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Lessons should be learned from these disasters

19 October, 2005

By Ahmer Muzammil


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Allah swt says in Quran By Al-ASR (Time). Verily mankind is in Loss. Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Maroof) which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience.

Pakistan is encountering one the fiercest natural calamity of its existence. To this day more than 40,000 have lost their lives; this number will surely increase in future mostly due to the inability and incompetence of the Government of Pakistan and the authorities responsible for addressing this situation. More than 55 hours have gone by and still there are regions that have received no help, NONE whatsoever. Regardless of the fact that the people of Pakistan and the international community (Just the American Muslim community alone has pledged 20 Million Dollars) has answered the call with uncanny generosity. The reason of this inaptitude is the mere fact that this govt. is at a complete loss right now. They have no clue as how or what to do, when or where to do it. The president of Pakistan graced us in a spiffy suit with a TV address stating that all will be well soon, how? He didnt say, nor do I think he knows, he is doing photo ops like the rest of the cabinet and the prime minister, while the ravaged, brutalized, agonized country folk are forced to eat grass (Literally!).

Thanks to the Pakistani TV Channels we in the USA are getting live feeds from the disaster region and the pictures of young children trapped in rabble, injured being carried on make-shift stretchers for hundreds of miles on foot, dead corpses lying on streets for the stray dogs to gouge on, these are the pictures that should be enough for anyone to fear the wrath of the All-mighty Allah. My wife cries at everything, a sad scenario in soap is enough for her to get emotional. So her reaction to these horrific visual images were quite expected, it was the question that followed that made me do a little sole searching. She asked, why of all places Kashmir? Havent these poor people seen enough despair for a life time? I struggled with this same quandary myself when tsunami delivered havoc on the shores of small poor fishing towns in Sri Lanka. I got my reply in a TV interview, where a well know Islamic Scholar Javed Ahmed Ghamidi said, that this world is an examination hall. People go through two type of tests, one is the test of patience, despair, disaster misery etc. and the other is the test of luxury, wealth, happiness etc. The former test is obvious and in my opinion comparatively easier, because if you think about it when you are tested with despair, you remember Allah and stay humble. Its the latter test that one should be very mindful of. When you have wealth, health and all the luxuries of the world then its easier to forget Allah swt, its easier to feel that this wealth that you have accumulated is some how your own doing and its because of your own strug gle, this attitude can make one cocky, proud, stingy and arrogant. The messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah swt be on him) said that a person who has a molecule worth of arrogance wont even smell paradise, all the Happy brothers and sisters should check themselves.

The liberals and the atheist make the mistake of expecting all the results and the answers in this world, where as Allah swt clearly tells us that the reward or the results will be handed out in the here-after. Children that have lost their lives in this earthquake are inshAllah in heaven, this is our belief, our religious scholars tells us that Allah swt will surely reward people in the hereafter according to the hardships they encountered in this world. One should never pray for hardships but the messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah swt be on him) said that the first amongst the people to enter the paradise would be the poor amongst the mohajiroon. This in no way implies that Islam advocates people staying poor and one should not strive for the worldly successes, quite the contrary. One should work hard in anything that he/she does but should always be mindful that everything is from Allah swt. As Muslims we should have a very clear understanding of this fact that its all about the hereafter. If one is a billionaire but he is not fulfilling his duties towards Allah swt and the duties of the human beings that he is living amongst, eventually that will take him to hell, so in hindsight he will be a loser because for a worldly life which couldnt be more than 100 years he jeopardized the life which is going to be forever. This also puts things in perspective. When one is hit with a calamity or despair, he/she should ask forgiveness from Allah swt and should stand firm on their deen with the faith that this despair is a test from Allah swt and inshAllah this despair will bring fruits in the hereafter. Like I said earlier this doesnt mean we should pray for despair, but the fact of the matter is that Paradise is Purest of pure. Therefore impurity will not be admitted in Paradise. We commit sins right and left every second, then how is it that we can enter paradise? First thing is that we need to ask for forgiveness from Allah swt for all our sins, InshAllah Allah swt will forgive them. The ones that are not forgiven will be compensated with the hardships (financial, sickness, emotional etc.) that we encounter in this world. If we still have a balance then the punishment in the grave will wipe off some of our sins, if after that one still has a problem then the hardships of the Day of Judgment will suffice our shortcomings. If that doesnt cover them then the person would have to spend time in the hell-fire till they are purified. We should ask Allah swt that he forgives all our sins and it shouldnt even come to the punishment in grave, because believe you me it wont be pretty.

We all know what we should and shouldnt do in order to get the successes in this world and the hereafter. The way the common people of Pakistan have come together to help their brothers and sisters in time of need is a Beautiful Thing. This should also once and for all nip it in the bud the question that are we divided as a nation. The way masses of Karachi in particular and the entire country in general have opened their hearts and wallets is a testament all by itself. We are a vibrant nation and once we put our mind to it we can do anything. I only hope and pray tha t this administration can pull itself up by the boot-straps and coordinate this relief effort, after all, the money raised is not going to do any good if its not spent immediately for the relief of this disaster region. Time is of essence and the people of Pakistan are watching. They have done their share like always, its time that leadership for once delivers.

Reader Comments:

Lessons must be learnt by all of us

Thank you Mr. Muzammil. Your words represent a breath of cool breeze from the States. The reference to the 'sura' "A-Asr" is pertinent. I am a convert to Islam, having been brought into the divine embrace by my father, a barrister from Lahore, who had accepted Islam. I have made insightful study of the Qur'an, "Hadith" and the lives of "sahaba and sahabyat". The temblor's toll is expected to go much higher when everything is sorted out through rescue operations.

The lessons we must learn from this unprecedented calamity include, but are not limited to:

One: we must put the democracy's locomotive on track. This can only be done by either the ruling party secure a clear mandate on the ballot or all opposition parties forge together and and win the forthcoming election. Let them show leadership and spare the Army from being called to drive out the corrupt scoundrels from power. No body seems to be doing homework in this context.

Two: Don't destabilize the federal government structure through street violence.

Three: stop criticising America and Israel purposelessly. The Qazi and Maulana Fazal might get into trouble in future by spreading hatred against America. America represents the sheet anchor of world's stability. Of course, it has blundered by its military intervention in Iraq. The American people are better placed to call President Bush to account.

Four: Israel, according to the admission of Jews themselves is an illegitimate state. The Jews are still in a state of "exile" ordained by God. They are, furthermore, under a sacred "oath" not to do any thing in the Holy Land ahead of the coming of the Messiah. The solution lies in salvaging Israelis (most of them peaceniks) from the clutches of the Zionists. My views on this issue are well known and these are shared by prominent Jews themselves.

Five: Pakistan and Turkey both are renowned for their military prowess. Let them join forces and create a consensus in the Muslim Ummah to recognise Israel by allowing it a de facto "Safe Haven" in its place of occupation. Palestine has become a ticking time bomb. The apocaliyptic forces would make Jerusalem the battlefield for the "Armageddon". The Palestinina are treading on an intractable course of action.

There is an imminent possibility of American Jewry making a sudden exodus from the States. America's millions of "Born Again Christians", Presbytereans, and "Promise Keepers" are all set to swamp Jerusalem to witness the "Second Coming".
These are writings on the wall and only blind people would be forgiven to overlook them.

We have no infrastructure of "Amr-r-bil ma'roof and nahi-e-anil munkir". "All" Islamists outfits have failed to bring Islamic values to the needy common people.

Sher Mohammad.
Email: sher_apr@yahoo.com



Sher Mohammad, Pakistan - 19 October, 2005

What is wrong with you guys?

What is wrong with people in pakistan? why they keep on bringing USA, Israel and India in all the situations. Even in this earthquake disaster writer of the article is discussing Islam instead of discussing earthquake-proof buildings, good infrastructure and disaster management.Can't you guys get out of narrow mindedness and think of your economic and political progress?

Singh, United Kingdom - 20 October, 2005

Crazy people

I dont understand why these people brings relegion and politics even thousands of people are fighting for life. Lemme say one thing, as per your article, God has given a hard examination for so called Azad kashmir and an easy one for Indian state of Jammu and kashmir, I think,now pakistan got an answer for a decade long terrorist activities actually. These earthquake brought real picture of Pakistan to the world, they were engaged in weapons developing, forget their people.

sandeep, Hungary - 22 October, 2005

To Singh the Bozo

Mr Singh, the writer is trying to understand the quake through religious terms, which is just one way of doing things. He never mentioned Israel,USA or India in this article, that is something you made up.

Aamir Ali, Pakistan - 23 October, 2005

Rebuilding after the quake

Tents are O.K for a temporary measure, but when rebuliding the homes, I would suggest lighter materials rather than brick and stone. In Canada and U.S. there are temporary homes called trailer or mobile homes constructed out of wood. They could be shipped and easily assembeld over there and would provide better protection from the elements, even a future earth-quake.

Khalid Qureshi, Canada - 26 October, 2005

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