Have fear and consciousness of Allah, the Most High, and ponder over events that happen around you. Learn lessons from them and remember, for the intelligent one is he who remembers and takes admonition.
The topic of this khutbah is the destructive earthquake that hit part of Turkey. The earthquake which caused thousands of people to die, caused loss of wealth and properties, and forced people to seek refuge outside of their dwellings, now being without their home and their wealth, and without food and drink. The earthquake which turned security into fear, richness into poverty, caused joined families to depart, and turned life into death. Without doubt, in it is a lesson for those who take lessons and a reminder for those who remember, so that they may return to their Lord and their Creator.
The Truthful, the Chosen one (as-Sadiq al-Mustafah), peace be upon him, has informed us that a multitude of earthquakes is a sign of the proximity of the Hour. He informed us that they would be many at the end of the time.
Ahmad relates in a hadith (tradition) narrated by Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said:
"The Hour will not happen until knowledge is taken out, time passes quickly, earthquakes increase in number, fitan (tribulations) appear, and al-harj increases in number."
It was said, "What is al-harj, O Messenger of Allah?" He said:
"Al-qatl, al-qatl (killing)."
A lot of what is mentioned in this hadith has already materialized.
Happenings of earthquakes and the like from other destructive and disastrous events are the greatest evidence of the astonishing power of Allah, the Most High. Earthquakes are from among the soldiers of Allah, the Exalted, subjected to His order. He, the Most Just, causes fear in the hearts of those whom He wills, teaches lessons whom He wills and punishes whom He wills.
"And none can know the forces of your Lord, except He." [Al-Qur'an 74:31]
"For to Allah belong the forces of the heavens and the earth." [Al-Qur'an 48:7]
If this ummah (Nation) leaves Allah's shari'ah (law), ignores the din (religion) of Allah, the Most High, and follows its enemies, Allah will subjugate it to His armies, which no one knows except He. From among these armies are the earthquakes.
"Such is the Seizure of your Lord when He seizes the towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His Seizure is painful and severe." [Al-Qur'an 11:102]
"When We decide to destroy a town, We (first) send a definite order (to obey Allah and be righteous) to those among them who are given the good things of this life. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against (them). Then we destroy it with complete destruction." [Al-Qur'an 17:16]
Allah, the Most High, with this earthquake makes clear to His servants a plain reality, that the kingdom of the heavens and the earth is in His Hands and that He is the Irresistible and Dominant over His servants.
Some people may be astonished by what the West has from the materialistic power, from various weapons, aircraft carriers, bombs, satellites etc., and they forget that Allah, the Most Merciful, allowed that piece of land to move and shake, being able to shake the force of the West and the East. Everything is in His Hands, He has power over all things, and no one in the Heavens and the Earth can weaken Him, the Most High. Appearance of the earthquakes therefore points us to a different reality that may be absent in the minds of some people, those who are busy with this world and who are servants of materialism.
This earthquake also reminds us of the Day of Judgment. The Day when all of the Earth will shake, and not only one part of it. Allah says:
"O mankind! Fear your Lord and be dutiful to Him! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour is a terrible thing. The Day you shall see it, every nursing mother will forget her nursling, and every pregnant one shall drop her load, and you shall see mankind as in a drunken state. Yet they will not be drunken, but the Torment of Allah will be severe." [Al-Qur'an 22:1-2]
Look what is left after the earthquake from destroyed buildings and houses, deaths of thousands, and families seeking refuge outside of their homes. What state is that in which everyone is running away, caring about nothing? So what do you think of the Day of Judgment?
"That Day shall a man flee from his own brother, and from his mother and his father, and from his wife and his children." [Al-Qur'an 80:34-36]
"One the day (when the first blowing of the Trumpet is blown), the earth and the mountains will shake violently." [Al-Qur'an 79:6]
Allah, the Most High, warns His servants with this earthquake to learn a lesson and be admonished, and to be ready and prepare themselves for the Day of sorting out, the day of the great earthquake, that will shake all of the earth.
Allah has placed in this universe sunan, fixed and manifest laws, neither do they change nor are they replaceable. He does not have any kinship with anyone, He is the sole Creator and Ruler, and He will question and hold accountable everyone, including prophets and messengers.
"Then surely, We shall question those to whom it (the Book) was sent and We shall question the Messengers." [Al-Qur'an 7:6]
From among the established sunan of Allah is that He does not send punishment except due to sin and He does not remove it except after repentance. Allah says:
"Whatever misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned." [Al-Qur'an 42:30]
Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, says:
"Evil and mischief have appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah)." [Al-Qur'an 30:41]
Every disaster and every calamity that befalls the servants is due to their sins and wrongdoing. So know, servants of Allah, what wrongdoing does to its doers.
What has taken Adam and Eve from Jannah (Paradise) except wrongdoing, and what Has drowned all of the people on the earth at the time of Nuh (Noah), to the point that water reached the peak of mountains, except wrongdoing?
Who is it who sent the furious violent wind upon the people of 'Ad, so that they were seen lying overthrown and destroyed, as if they were hollow trunks of palm-trees? Who is it who sent the awful cry upon the people of Thamud until it cut their hearts inside their bodies, and they all fell dead without exception? Who lifted the villages of the people of Lut (Lot) till the angels heard barking of their dogs, then turned them upside down, and then rained upon them a rain of stones?
That is the immediate punishment for wrongdoing: drowning, fire, earthquakes, destruction, famine, raging wind ...
"And the torment of the hereafter is far more severe and more lasting." [Al-Qur'an 20:127]
Do we not take admonition and lesson? Allah, the Most High, says:
"Did We not destroy the ancients? So shall We make the later generations to follow them. Thus do We deal with the mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, sinners.). Woe that Day to the deniers (of the Day of Resurrection)!" [Al-Qur'an 77:16-19]
The earthquake of Turkey is just a warning from Allah, the Most Beneficent, not only to the people of that country alone, but rather to the Muslims in general, in all lands - that they may return to their Lord and their din. Otherwise a punishment will come upon them. Allah, the Most High, says:
"So We seized each of them for his sins." [Al-Qur'an 29:40]
Many of the Muslims today have gathered many sins. We see those who delay and neglect prayers, eat haram (that which is forbidden), deal with riba (interest), do not fulfil their trusts, order the evil and forbid the good. Those who indulge in mixing, display of awrah, listening to music and songs, and those who have abandoned the Qur'an. All these exist in our society. Let us fear Allah and preserve what we have from the blessings, for wrongdoing removes blessings, rather it changes it to a curse. And let us be warned of an evil end, for Allah gives us a chance but is not neglectful. What has happened to the previous nations and some of the current ones will happen to us if we obey the Shaytan (Devil) and go far from the path of the Most Merciful. These are the sunan of Allah that will never change.
"Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the Heaven, will not cause the earth to sink with you, then behold it shakes (as in an earthquake)? Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) was My Warning." [Al-Qur'an 67:16-17]
Let us pause and ask ourselves what has been the tangible impact on us since we have heard and seen this earthquake, and what it has left from the mighty and scary destruction that makes the hearts bleed. The happy one is one who learns from the calamity of others, and the sad one is by whom these calamities pass while he takes no lesson from them.
Just recently the sun eclipsed, then followed the floods, then the strong wind, and then this earthquake happened. The people are still as they were before, you see no change. You do not see people going back to the path of Allah and you do not see any crowds in mosques. It is unfortunate that the explanation offered for these events is that they are normal natural disasters, and that they do not link it to what happens to people due to their wrongdoing. Theirs is clearly an incorrect interpretation.
"And We sent not the signs except to warn, and to make them afraid (of destruction)." [Al-Qur'an 17:59]
(s) A khutbah (sermon) delivered by the Shaykh, given on 27th August 1999 after a major earthquake in Turkey