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Generally Muslims believe when God is not happy with us, or something is seriously going wrong on earth, he sends some type of destruction to the people in one form or another. It could be wind (hurricane,) earth (Earthquake,) sea (Tsunami,) and other forms. Some say it is for punishing the people who are on wrong path or warning the people that are doing something wrong.

Is this a correct belief in Islam? Is there evidence that supports this? Note that Christians also have the same belief.

My question is not about natural disasters in general, which can come in an enormous number of forms that no one can think about at one time. My question is about Earthquakes, hurricanes and tusnamis that were known at the time of the prophet, and we can probably find some reference to it.

  • a same question :islam.stackexchange.com/questions/2150/… – Zahra Ezati Sep 6 '12 at 18:05
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    that question is relevant. But my question is about belief that they come from God because he is not happy with us I want to clarify this belief because it is so common in Islam (and Christianity) and an important aspect of religion. – muslim1 Sep 6 '12 at 18:15
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    Many Christians believe that God will not punish humans during life again after the great flood. However, in practice many other Christians believe that anything that goes wrong is a sign from God. If you lose your keys, it's because God didn't want you to drive (for a poor example). Please consider reading this passage of the bible. – user206 Sep 7 '12 at 0:57
  • If tsunamis and earthquakes are a result of sin, then the Japanese, Indonesians, and Hawaiians must be the most sinful people in the world. – Muz Sep 9 '12 at 10:07
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Allah almighty said in Quran:

Yusuf Ali:

Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because on the things your hands have wrought, and for many (of them) He grants forgiveness. http://tanzil.net/#42:30

“The things your hands have wrought" means sins done. All kind of sin. Commuting a Haram act or even morally bothering others. Or even forgetting to say Bismillah at start of works.

Also Allah does not have emotions or any change to become happy or angry.

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  • I want a clarification regarding the statement "Also Allah does not have emotions or any change to become happy or angry". Then what about the anger of Allah mentioned in these verses - 1:7, 2:61, 2:90, 3:112 ? – Abdullah Sep 8 '12 at 10:38
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    @Abdullah they are metaphor and not emotions like human. because becoming angry includes change in God and such God is not limited and will not be absolute. change is when a amount change from one level to another level. but every attribute of God are absolute without any limit. none of your verse mentions God BECOMES angry. but verses mean some people INCLUDE in angry names of God. as you know God has names and each name is a law and human depending his deeds include one or more names of God. for example رحیم (special merciful)does not include all people but only who deserve it based on deeds – Battle of Karbala Sep 8 '12 at 10:51
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    @Abdullah also a Hadith from Imam Baqir a.s. (5th Imam of Shia Islam) when he was asked what is angry of God in Quran? says: Qazab (angry) of Allah is his punishment. because if one think Allah changes from one state to another state has attributes property of creatures to Allah because nothing exist that can affect Allah to can make change in Allah. – Battle of Karbala Sep 8 '12 at 11:03
  • @Ahmadi can you please clarify the verse. What is its interpretation. – muslim1 Sep 8 '12 at 14:11
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    @Thecrocodilehunter the verse says any disaster is a result of sin done. disaster in this verse is general and includes sick, earthquake, not having beard, injury, accident,... and says Allah forgives many of them and only sends disaster for some. there are many hadith from Ahl Bayt using this Hadith to explain it when one had a bad accident. of one asked why I have no beard or one his chair broken and injured near Imam Ali a.s. and other hadith. – Battle of Karbala Sep 11 '12 at 11:19
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My answer uses references of explanation from famous contemporary sunni scholars who have addressed this issue. Those include Shaykh Al-Allaamah Muqbil Ibn Haadee Al-Waadi’ee and Shaykh Al-Allaamah Abdul-Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz, May Allah have mercy on them.

Shaykh Muqbil had written a book with regards to this matter: ‘Asbaabu Zilzaal’ (The Reasons for Earthquakes) and similar calamities.

The shaykh mentions Surah Al-'A`raf 94:99 where Allah says:

And We sent to no city a prophet [who was denied] except that We seized its people with poverty and hardship that they might humble themselves [to Allah ].

Then We exchanged in place of the bad [condition], good, until they increased [and prospered] and said, "Our fathers [also] were touched with hardship and ease." So We seized them suddenly while they did not perceive.

And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah , We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning."

Then, did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them at night while they were asleep?

Or did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them in the morning while they were at play?

Then did they feel secure from the plan of Allah ? But no one feels secure from the plan of Allah except the losing people.

If you pay attention to these Ayah, you see that from the reasons for destruction and from the reasons for these calamities that have takes place, is disobedience to the Messengers of Allaah.

The people go about as Allaah mentions, in the day and in the night and some of them go to sleep in disobedience to Allaah. Not having any awareness and not being aware of that which Allaah has in plan for them in punishment and in seizing them.Or those who go about in the forenoon playing and going about their normal business in the day and not concerning themselves with that which they have done from disobedience, until Allaah takes and sends a tremendous punishment and calamity upon them and calls them to account for that which they had done. So clearly we see, and do not be mistaken, that which we have seen from destruction, and that which we have seen from death, is from the punishment of Allaah; for those who have belied the Messengers, and those who have disbelieved in the Messengers, and for those who have disobeyed the Messengers of Allaah.

Then the Shaykh mentions Surah Al-Isra 17:58-59 where Allah says:

And there is no city but that We will destroy it before the Day of Resurrection or punish it with a severe punishment. That has ever been in the Register inscribed.

And nothing has prevented Us from sending signs except that the former peoples denied them. And We gave Thamud the she-camel as a visible sign, but they wronged her. And We send not the signs except as a warning.

So Allaah sent many signs to the people of the earth, past and present.He has sent them Messengers with revelations to their people to call them to that which is correct, and to that which is good, and to Tawheed, and to obedience to Allah. But these people belied the Messengers, and they denied the signs of Allaah, and therefore Allaah took them, as we mentioned, with terrible punishment.

I do not want to narrate the whole article but you can read it here.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said with reference to same ayah in his advice regarding the earthquakes:

He predestines them (earthquakes) to make His servants fear Him, reminds them of what they have to do and warn them against Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), disobeying His commands and violating His prohibitions.

Then he mentions some ayah and a hadith with which I will wind up my answer:

Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says:

We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur’ân) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things? [Surah Fussilat : 53]

Allah (Exalted be He) also says:

Say: "He has power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to cover you with confusion in party strife, and make you to taste the violence of one another." [Surah Al-'Anam :65]

There is a hadith with regard to above ayah:

Al-Bukhari narrated in his Sahih on the authority of Jabir Ibn `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said when Allah's saying was revealed:

Say: "He has power to send torment on you from above

the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

"I seek refuge in You."

Allah (Exalted be He) says:

...or from under your feet

the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

"I seek refuge in You." [Al-Bukhari , Book on Tafsir, no.4262]

Then he quotes from Abu Al-Shaykh Al-Ashahany, his interpretation of the ayah

Abu Al-Shaykh Al-Asbahany reported from Mujahid in the interpretation of Allah's saying: Say: "He has power to send torment on you from above he said that it means an awful cry or a stone. ...or from under your feet he said: "It means an earthquake and causing the earth to swallow them.

Then he says:

There is no doubt that what happens these days of earthquakes in many countries are of these portents that Allah (Exalted be He) brings to make His servant fear Him. All the earthquakes that happen in this world and other things that cause harm to people are because of Shirk and evil deeds.

Read the complete treatise here.

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    Given the "all the earthquakes" in the last paragraph, how is this rationalised with the fact that we have an advanced science of seismology, that understands earthquakes, their physical causes, and has predictive capability over them? Is Allah mainly upset by people living near tectonic fault lines? – Marc Gravell Sep 8 '12 at 13:23
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    @MarcGravell You understand those physical causes, there is a predictive capability. But, can all of them still run away from it or stop it? Why are there still casualities? Why does such disasters still cause fear in the minds of people. This is not in general to only earthquakes but all kind of natural calamities which happens in most of the places. But, I cannot speak for Allah or whom he is angry with. I can only show what he has said in Qur'an. – Abdullah Sep 8 '12 at 13:26
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    "why fear" and "can...stop it" are linked - the answer is simple: these are immense releases of tectonic energy - which can have catestrophic consequences - so yes: they are genuinely scary, and no: we can't stop them. That doesn't change their nature, though. – Marc Gravell Sep 8 '12 at 13:29
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    @MarcGravell Now, the movement of those tectonic plates could be predestined by God and all the causes could be predestined. We, as muslims, attribute the controller of activities of the universe to God. In the end, we cannot stop them and we are put to fear and we can either shrug away saying it is nature or see the signs of God in it. That is what differentiates believer from a disbeliever. – Abdullah Sep 8 '12 at 13:32
  • @Abdullah ah, thanks - I think I understand the Islamic view better now. – Marc Gravell Sep 8 '12 at 13:41

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