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Phenomenon of Natural Disasters and Divine Punishment

Summary of Friday Sermon

delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

January 27th, 2006

NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon

Citing verse 118 of Surah Hud (11:118) Huzuraba delivered his Friday Sermon on the phenomenon of Natural Disasters and Divine Punishment.

Huzuraba said recently huge natural calamities have taken place during the time of Jalsa Salana Qadian; the 2003 earthquake in Iran and the tsunami of 2004. Furthermore Huzuraba mentioned the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Huzuraba briefly touched upon the heavy destruction caused by this earthquake and the depravation the victims are enduring in the chaotic aftermath exasperated by the severe cold weather conditions where survival has become a challenge. Huzuraba mentioned Humanity First’s continued aid efforts here and said that it was our obligation to serve humankind.

Huzuraba said many ask him if these were Divine punishments then why were the innocent killed in these disasters? He said the Promised Messiahas has expounded this matter but before citing his writings Huzuraba wished to give a few references of the outlook of Pakistan religious scholars in the wake of the October 2005 earthquake, all collected from newspapers.

A Dr. Mufti Qadri wrote that the earthquake was an admonitory sign for the masses and the rulers; for the masses because although they professed Shahada their deeds brought it in bad repute. It was a moment for concern for the religious scholars in light of the current sectarian violence which has reached an extent that people of some sects are killing people of the other sects. A Salahudin Yusuf Sahib wrote that it was time to reform; that when kufr (non-belief) exceeds limits Allah sends a deterrent. Explaining the death of innocents he quoted a hadith that when Allah’s chastisement comes everyone is destroyed but on the Day of Judgment the reckoning will be according to each person’s intentions. He wrote that this calamity was not a sign of the advent of Jesusas.

A Hafiz Idrees Sahib wrote quoting a hadith that time when bounty of war will be made personal property and there will be an increase in the number of singing women and the sounds from the mosques will grow louder that is when people will face earthquakes. He wrote that this earthquake was a consequence of ‘our negligence’ and had nothing to do with the advent of Jesusas that it was a warning to turn to our Master.

Huzuraba said although his comments were accurate his inference was flawed.

A Ropri Sahib wrote that when a body of people exceeds in disobedience then they are Divinely punished. Professor Abdur Rahman Ludhianawi wrote that this was a warning to reform. He said that the tsunami had also struck where people had exceeded limits. He said although the earthquake was a sign about, it could not be considered definitive as regards the advent of Jesusas. A Hafiz Raza Sahib wrote that the earthquake was a warning for the Muslims to turn to the Master. He said the Holy Qur’an mentions accounts of earlier nations who were destroyed. He said the sign of the advent of Imam Mahdi (the Messiah) is that evil will be prevalent, therefore the earthquake could be considered a sign; however his advent will be when evil will exceed limits! Huzuraba remarked so the limits have not exceeded yet! A Hafiz Abdul Mannan wrote that the earthquake was a consequence of negligence and a lesson in the fact that when Allah decrees there is no respite.

Huzuraba said all these people acknowledge that this calamity came because there were and still are wrongdoings; however it is not enough to merely acknowledge. The advent of the Messiah has taken place and it is the command of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) to accept him, there have been heavenly signs to substantiate his coming, so what is it they await now? Since 1905, when the big earthquake took place in Kangra, India during the lifetime of the Promised Messiahas, these signs are repeatedly appearing and are therefore a warning for each Muslim as well as non-Muslim.

Huzuraba said in the past 1,100 years there had been eleven massive (death toll exceeding 50,000) earthquakes, yet since 1905 thirteen such earthquakes have occurred. Huzuraba said he noticed the perspective with which the Western world welcomed the new millennium was purely materialistic and hedonistic while God was totally forgotten. Huzuraba said in the last hundred years (from 1900 to 2000) the distress caused by man-made disasters was immense; in wars spread across 35 countries ninety five million people lost their lives.

This century so far major disasters have taken place, among them the Iran earthquake, the tsunami, the Pakistan earthquake and the havoc created by hurricane Katrina in USA.

Huzuraba said the advent of the Holy Prophetsaw was for the entire world and his Messiah was also for the whole world and that is why these disasters are spread all over. Huzuraba said it was our duty to tell everyone that prevention from these disasters is in recognising God.

Huzuraba read a couple of further relevant excerpts from Pakistani newspapers dating 1992 one quoting verse 11 of Surah Al Qamar (54:11), Huzuraba said that in this age there is only one person who prayed to Allah for help in this way and since 1905 Divine signs have been manifesting themselves. Huzuraba said these preaching religious scholars should do some soul-searching as to where they stand.

With reference to the Promised Messiah’sas writings elucidating why innocent lives are also lost in disasters Huzuraba related the famine of Mecca when the poor lost their lives and the wicked Abu Jahl survived saying that the chastisement is only for the wrongdoer, the innocent are martyrs and they have glad-tidings. Referring to San-Francisco earthquakes occurring in his times the Promised Messiah said he did not consider that those occurred because of the rejection of his truth but that the denial of his truth has been a cause of the earthquakes, because Allah states in the Holy Qur’an that the punishment of disaster does not befall people unless a prophet has been sent to them (26:209). Huzuraba said the religious scholars he had quoted earlier who denied that the earthquake was a sign of the advent of the Messiah were surely not accepting this Quranic verse.

The Promised Messiahas said the victims of the San Francisco earthquakes were killed due to their past sins however, this was a sign of his advent, as he had written in Braheen e Ahmadiyya that many earthquakes will take place in his time and this will be a sign of his truth. In short it is the way of Allah that when His prophets are rejected disasters occur and all and sundry lose lives in that God’s sense of honour is aroused, however, the big culprit’s time comes in the end.

Huzuraba said that unless the people of this world accepted the message of the Promised Messiahas they will not be saved.

Huzuraba prayed that may we keep our hearts pure and take God’s message to others and may by means of the prayers of the Promised Messiahas we and our generations to come maintain the distinction through which the difference between us and others is evident.