Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | TOI Blog | July 3, 2020
Delhi-NCR and adjoining cities felt earthquake tremors on July 3 2020, lasting for nearly 3-4 seconds. With its epicentre in Alwar district of Rajasthan, the earthquake had a depth of 35 km and measured 4.7 on the Richter Scale. Reports of this phenomenon have become frequent at a global level.
A common comment heard at the time of an earthquake is that this was a chastisement from God. In my view such remarks are unwarranted. Any tragedy befalling this world is designed to make God’s servants tremble in fear of their Maker, and are not occasions for righteous castigation of supposed wrongdoers. The truth is that an earthquake is neither related to the iniquity of a region, nor is it due to God’s chastisement. An earthquake’s true significance lies in its being a reminder of Doomsday (Qiamat). What happens before, during and after an earthquake is simply a miniature version of what will happen on a horrendous scale on the Day of Reckoning as given in the Quran in these words:
“When the earth is shaken with its violent shaking, when the earth shakes off her burdens, when man asks, ‘What is happening to her?’; on that Day it will narrate its account, for your Lord has so directed it.
On that Day people will come forward in separate groups to be shown their deeds: whoever has done the smallest particle of good will see it; while whoever has done the smallest particle of evil will see it.” (99: 1-8)
God has built this world as a temporary testing ground. When this period of trial is over, God will cause a severe earthquake to take place. Under its impact all structures will collapse, all bastions of human greatness will simply vanish from the face of the earth, and civilization as we know it will cease to exist. Then God, in His omnipotence, will create a new world in which He will reward each of His creatures according to his or her deeds.
The correct attitude to natural calamities is that one should learn a lesson from them. For the observance of proper behaviour in this world, man requires only one thing. It should be firmly embedded in his mind that he is under divine surveillance at every moment. The deeds of his entire life will be presented in the court of God. Be these great or small, done secretly or publicly, everything will be there on record.
If man is fully convinced of this reality, he will be shaken completely even before the shaking of the world. Before the all-encompassing earthquake of Doomsday he will experience an earthquake in his own soul which will change him completely. As a result, he will become his own keeper. He will adopt a disciplined life instead of a life of licence. He will use his powers as guided by the command of God instead of acting independently.