Too much ink has been dripped in world papers, scores of websites have been created and so many tears have been shed over the Tsunami catastrophe that occasioned more than 165000 corpses as well as hundreds of thousands of decimated edifices. Yet, has the world viewed this south Asian calamity from all its angles?
Anybody human is terribly moved by the huge catastrophe; he feels so lilliputian and dwarfed opposite an event beyond his ken and comprehension! The quake measuring 9 degrees on Richter scale ‘made the earth wobble on its axis and permanently altered the regional map as US geophysicists said’1. It also generated gigantic waves that left nothing, on its way, intact. Did the abovementioned disaster come to pass quite haphazardly with no previous plan?!
A huge number of children turned into orphans overnight. Lots of countries, and almost all religions, were automatically involved in the tragedy as their nationals perished therein. It was an international mourning, so to speak, in the morrow of celebrations of Christmas. Mass burials were compulsory with a view to shunning a possible epidemic. There was indeed an ineffable shock, a sort of painful trauma for every Tom, Dick and Harry. Any humane human with an atom of sensation and true sense would wake up from his slumber and clear away his numbness. He has to positively react.
Everyone reacted the way he sensed it relevant and sensible. Some observed a moment of silent tribute to the deceased; others let music speak out the sadness within and the majority rushed to financial assistance. Still, wasn’t there a parable for us all to ponder over and a lesson, lush with meaning, to drink in? Have we asked ourselves who’s next? Whose turn is it later?
Believe it or not, dear readers, there’s nothing on this earth movable or immovable outside the Sage Design of the Almighty Allah, The Creator, The All-Powerful. We needn’t be restive, muleteer or unwilling to approve of a sincere sound piece of advice. Our Lord said in the Qur’an (30/41) ‘Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned, that (God) may give them a taste of some of their deeds in order that they may turn back’. Note here that God is so Merciful that even when He incurs His Wrath on some of His creatures he wants the others still astray to think twice and turn back. He wants them to divorce any wickedness whatever and repent; He is not like us, we who quickly take revenge.
Who in fact dares to say that the upcoming verse is beside the point? Allah, The Lord of the universe said ‘How many were the gardens and springs they left behind and cornfields and noble buildings and wealth (and conveniences of life) wherein they had taken such delight! Thus (was their end)! And we made other people inherit those things! And neither heaven nor earth shed a tear over them nor were they given a respite. (44 /25-29) (Qur’an).
This is not at all gloating over other people’s misfortunes. God forbid! This is a self-critique. These are words I address to myself in the first place then for others to have advantage over! I’m not that pious; I’m endeavouring to elbow my way through a multiplicity of stumbling-blocks, to tone up for a long journey to Paradise in the real Eternal Life in the Hereafter. Nobody may pretend to be granted admittance to heaven and assign hell for others. My aim is to draw something beneficial from this misfortune, to be practical and not just weep over spilled milk.
Let’s open our eyes and melt the seal on our hearts to accept the truth. It’s so easy to state that this message you raise is a big lie and an old falsehood. Objection requires little effort on our part, but we fail to hear and see albeit we’ve got two big ears and own two eyes. Muhammad (PBUH) said once ‘Did you know what I know you would laugh a little and weep longer and you could hardly get pleasure of your wives in bed and you would rush outside praying ardently to God’.
The renowned scholar Ibn Alqayyim (691A.H. / 751A.H.) posed a query, ‘Isn’t any evil or disease on this earth or in the Hereafter triggered off by sins and wrongdoings?’. In his unputdownable book Aljawab Alkafi liman sa’ala a’ni addawa’ achafi, (The Proper Reply for Him who’d like the Healing Remedy), Ibn Alqayyim states that sins entail God’s chastisement. He reminds us of the Pharoe’s lot who prenteded to be a god and oppressed his people; he was accordingly drowned with a legion army and the believers were all saved. Also, Qarun, Korah in the bible, boasted of his wealth and amazingly forgot who gave him all those treasures. The result was that the earth opened up and gulped him with all the wealth he claims he owns.