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Islamic Reflections on Hurricane Matthew (Part 1)

The unexpected hurricane Mathew filled people with fear and horror; they got panicked and scared of the current and consequent damages of the unwelcome guest. The hurricane emerged out of nowhere while everyone was living their normal materialistic and spiritually empty life.

Overwhelmed with terror and suspense, people took their homes and shelters for temporary, unavoidable prisons. They followed the news minute by minute to make sure that the hurricane was not coming their direction.

Some people even left the whole city to escape the disaster and its destructive consequences.

Forces of nature?

For some, such hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc., are merely forces of nature that have nothing to do with any supreme or divine power. They come and go, just like any other natural phenomenon. No spiritual significance or lessons could be drawn from their occurrences.

On the other hand, many others believe that God did create the universe, yet, He is in isolation of whatever goes on in it. According to them, God has created the world and then left it to work on its own; to manage itself.

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To them, the universe is just like the watch in your hand; its manufacturer in Japan or China made it and now it is with you wherever you live; whether it works or not, the maker of it does not know anything about it anymore.

But this is actually contrary to what millions of Muslims and other believers in God believe when something like that happens. The whole universe is in the grip of its Creator (Exalted is He); He is the One who manages it, runs it, decides what happens in it and knows every minute detail of it before, during and after it happens.

{He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.} (Al-An `am 6:59)

This universe does not work on its own; it is God who lets it go the way it does and it is Him who decides whatever happens in it. As God said in another place in the Holy Qur’an:

{Verily, all things have We (Allah) created in proportion and measure.} (Al-Qamar 54:49).

{It is He (Allah) who has created all things and ordained them in due proportions.} (Al-Furqan 25:2)

Everything that takes place in the upper world of heavens or the lower world of the earth, everything that moves in the heavens or on earth, every plant that grows up, every star that shines, every atom in the universe, all run by the will and the order and decree of Allah.

This whole universe from the tiny atom to the giant galaxy is in His hands alone; natural disasters/phenomena are no exception.

What about laws of causation?

However, this understanding by no means goes against the laws of causation (as some materialistic scientists would unleash their ready counter argument against the so called mystically and non-scientifically oriented arguments). Causation laws are placed in the universe with specific measurements and mechanism according to the universal plan of Allah for the entire universe.

These laws of nature work within the framework of Allah’s will and they do not deviate from His well-established measurements and decrees. Once again, Allah Almighty said in the Qur’an: {Verily, all things have We (Allah) created in proportion and measure.} (Al-Qamar 54:49).

In other words, it is all according to specific set-up laws and regulations (laid down and managed by Allah Himself) that govern the whole universe.


In the next part, the author highlight some lessons from Mathew hurricane. Stay tuned!