Allah subhaanahu wa ta’ala (praise and exhalation be to Him) tests his servants with good and evil to make clear where they stand when it befalls them. There are some who repent to their Lord and consider these calamities and events as a wake up call from negligence and disobedience. Therefore, these calamities are good for them, even if they attained from them something which they disliked. There are also people who do not learn from what transpired and consider it something natural saying:
“Our fathers [also] were touched with hardship and ease.” [Surah Al-A’raaf 7:95]
They call that what transpires “natural disasters” and thus attributing it to nature. This is because they do not believe in Allah, they believe with weak Iman and have lost their way, or they follow someone else in that without reflecting over the statement’s meaning. It is obligatory for the believer’s speech to coincide with his Iman.
Allah subhaanahu (praise be to He) mentions that whoever does not learn from the current affairs that He will do one of two things to him: either He will hasten a punishment for him or he will lure him with blessing and then take him by surprise. This is as Allah said:
“So when they forgot that by which they had been reminded, We opened to them the doors of every [good] thing until, when they rejoiced in that which they were given, We seized them suddenly, and they were [then] in despair.” [Surah Al-An’aam 6:44]
Surely in our time we see great events and those around us are consumed with revolutions. In them (have come) trials: countries have fallen, blood has been spilled, money has been wasted, and houses have been destroyed. There are very few who admonish, fear, ponder, and admonish their people so that possibly they will turn back (from doing such actions); rather, it is the opposite with us. In these days there are those who call to women’s freedom, removal of the Hijab, uncovering, and the free-mixing between men and women with women working as their reasoning. There are those from us who call to the opening of theaters and cinemas, until the point where some of the people responsible declare in the newspapers without any fear or shame. They do not learn from what is taking place around us from disasters and calamities that have swept whole communities as Allah said:
“Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness].” [Surah Al-Room 30:41]
The fortunate one is the one who takes heed from others. The one who is responsible for the country is obligated to be abreast of his responsibility because it is a trust. He has to seek uprightness and prohibit things that lead to corruption. People today specialize in corruption by embezzling money. This is a type of corruption and greater than that is corruption in the religious and character. We are in need of callers with that (religion and character), who admonish, and are direct when they admonish. Wa la howla wa la quwata ella billah (there is no might and no power except with Allah).
(In conclusion,) it is obligatory upon everyone to fear Allah, advise with truth and patience, and work together upon righteousness and piety. Surely NOT working together is transgression and aggression.
I send peace and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his companions.
[Written by: Shaykh Saalih bin Fowzan Al-Fowzan (may Allah preserve him)|Date: 16 Safar, 1433 H — 1 January, 2010 CE|This article can be viewed in its original Arabic form on the Shaykh’s website.|Translated by: Abdul-Malik Merchant]