The world has recently experienced many natural disasters. The tsunami, the earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, floods, droughts, and volcanic eruptions are some of the natural disasters that have inflicted the world in recent times.
Natural disasters can be viewed as either part of the “problem of evil”, or as part of nature’s warning system. Many philosophers regard these calamities as signs of nature’s evil. Allah’s Prophets, however, regard them as scaled down previews of the much greater calamity which will befall man on the Day of Resurrection.
These calamities are a powerful reminder that we are all headed for that day on which we shall finally witness the appearance of Allah before us in all His Glory and Power. On that day when the veil which has screened us from the truth will be taken away and we will be left, face to face, with our Maker.
Our first instinct, as we always do, will be to flee. But there will be nowhere to go. We will cry out for help, but there will be no one to come to our rescue. We will be like the mountain climber who sees no escape from an avalanche.
Wise is the man who see in such calamities a warning of nature rather than as some sort of senseless evil. The one who recognises the warnings inherent in such natural disasters will humble himself before his Lord and attempt, once again, to bring moral order into the chaos of his life. These calamities serve a vital function in terms of bringing us closer to Allah and causing us to seek Him out in the first place. He will thus set his foot on the path to Paradise.
On the other hand, the one who sees in natural disasters only signs of nature’s apparent evil, will surely find himself on the slippery downward path to damnation and destruction.