I begin with the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
“Say: ‘He has power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to cover you with confusion in party strife, and make you to taste the violence of one another.’” Qur’an 6:65
Man is forever in a state of negligence except those whom Allaah has favored and often at times, man needs certain signs of Allaah to frighten him back to the reality of why he was created. Undoubtedly, none of these natural disasters occur for jest, rather, they are among the signs of Allaah with which He frightens His slaves because of shirk (polytheism) and sins which they indulge in.
Allaah Exalted be He says: “And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much” Qur’an 42:30. Similarly, Allaah reminds us of how Merciful He is towards the creation, “Why should Allaah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allaah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing.” Qur’an 4:147
Ironically, man forgets about the warnings of Allaah, nay, man feels absolutely secured from Allaah’s plan. Hence, he perpetrates all sorts of atrocities thinking that he lives in a region far from natural disasters. It is with respect to these twisted mentality that Allaah says: “Did they then feel secure against Allaah’s plan None feels secure from Allah’s plan except the people who are the losers.” Qur’an 7:99
Recently, there has been a series of earthquakes across the globe, and Abuja has been experiencing some sort of tremor for the past few days. Whatever this is, it calls for the attention of people to have a deep retrospect into their relationship with the Lord of the Universe.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Allaah sometimes gives the earth permission to breathe, which is when major earthquakes happen; this makes people feel scared, so they repent, give up sins, pray to Allaah and feel regret [for their sins]. When there had been an earthquake, some of the Salaf said: your Lord is warning you. When Madeenah was struck by an earthquake, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with you) addressed the people and said: if there is another earthquake, I will not stay here with you.”
Similarly, it was reported that when there was an earthquake, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez (may Allaah have mercy on him) would write to his governors telling them to give in charity.
Notably, no nation of the world, no city is safe from being hit by an earthquake because the decision for such to happen lies solely with Allaah.
As He majestically says: “Say: ‘He has power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to cover you with confusion in party strife, and make you to taste the violence of one another.’” Qur’an 6:65. Clearly, this verse indicates the universality of such occurrences, never restricted to a particular region. Allaah decides, when, how and where it occurs.
One of the early scholars of Qur’an exegesis, Mujaahid concerning the Tafseer of this aayah, “Say: ‘He has power to send torment on you from above”: (this means) al-Sayhah (the shout or tumult), stones and strong wind; “or from under your feet”, (means) earthquakes and being swallowed up by the earth.)
In a narration reported by al-Bukhari, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until … earthquakes will be very frequent”.
Earthquakes are one of the ways Allaah make His Wrath manifest upon the evildoers, but even at that, He sends them signs as He said: “When We decide to destroy a town, We (first) send a definite Order (to obey Allaah 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.” Qur’an 17:16.
It is never too late to repent back to Allaah, never too late to intensify in righteous deeds, never too late to abandon shirk, which has taken its toll upon the nation, never too late to abandon adultery and fornication, never too late eschew homosexuality, never too late to abandon the life of negligence and complete oblivion to the orders of Allaah, never too late to attract the mercy of Allaah before Nigeria becomes part of the regions with natural disaster apart from that of corruption it is already plagued with.
In conclusion, Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Majmoo’ Fataawa: “What must be done at the time of an earthquake or other calamity, or an eclipse, strong wind or flood is to repent to Allaah, may He be glorified, and to beseech Him and ask Him for well-being, and to remember Him a great deal and ask Him for forgiveness, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said at the time of an eclipse: “When you see that, then turn to remembrance of Allaah and call upon Him and ask for His forgiveness.” Agreed upon. It is also mustahabb to show compassion to the poor and needy, and to give charity to them, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said: “Show mercy, you will be shown mercy.” (Narrated by Ahmad)
May Allaah protect us and bring succor to the lands hit by earthquake and other natural disasters.