Natural disasters are Allah's warning to mankind
Sheikh Saleh Bin Mohammed Aal Talib, Imam and Khateeb of the Grand Mosque in Makkah
advised Muslims to be mindful of Almighty Allah and fear Him in private and public.
In his Friday sermon at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Sheikh Aal Talib said amids the hardening of the hearts (Qaswat Al-Quloob) man's physical and mental strength and capability and indulgence in worldly things, people tend to forget the Hereafter.
Sheikh Aal Talib stressed that the people must not forget that Allah is Omnipotent and Almighty. They have only to see the havoc that floods and earthquakes wreak to realize how powerful He is.
Aal Talib pointed out that earthquakes are among the greatest signs of Allah Almighty. They show how Almighty and All-Powerful Allah is. In the twinkling of an eye and without prior warning Allah can change the features of the Earth – countries can be wiped out from the face of the Earth while a whole city can be buried with tens of thousands of casualties including dead and injured while hundreds of thousands of people become displaced. The destruction is incalculable, he said.
Sheikh Aal Talib stressed that the earthquakes and natural disasters that are taking place on the earth are incomparable to the Greatest Quake (Al-Zalzalah Al-Kubra) or Doomsday (Yaum Al-Qiyamah) when Allah will cause the Earth to come to an end. The whole earth will shake, the sun will be wound round, the stars will be scattered and the seas will be boiled over and will burn. He said the Day of the Great Earthquake will definitely come.
Speaking about the horrors of the Doomsday, he said a mother suckling will leave her baby due to severe shock, pregnant women will suffer miscarriage of their fetuses due to acute fear and when one looking at people will think that they are intoxicated but they will not be intoxicated, but Allah's punishment will be so severe.
Sheikh Aal Talib said today's earthquakes are portents. It is mentioned in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that there will be an outburst of earthquakes before the Doomsday as if the earth is shaking before its end. He said earthquakes and other natural disasters expose mankind's helplessness, weakness and powerlessness before the power of Allah Almighty. There are lessons to be derived and learnt by those who ponder, he said.
Sheikh Aal Talib said people get puffed up with pride when they build and construct settlements on the earth and become prosperous, owning vast tracts of land.
But when they feel they own the earth and its adornments and have control overthem, Allah's order comes and the land and all man's possessions are turned upside down as if they never existed before.
Sheikh Aal Talib said there are many people who become so conceited about their worldly achievements that they say, "Who is stronger than us?" "Don't they realize that it is Allah who created them and He is much more stronger than them? These are among the signs of Allah. Where are those who will realize this?" he asked.
He stressed that Allah's strength and power cause awe and fear in people's hearts. They call for revering Allah the way He should be and fearing His punishment and revenge.
He said it is only those who are less fearful of Allah and forget His power who become headless to indulge in sins and contravene and challenge His Shariah and what He has ordained.
Sheikh Aal Talib further said, "We have no kinship with Allah Almighty and His laws do not favor anyone. If evil and sins prevail, all people suffer. One can see omens here and there – earthquakes, floods, wars, high prices, scarce rainfall, sins, disobedience, heedlessness to religion and speedy decadence. Realizing Allah's power and dominion builds man's trust in Allah, depending on Him, having one's heart attached to Allah Almighty and fearing none but Him. This is the core and essence of Monotheism (Tawheed)."
Belief (Iman) is knowing very well that it is Allah who possesses and controls the skies and earth the way He wants. Whatever worldly knowledge and power the creatures have, they cannot exceed Allah's power, command and dominion, Sheikh Aal Talib said.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Hussein Aal Al-Sheikh, Imam and Khateeb of the Prophet's Mosque in Madina said that the Qur'an and the Prophet's Sunnah call for observing moderation in all matters and in all circumstances.
In his Friday sermon at the Prophet's Mosque in Madina, Sheikh Aal Al-Sheikh stressed that Islam warns against extravagance (Israaf) but at the same time it does not encourage miserliness. He said Allah dislikes extravagance and there are many Qur'anic verses that emphasize this. Extravagance that is forbidden is excess in food, clothing and drink.
Allah calls us to wear our beautiful clothes when going to the mosque. Beauty here means clean and beautiful clothes that cover the parts ('Awrah) that must be covered in prayer (Salat), but this should be without extravagance or arrogance.
Aal Al-Sheikh said one is exceeding the proper bounds and commits extravagance when spending more than what is necessary in permissible matters. He said that being extravagant in luxuries and in matters that are not essential in order to show off is impermissible.
He further said that a Muslim must not over-indulge in permissible matters even in permissible recreation and enjoyment. However, this does not mean that Islam forbids enjoying oneself in permissible matters, but what is enjoined is moderation.
Sheikh Aal Al-Sheikh criticized spending huge amounts of money on wedding parties and being extravagant to show off and vie with one another.
This poses great danger to the future of the newlywed couple as well as the whole society. He criticized wasting food and throwing it in places where one may be showing disrespect and ingratitude for this blessing (Ne'mah) from Allah. He warned that this may become a cause for the disappearance of this blessing.
Sheikh Aal Al-Sheikh said the most evil form of extravagance is to spend money on promoting falsehood and sinful matters like the media that are trying to corrupt the Muslims and their youth or wage war against religion.
He emphasized that public or state funds are to be held as a trust by all members of the Ummah. Therefore, it is a must on every believer to protect these funds as it belongs to all Muslims. Every department to which the ruler has entrusted these funds must protect them from misuse and these should be spent properly and should not be wasted. Breaching the trust and wasting the money or spending it on matters of no benefit to the country and people is a grave sin.
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