What Should Our Attitude Be During Events Such as Earthquakes? – Sunday 21st April, 2013
Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surah Rum Verse 41:
ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
Evil (sins and disobedience of Allaah, etc.) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds, etc.), that Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allaah, and begging His Pardon).
Earthquakes are one of Allaah’s signs by which He frightens His slaves .
Shaikh bin Baz (Rahimahullaah) said, “It is obligatory in an event which is extraordinary whether they are earthly disasters or catastrophes descending from the sky which causes grief pain and destruction to the humans to:
1) Hasten towards repentance to Allaah, imploring Him and asking Him for the well-being.
2) Remember Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) profusely and make Istighfar [asking the forgiveness from Allaah from the sins]
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said at the time of an eclipse: “Verily, these signs are sent by Allaah, they don’t eclipse because of the death or the life of anyone. Rather, Allaah sends it to frighten His slaves. So whenever you see any of these (signs), resort to the remembrance of Allaah, invoking Him and seeking His forgiveness. ” [Saheeh al-Jami’e , no. 2260 on the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari]
3) It is also mustahabb (recommended) to show compassion to the poor and needy, and to give charity to them,
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Show mercy to others and surely you will be shown mercy.” [Ahmad]
And in another narration, he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Those who show mercy will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Show mercy to those who are on Earth and the One Who is in Heaven will show mercy to you.” [At-Tirmidhi]
He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:“Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully.” [Al-Bukhari]
It is related that Umar Bin Abdul Aziz (Rahimahullaah) wrote to his emirs at the time of earthquakes to give in charity.
4) One of the means of being safe and sound from all evils is for those in authority to hasten to restrain the foolish and compel them to adhere to the truth, and to implement the laws of Allaah among them, and to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, as Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) says:
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
The believers, men and women, are Auliya’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give the Zakat, and obey Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allaah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.
وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ
Verily, Allaah will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allaah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.
الَّذِينَ إِن مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ
Those (Muslim rulers) who, if We give them power in the land, (they) order for Iqamat-as-Salat. [i.e. to perform the five compulsory congregational Salat (prayers) (the males in mosques)], to pay the Zakat and they enjoin Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism and all that Islam has forbidden) [i.e. they make the Qur’aan as the law of their country in all the spheres of life]. And with Allaah rests the end of (all) matters (of creatures).
– Taken from: Sheikh Bin Baz; Majmoo’ Fatawa, 9/150-152
Shaikh Saleh Al-Fawzan (hafidhahullaah) affirms that earthquakes and volcanoes are not because of natural effects, rather it occurs by Allaah’s decree and pre-ordainment. Allaah is the one who sends (the signs) to awaken the people and warn them to return to Allaah in repentance and to return to Allaah.
He (hafidhahullaah) added: ”The nature does not have do anything with the earthquakes. This is the statement of the atheists. Everything occurs by Allaah’s pre-ordainmant and decree . Everything occurs from a wisdom by Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala). Allaah decrees earthquakes to frighten His slaves, to remind them to return to him in repentance . Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) says in Surat Fatir:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُمْسِكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ أَن تَزُولَا ۚ وَلَئِن زَالَتَا إِنْ أَمْسَكَهُمَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّن بَعْدِهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا
Verily! Allaah grasps the heavens and the earth lest they move away from their places, and if they were to move away from their places, there is not one that could grasp them after Him. Truly, He is Ever Most Forbearing, OftForgiving.
Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is the one holding the heavens and the earth and if He wills, He moves them to alert His slaves and warn them.
– Taken from: Saheefat Al-Mudinah
Shaikh bin Uthaimeen (Rahimahullaah) was asked, “Is it prescribed to pray when this sign (i.e. earthquakes) happen or not ?”
He (Rahimahullaah) said in Al-Bulugh Al-Maram ” The scholars vary regarding this matter. There are some whose opinion is to offer Salaat (prayer) for every sign which is extraordinary. For example if successive great thunderbolts occurred and the people were frightened, then they offered prayer. Similarly, if the earthquakes happened or strong violent winds. This is the opinion of Shaikh Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullaah).
A Second group of scholars said that only for eclipse of the sun and the moon should the prayer be offered, because at the time of the Prophet it happened that violent winds, storms,thunders and lightening occurred but he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) did not offer Salaat at their occurrence.
A third group of scholars said that only for earthquakes and eclipses Salaat should be offered, not with any other sign. They took the statement of Ibn ‘Abbas (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anhu) in which he mentioned that he prayed 6 rak’aat and four prostrations when an earthquake occurred and said, “This is how the Salaat of Ayaat (Prayer of Signs) is offered.” [Al-Baihaqi]
And Imam Ash-Shafi’ (Rahimahullaah) reported a similar Hadeeth, without its end, through ‘Ali Abi Taalib (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anhu).
These are the actions of the Sahaabah (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anhum) and their actions are Hujjah ( evidence) as long as it does not contradict a text or other companions.
So these scholars, who looked at the reasons behind the signs which are frightening the people said, one should offer the Salaat of eclipse for every sign whether it is earthquakes or others.
And those scholars who looked at the Salaat al-Kusoof (eclipse prayer) being particular to the sun and moon only, said one should not offer the Salaat (i.e for any other sign).
Apparently, Allaah knows best and one should stick to and hold-fast with what had been quoted in the text (Hadeeth), i.e. to offer the Salaat of eclipse only for the sun and the moon when they eclipse. And in case of winds, seek refuge in Allaah, ask the good of it, and do not offer the Salaat because the basis of the acts of worship is tawqeef i.e. to adhere to the Sunnah until we find a legal evidence that affirms that.
– Taken from: Bulugh al-Maraam