medicine. An acquaintance of mine has helped set up the following website:
Please pass on the word. Jazakumullahu kheira.]