Article appeared Friday, June 21st, 2013 in The News Today, Bangladesh
The Revelation (283)yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD
Can calamities be random events? This is a difficult question. However, we may get clues to theanswer by finding and asking other related questions. It is known that computer models cannotpredict distant calamities
. Also, it is obvious that a calamity does not have control over itself.Would a calamity know when to produce itself? If not, how do calamities come about? Arecalamities acts of the Creator? If so, why does He give calamities? Could it be because He hasnothing better to do? Can a calamity be intended as a warning – for what?If calamities are intended as a warning, should we do some analysis? For example, should weanalyze our personal behavior before and after the calamity is over? Before we study calamitiesthat affect entire communities let us analyze “calamities” that affect us individually. Should onetake warning from individual and personal crises? If we don’t take such forewarnings intoaccount what might happen? To remind us of our attitudes towards the Creator, the most recentRevelation the Qur’an mirrors the nature of man in the following Verse:
When trouble touches a man he cries to Us (in all postures) lying down on his side or sitting or standing…
[10.12a]When in trouble, regardless of religious preference, we all directly implore the Creator. We knowthat it is only He that can get us out of a crisis. We cry to Him in many ways. Often we make
…they cry to Allah sincerely offering (their) duty to Him saying "If You deliver us fromthis (trouble) we shall truly show our gratitude!
[10.22] After having made promises to our Creator, what do we do when He solves the problem? Thesecond part of Verse 10.12 enlightens us to our ungrateful nature.
…But when We have solved his trouble he passes on his way as if he had
criedto Us for the trouble that touched him!...
[10.12b]So not only do we overlook to thank the Creator, we often credit things or objects other than He.For example, when the problem is solved, do we feel good about our intelligence, skills andabilities? The last part of Verse 10.12 warns us about such elated feelings,
…Thus do the deeds of transgressors seem fair in their eyes!
[10.12c]The Creator classifies such ingratitude as
– crossing the boundaries of rightfuland proper behavior. Ingratitude seriously displeases the Creator – He warns about such unfair feelings,
But when He delivers them behold! They transgress insolently through the earth indefiance of right! O mankind!
Your insolence is against your own souls
an enjoyment of the life of the present: in the end to Us is your return and We shall show you the truth of all that you did.
[10.23]The trouble that we face or calamities that occur in our communities are tests.
Now when trouble touches man he cries to Us;…Nay but
this is but a trial but most of them understand not!
[39.49]The Creator also enlightens us as to the nature of tests as well as what is classified asappropriate behavior by Him.
Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil) but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Whosay when afflicted with calamity: "To Allah we belong and to Him is our return." They arethose on whom (descend) blessings and Mercy from Allah and they are the ones thatreceive guidance.
[2.155 – 2.157]