Soon shall We show them Our Signs on the horizons and in their own beings until it becomes clear to them that it is the Truth. (Quran 41:53)
In Indonesia's tsunami wastelands on the northern tip of Sumatra island, little remains of whole towns lost to the colossal forces that came thundering in from the ocean.
But across these battered shores, dozens of mosques still stand, their minarets glinting defiantly in the sun - a phenomenon survivors in the deeply Islamic region credit as much to divine intervention as robust architecture.
Mosques are an everyday sight in most of Indonesia, but especially in Aceh, credited with the being one of Islam's main gateways into the archipelago of islands which now forms the world's largest Muslim-populated country.
Muhammad Yani stood on the roof of a mosque, watching the tsunami's churning waters surge past, roiling with people and debris.
"I was not afraid at the time," said Yani, 35, who later found out he had lost his parents and younger brother to the waves. "I was more aware than ever that my soul belonged to Allah."
Quakes, tremors, floods, fires, and explosions are all mentioned in the authentic traditions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as signs heralding the imminence of The Hour.
The sheer ferocity and fury of a tsunami definitely bring to our mind the Qur’anic depiction of the violent convulsions the earth is bound to undergo in its final quaking:
(When the earth is shaken violently in its (final) quaking, when the earth throws out its burdens, when man cries, "What is happening to it?"; on that Day, people will come forward in separate groups to be shown their deeds: whoever has done an atom’s weight of good will see it, but whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil will see that) (Az-Zalzalah 99:1–8).
"Nay, here are signs self evident in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge. And none but the unjust reject Our Signs. (Quran 29:49)
May the Beneficent Lord make such calamities not as a source of perdition for us in our faith but as experiences that are bound to enhance our faith and trust in Allah and His will.
- Ameen -