I am married to a convert to Islam and he oftens asks me this Question; " Why does Allah bring suffering to small children, example the Tsunami, so many children suffered pain both physically and mentally,
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Dear Brother Burhan
I am married to a convert to Islam and he oftens asks me this Question; " Why does Allah bring suffering to small children, example the Tsunami, so many children suffered pain both physically and mentally, so many were orphaned to live alone for the rest of their lives. We understand loss of life caused by battles and wars as they are man made things, but Tsunami was a natural disaster. Allah has control over the sea and the earth so why did the Tsunami cause pain to children, surely they are too young to be punished for their actions or even their parent`s actions. Please can you answer this question for me I would be very grateful
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In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 21 Surah Anbiya verse 35:
Every living being has to taste death! And We are putting all of you to trial by passing you through good and bad conditions, and ultimately you shall all return to Us.
Allah Subhanah guides mankind in His Revelation that this world is but a place of test where every single soul in under absolute observation to see what he does and says during the Decreed good and bad conditions laid upon them by their All-Wise Lord; the result of this test will be declared by Allah Subhanah only on the Day of Judgment.
The natural disasters and calamities that occur are no more than a Sign from Allah Subhanah that all the forces in the Universe are at His Disposal Alone, and in a split-second everyone and everything that seemed secure in their cozy habitats can be recalled at the Will of their Lord; thus regardless of the defenses man builds for himself and his property, nothing, absolutely nothing can save him and his property from the Will and Decree of His Creator.
Man has the uncanny habit of forgetting the Reality when everything is going well; and these natural disasters are but a Sign from their Lord so that man would humble himself and remember their Lord and their ultimate meeting with Him on an Inevitable Day.
It is not the Will and Decision of the Lord Creator that these natural disasters only uproot the evil amongst mankind; for that would mean that the results of the test are declared in this world itself! But when these natural disasters strike with the Will and Permission of Allah, all the inhabitants, regardless of whether they are good or evil, sinners or innocent, all are equally effected. By this method, the All-Wise All-Knowing Lord makes one survivor a test for the others.
The innocent children who are orphaned are a test for their guardians and the society, the innocent children whose lives are taken away are a test for the parents patience, etc. Allah Subhanah by this method Wills to determine who amongst mankind regards His Signs as a Sign and amends his conduct, and who amongst them disregards His Signs and continues in their evil ways. Who amongst mankind helps one another during their times of trial, and who amongst mankind takes advantage of these conditions of his fellow man to unscrupulously gain some material benefit for himself!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verses 155-157:
We will surely put you to trial by involving you in fear and hunger and causing loss of property, life and earnings. And give good tidings to those who remain steadfast in these trials. When a misfortune comes to them, they say: We are Allahs, and we shall certainly return to Him. Their Lord will bestow great blessings and mercy upon them. Such are the people who are rightly guided.
Thus beloved sister, the calamity that these Signs of Allah Subhanah bring upon mankind is not as a result of their individual virtue or sin; but as a Sign and a Reminder from their Lord Creator for those who survive these disasters.
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 5450 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah
Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "When booty is taken in turns, property given in trust is treated as spoil, zakat is looked on as a fine, learning is acquired for other than a religious purpose, a man obeys his wife and is unfilial towards his mother, he brings his friend near and drives his father far off, voices are raised in the mosques, the most wicked member of a tribe becomes its ruler, the most worthless member of a people becomes its leader, a man is honored through fear of the evil he may do, singing-girls and stringed instruments make their appearance, wines are drunk, and the last members of this people curse the first ones, look at that time for a violent wind, an earthquake, being swallowed up by the earth, metamorphosis, pelting rain, and Signs following one another like bits of a necklace falling one after the other when its string is cut."
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.146 Narrated by Abu Huraira
The Prophet (saws) said, "The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until (religious) knowledge will be taken away, earthquakes will be very frequent, time will pass quickly, afflictions will appear, murders will increase and money will overflow amongst you."
Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4265 Narrated by Abu Musa
The Prophet (saws) said: This people of mine (the Believing Ummah) is one to which Mercy is shown. It will have no punishment in the next world, but its punishment in this world will be trials, earthquakes and being killed!
Most of mankind regard these manifest Signs of Allah Subhanah as mere natural misfortunes and continue to live their lives without fear or realization of the Reality! They assume that only those near the coast can be effected by Tsunamis and Hurricanes and the earthquakes can only bring disaster upon those who live on the so-called belts! Little do they realize that they are always only a moment away from being recalled from this earth to be presented before their Creator to give a full accounting of their deeds!
Thus in conclusion, rest assured sister that these natural disasters are no more than a Command Decreed by the Lord Most Majestic and a Manifest Sign from the Lord Most Merciful to awaken those who survive it to amend their conduct before they are recalled back to their Lord. All those who are killed in these natural disasters were Decreed their time of death by their Lord; the innocent ones amongst them will be honored by their Lord and the guilty ones will be prescribed their due punishments.
The real question that you and I need to ask ourselves is: do we accept these disasters as a Sign from our Lord and amend our conduct in preparation for our Day of Accounting, or do we rest assured assuming these disasters will not strike us and continue our lives as before?
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,