How are Muslims informed by their religion to view large-scale natural disasters? In Islam, does God control those phenomena?

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    I am not Muslim, but perhaps one view to consider: maybe Allah (God from the question) could control every event, were it his will. That does not necessarily mean that He is required to cause/intervene in every event - some (many? most?) may run their course naturally. Perhaps that is a compromise between a fairly deterministic naturalistic viewpoint, that is compatible with the omnipotent Allah (God from the question) viewpoint. I do not see that naturalistic studies are required to be in competition with Islam, or incompatible with Islam. Aug 13, 2012 at 22:49

2 Answers 2


In Islam, does God control those phenomena?

Yes, it is God who controls natural disasters. For example, in the quran, when a natural disaster occurs, it is Allah who commands the earth, sky, water, etc. to act upon what Allah decrees.

When the sky has split,
And has responded to its Lord and was obligated [to do so]
And when the earth has been extended,
And has cast out that within it and relinquished [it]
And has responded to its Lord and was obligated [to do so]
Surat Al-'Inshiqāq (The Sundering) 84: 1-5

These ayat explain that whenever the earth does something, the reason is because it is responding to Allah's command.

How are Muslims informed by their religion to view large-scale natural disasters?

We dont know every specific reason as to why Allah does these things, but obviously there is a reasoning behind it.

"...Indeed, I know that which you do not know."
Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:30

So although we do not not know the specific reason we do know that when somthing bad happens to a person, it is usually either a test or a punishment.

“(The apostles were sent) thus, for thy Lord would not destroy for their wrong-doing men’s habitations whilst their occupants were unwarned.”
Surat Al-'An`ām (The Cattle) 6:131

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,
Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:155

Also, not every bad person recives punishment:

He will forgive whom He will and He will punish whom He will. Allah is Able to do all things
Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:284

These "bad" things aren't necessarily bad either; if somone is being punished, then it's somthing they deserve, and if it is a test, they they may be getting closer to their Lord through their ordeals.


Question #1: Please explain me the natural disasters that occurs in the world

They are the fact of this world. They are not any kind of punishment. They just happen.

Question #2: cant it be controlled by the god?

Of course. Every thing is controlled by Allah.

Extra Question #1: Why is Allah sending those bad disasters to us?

They are not bad; "bad" is differently defined in the Book of Allah. They happen to both good and bad people, even come upon sinless animals. They are just reduction in rizk, which means the all kinds of capitals given by Allah to keep our lives on in this planet.

Allah orders us not to rebel when our rizk gets reduced:

فَأَمَّا الْإِنسَانُ إِذَا مَا ابْتَلَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَأَكْرَمَهُ وَنَعَّمَهُ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّي أَكْرَمَنِ
And as for man, when his Lord tries him and [thus] is generous to him and favors him, he says, "My Lord has offered (offerings) to me.".
وَأَمَّا إِذَا مَا ابْتَلَاهُ فَقَدَرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقَهُ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّي أَهَانَنِ
But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, "My Lord has betrayed me.".
Fecr 15-16 (89/15-16)

Allah orders to be patient for these kind of encounters:

يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا أَصَابَكَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ
(Lokman says to his son:) "O my son , establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination."
Lokman 17 (31/17)


Extra Question #2: But Allah says in Quran that a lot of ancient societies were destroyed by natural disasters because of their bad deeds they made by their own hands. How do you explain this?

The typical types of destruction of ancient societies are listed to be in Quran as
- drowning in rising water
- a piece falling from sky
- a powerful instantaneous sound
- punishment coming from sky
These are not natural disaster. They symbolize realistic problems that born in corrupted societies. This is simile exposition, just a way of symbolic telling. It is widely used in Quran.
This is a different and complex matter. Just keep in mind that the natural disasters in Quran are not actual natural disasters.

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