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Hurricane IKE

Assalaam u allaikum


Some of you are from the Houston , Texas area. Those of you who are not from Houston probably already know about the Hurricane Ike that struck the Houston-Galveston area on Sept 13th, 2008.


Houston is the 4th largest city in America . Naturally, Houston is highly advanced and sophisticated as compared to most of the nation, which happens to be a super power on its own. However, even this super power could not stop the fury of nature from causing chaos and destruction in its 4th largest city. Much of Galveston remains under water which had surge waves of upto 22 feet while most of Houston remains without electricity and tap water. The city has come to a halt with most of the schools and businesses being closed and a curfew that takes effect every night. Grocery stores have limited operational hours and even more limited is their supply. Without electricity how long will it take for the food in the fridge to rot and without running water how long will it be before toilets start stinking up?


Every single person living in the Houston-Galveston area has been directly affected by this hurricane. Most of us are without electricity and water, some of us have sustained property damage and some even a loss of life. It is a sad and unfortunate event but it is true, nevertheless.


At such times of calamity it is very easy to lose hope and feel overwhelmed and overburdened. Which is why at such times of calamity it is all the more important to do all that we can to help those who have been less fortunate than ourselves. It doesn't matter what the nature of this help is. You may help someone financially. You can help your elderly neighbors to clear out the tree from their back yard. If you're going to the grocery store to get milk and water and bread and food for yourself you can get your neighbors the same supplies while you're at it. If you can't do any of that, you can most definitely smile at your neighbors and talk to them in an encouraging and positive manner and cheer them up.


Last but not the least, you can pray to the Almighty. While you pray for your own damages and your own sufferings, do remember to include others in your prayers as well. We have with us the very special and blessed month of Ramadan. This is the holiest of the months. It is the blessed month of Allah. A month of blessing, mercy and forgiveness. Our beloved Prophet urged us to honor our old and show kindness to the young ones. The one who spreads his own kindness, Allah will spread His mercy over him on the day of Judgment. Hurricane IKE was indeed an unfortunate event but we must realize that no harm comes except by the permission of Allah.



"No kind of calamity can occur, except by the leave of Allah. and if any one believes in Allah, ((Allah)) guides his heart (aright): for Allah knows all things." -- 64:11


We had no control over the coming of hurricane IKE but we do have control over the consequences of hurricane IKE. Let us take this sad event and turn it into an opportunity to help others. He who has mercy over the creation shall receive mercy from the Creator. Let us do all that we can to help out our fellow human beings, especially during the holy month of Ramadan when the rewards are multiplied.


Also let us take this event as a wake up call and a reminder. This is a wake up call for most of us who are lost in our daily worldly affairs that we have forgotten about the hereafter. This is a reminder to us that our life in this world is only temporary. We work so hard, we have jobs and businesses, we manage finances and relationships, we exercise and eat healthy, we want to own huge houses and have extravagant vehicles, we earn abundantly and spend lavishly and live comfortably, we have so much and always seek to acquire so much more -- all this for what? A lifetime of 60 years? 70 years? 80 if we're lucky? We can earn all we want but we're not taking any of it with us. So why bother? And for what? We're going to spend our entire lives seeking worldly material assets which are neither beneficial nor everlasting, and we're going to trade that with the afterlife which truly is eternal? That's like someone saying to us "I'll give you a blank check with unlimited credit if you give me $80" and we refuse that deal. We want to trade an eternity for 80 years. How is that a good deal? Who came up with that?! Most of us wont live to be 80 and even if we do make it to 80 even then most of us have already spent 1/3 (26 years) of our lives. The last 1/3 (55+) we probably won't care about these material things anyway. That only leaves 1/3 (27-54) of our lives. In reality we are trading an eternity for 27 years.


Let us take this hurricane IKE and accept it for what it was: a warning. It was not accidental or coincidental. Hurricane IKE, just like Katrina and Rita, is a warning to mankind from the Almighty. We can expect to see many more IKEs more frequently and with more intensity. We should expect to see a rise in tornadoes and earthquakes as well. These are all signs from Allah.


"Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day... in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are signs for a people that are wise." -- 2:164


Let us go back to Islam and to Allah. That doesn't mean we let go the world and our worldly desires. We can enjoy the bounties of our Lord to the fullest of our hearts' content but realize that this is all temporary so treat this all as temporary and always remember that to Him is our return. Go back to the basics. When things get complicated simplify your thoughts. Let us return to our religion. Let us learn about Islam and the Qur'an. Let us learn about Allah, His angels, His revelations, His messengers, the day of judgment and let us realize that all good and all calamities come from Him alone and that we shall be resurrected and held accountable for all our big and small deeds.

"We said: O fire, be coolness and peace for Abraham." -- 21:69


When Ibrahim Alaihi Salaam confronted His nation about their wrong doings they decided to shove him in a huge raging blazing fire. But He had faith, he loved his Creator and the Creator loved him so when he was pushed into the fire Allah commanded the fire to cool down and become a place of peace and comfort for Ibrahim. Fire's characteristics are to burn and rage, not to be of peace and comfort. But for Allah this is easy and His will is always done. He who can protect Abraham from the fire can also protect us from Katrina, Rita and the likes of IKE. If you are a good boss you take care of your employees. If you are a good friend you take care of your friends. If you are a good son/daughter you take care of your parents and siblings. If you are a good husband/wife you take care of your spouse. We sincerely take care of all that is sincere to us. Why, then, do we doubt that Allah will take care of us? He will surely take care of us and protect us and bless us if we are sincere to Him.



Lets take this opportunity to return to Him and be true to our religion, let us allow the holy month of Ramadan to encourage us to slow down our worldly pace and increase our thirst and hunger for the knowledge of our religion. The Prophet said that when Allah wishes to do good to someone, He grants him the knowledge of the religion. Let's repent to Him and seek his mercy and forgiveness and pray to Him to make us stronger in our faith in this holy month. Indeed during this month the doors of heaven are open, therefore ask Allah not to close them for us; The doors of hell are closed, so let's ask Allah to keep them closed for us. During this month Shaitaan (Satan) is imprisoned so ask our Lord not to let him have power over us.



"Behold, my prayer, and all my acts of worship, and my living and my dying are for Allah [alone], the Sustainer of all the worlds" -- 6:162



P.S. Pass it on to friends, family, neighbors, Muslims and Non Muslims alike.


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