Natural Disasters: Punishment or Test from God?
1. Sufferings occur to teach us that we must adhere to Allah’s natural and moral laws.
2. Sufferings are sometimes to punish those who violate Allah’s natural or moral laws.
3. Suffering of the righteous people also become a healing and liberation for others. Those who patiently bear their pain and suffering are also promised great blessings from Allah.
4. Sufferings of some people are a test for other people’s commitment to human values and charity.
Whenever we encounter suffering we should ask ourselves, “Have we broken any law of Allah?” Let us study the cause of the problem and use the corrective methods.
“Could it be a punishment?” Let us repent and ask forgiveness and reform our ways.
“Could it be a test and trial for us?” Let us work hard to pass this test with patience if we are suffering; or with charity and kindness if we see others are in difficulty.
The Believers face the sufferings with patience, dua, seeking forgiveness, repentance, charity, returning back to Allah, returning to His religion, learning and acting by it, developing love for Allah and His Messenger sallal laahu alaihi wa sallam and strive to follow the Sunnah and the methodology of the early Muslim, the Salaf as-Salih. The believers increase in doing good deeds and keeping away from sins, especially the major sins. He or she hopes for reward in all this. This is the intelligent Muslim.
The non-believers face the sufferings with doubts and confusions. They blame Allah or make arguments against Him. They rely solely on demographical, geographical, scientific facts, climate change, global warming etc as to why the natural disaster happened. They blame human development in using and misusing the earths resources and creating global warming etc, which partly may be the case. They go further into heedlessness. They go further into shirk, the greatest crime and don’t abandon it. They do not reflect on their inner selves, nor the collective belief and actions of the people. When suffering and loss of lives occurs they look towards and indulge in more sins, turning to drinking alcohol, drugs, fornication, adultery etc to find relief for their suffering.
May Allah keep us on the right path in times of ease and hardship. May Allah give ease whatever trial one is going through. May Allah replace the loss one has encountered. Aameen.