Why Am I Afflicted with Calamity After Calamity?


[By Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Take a reckoning (of yourself) before a reckoning will be demanded (from you).”

Allaamah Abdul Wahhaab Sha’raani (Rahmatullah alayh), of the 9th Islamic century, concluding some Naseehat, said:

“O my friend! Examine yourself to see if you are following what I have advised. Do not regard yourself to be among the Saaliheen.” 

When a misfortune/ calamity befalls, the person reacts with disbelief and frustration. He wonders why the misfortune has befallen him. What he does not understand is that every occurrence, good or bad, is the effect of a cause, and that Allah Azza Wa Jal is the Actual Creator of the calamity and that He is in full control.

 A common calamity nowadays is the incidence of grave physical diseases for which there is almost no known cure. Besides diseases there are also many other forms of misfortunes and hardships which strike people. All of these have causes.

Generally, as far as most people are concerned [the Ambiya and the Auliya are exceptions to this general rule], calamities are the consequences of sin and transgression. Therefore, when a calamity overtakes one, the imperative need is for introspection – soul searching – reflecting to correlate the misfortune with past misdeeds.

However, such reflection is furthest from the minds of almost all people who are afflicted by Allah Ta’ala with misfortunes to jolt them into realization or to punish them. The Qur’aan and Ahaadith explicitly state this fact.

But, instead of introspection, then repenting, making amends and seeking forgiveness, people become frustrated, impatient and by implication complain against Allah Ta’ala. And, this state of complaint is dangerous for one’s Imaan. They fail to understand why the calamity has befallen them, thereby implying that they are ‘holy’ and ‘sinless’. Thus, Allaamah Sha’raani says:

“Do not regard yourself to be among the Saaliheen.”  

You should understand that the misfortune is the consequence of your disobedience and transgression of the Laws of Allah Ta’ala. A person squanders hours watching internet pornography and filth of a variety of kinds. He/she indulges in internet zina on a daily and nightly basis. Someone commits much zulm in different forms. Others devour carrion and haraam muck ‘food’ and poisonous substances marketed as ‘food’.

People flagrantly violate and even scorn Islam’s laws of Hijaab, indulging in free intermingling of the sexes. Others defraud, deceive and steal. Amaanat (Trust) is abused. Funds are embezzled. Children are given free reign to prowl in unsavoury haunts and to strike up haraam relationships.

Wives, instead of being at home, drive around and feel at home in the public domain. Besides these vices, a range of other crimes against Allah Ta’ala is perpetrated. Sin has become an integral component of the Muslim’s daily life.

Now what can be expected other than misfortune and calamity? When this happens, people wonder, become frustrated and despondent. Some who may have some Deeni inclinations ask others to make dua and to give ta’weez. But nothing seems to remove the calamity. Allah’s Athaab runs its course.

The solution for calamities is introspection and to endeavour to understand the relationship between sin and the misfortune. Then to repent, make amends and reform. Hence, it comes in the Hadith that during sickness one should increase Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness).

Whilst indulging in internet pornography and perverted filth, whilst allowing the eyes to rove on ghair mahaareem, whilst viewing haraam television, whilst committing zulm, whilst trampling on the rights of others, whilst devouring carrion, haraam and mushtabah, whilst engaging in haraam wedding customs, etc., how is it possible for Duas to be accepted and for Ta’weez to be effective?

The rot has to be cleaned first, then only will the spiritual remedies be effective. When misfortune befalls you, engage in muraaqabah ( reflection / introspection) and try to relate the calamity to your misdeeds. Sometimes the calamity is a purifier as stated by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam):

“When Allah intends good for a servant, He hastens with his punishment in this world.”

Sometimes the calamity is a curse. The accursed fails to understand. He frets, becomes frustrated, panics and his physical health rapidly deteriorates.

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