Why Calamities?

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Question: Why are the Muslims currently undergoing so much of difficulty? Drought and the impending danger of xenophobic attacks are only two of the many calamities Awe face. The future seems very bleak. Is  Allah Ta‘ala withholding His favours because we are not appreciating them? How should we express appreciation and gratitude?

Answer: Every condition of ease and prosperity is indeed an invaluable favor and bounty of Allah Ta‘ala. Appreciation and gratitude is the key to not  only securing the favours that we currently enjoy, but is also the key to attracting even more favours of Allah Ta‘ala. This is clearly explained in the verse of the Quraan al-Kareem wherein Allah Ta‘ala states, “If you are appreciative, we will most definitely increase you (in favours) and if you are unappreciative then verily my punishment is severe.” (Surah Ebrahim, v7) On the flip side of the coin, this verse explains that ingratitude and the lack of appreciation are the keys to drawing the wrath and punishment of Allah Ta‘ala on ourselves. It is thus imperative that we show gratitude and value every bounty of Allah Ta‘ala.

Gratitude - More than just lip-service

Uttering “Alhamdulillah!” is one form of expressing gratitude. While extremely important and necessary, it, however, is not the sum total of gratitude. It is also important for us to express our gratitude to Allah Ta‘ala by utilizing the bounties He has blessed us with correctly. The time, wealth, health, energy, safety and security which we have been blessed with need to be used and spent in a halaal manner and in halaal avenues only. To use the bounty blessed by Allah Ta‘ala in the disobedience of Allah Ta‘ala is the height of ingratitude.

Similarly, wastage and extravagance are a sign of us not valuing and appreciating the favours of Allah Ta‘ala. The sins of extravagance and wastage are not to be taken lightly. In the Quraan al-Kareem Allah Ta‘ala has branded the people who are wasteful as being the “brothers of the Shayaateen.” In another verse Allah Ta‘ala has clearly announced that he does not love wasteful people.

Compounded Vice

The functions we attend as well as the holidays we embark on are often, from start to finish, a package of extravagance and sin. If salaah is not totally abandoned on holiday, then it is often delayed and performed after its time has expired. Similarly, performing salaah is often neglected at functions because making wudhu will “undo the hairdo.”

Music, free intermingling of sexes, photography, consumption of haraam food, gross extravagance and indecent dressing are but some of the sins we get involved in, especially when on holiday and in social functions.

A fortune is spent on flowers when people don’t even have flour to eat! Thousands of rands are spent on invitation cards when people don’t even have cardboard for shelter!  Such wastage and extravagance invites calamities.

When just a single sin is enough to plunge us into adverse circumstances, imagine the anger and wrath of Allah Ta‘ala when an entire congregation of people blatantly commit a host of sins all together! This is gross ingratitude.

Indeed, the difficulties we face are the result of our actions and our ingratitude for the favours of Allah Ta‘ala.

The way to express gratitude is to glorify Allah Ta‘ala verbally as well as to adhere to His commands and the sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in our daily lives.

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