Why Allah Decrees Wars and Catastrophes

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah…… Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim…

First :

All perfect praise is due to Allaah; I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah and Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, upon whom may Allaah send salutations and exalt his mention, as well as that of his family and all his Companions. Allaah is The All Wise, and wisdom implies placing everything in its correct position; there is great wisdom behind everything that Allaah has created and legislated, which His slaves may or may not grasp. It is those scholars with deep understanding and firm knowledge who may comprehend some of these wisdoms. Allaah did not create anything uselessly or aimlessly.

Allaah says:

 “Then did you think that We created you uselessly and that to Us you would not be returned?” (Al-Mu’minoon: 115). and also:

“And We did not create the heaven and the earth and that between them aimlessly…” (Saad: 27).

Allaah mentions in His Book the different wisdoms behind His rulings and legislations such as His saying:

“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me” (Ath-Thaariyaat: 56). Here Allaah clarifies that the wisdom behind their creation is that they worship Him alone. He also clarified the wisdom behind the legislation of the five daily prayers by saying:

which means: “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing” (Al-‘Ankaboot: 45).


He says regarding Zakaah:

 “Take, [O Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [Allaah’s blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allaah is Hearing and Knowing” (At-Tawbah: 103) so it eradicates sins, elevates peoples ranks, and purifies their souls.


Regarding fasting, Allaah says:


“O you who have believed! Decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” (Al-Baqarah: 183).


Allaah clarifies the wisdom behind Jihaad when He says:


 “And fight them until there is no fitnah (i.e., disbelief, associating with Allaah) and [until] the religion [i.e. worship], all of it, is for Allaah [i.e. until polytheism is no longer dominant.].” (Al-Anfaal: 39). Thus the wisdom behind Jihaad is that Islaamic legislation be implemented upon the entire earth, and that all people adhere to it. Why did Allaah create life and death? He answers by saying;

 “He [i.e., Allaah] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is

best in deed — and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.” (Al-Mulk: 2).

Why is it that the war booty that is left behind by the disbelievers, which the Muslim warriors obtain without a fight, is not distributed amongst the warriors, but rather, is spent in certain ways which are mentioned in the saying of Allaah:

 “And what Allaah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns— it is for Allaah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives [Those of Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib, whom he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) had prohibited from accepting Zakaah] and orphans and the traveller— so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you.” (Al-Hashr: 7). Therefore, the reason and wisdom is that wealth will not remain in the hands of just one category of people only, and will be distributed amongst all sectors of the community. Zayd, may Allaah be pleased with him, was adopted by the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, and people would call him Zayd ibn Muhammad until Allaah revealed His saying:

 “Call them [i.e., children under your care] by [the names of] their fathers; it is more just in the sight of Allaah.” (Al-Ahzaab: 5). After this verse was revealed, people reverted to calling him by his original name, which was Zayd ibn Al-Haarith.

In the pre-Islaamic era, it was seen as a disgrace that one would marry the divorcee of his adopted child; it was a major humiliation which contradicted the people’s traditions and customs of that era. Allaah wished to put an end to this dispraised custom through his Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so when Zayd, may Allaah be pleased with him, divorced his wife Zaynab, may Allaah be pleased with her, he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was commanded to marry her, as Allaah says

 “And [remember O Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam], when you said to the one on whom Allaah bestowed favour and you bestowed favour [referring to Zayd], “Keep your wife and fear Allaah,” while you concealed within yourself that which Allaah is to disclose [i.e., Allaah’s command to the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to marry Zaynab after Zayd divorced her]. And you feared the people ( i.e., feared their saying that he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) had married the (former) wife of his adopted son), while Allaah has more right that you fear Him (i.e., By making known His command). So when Zayd had no longer any need for her, We married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort [i.e. guilt] concerning the wives of their claimed [i.e. adopted] sons when they no longer have need of them.” (Al-Ahzaab: 37). This pre-Islaamic rule and custom was therefore demolished at the hands of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

When this verse was revealed, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam immediately married Zaynab, may Allaah be pleased with her, but this marriage contract did not require a guardian or two witnesses as all Islaamic marriage contracts do – because it was a contract which came from the heavens, from Allaah The Almighty… Why? So that it would put an end to this pre-Islaamic practice and belief. Allaah informed us that everything He has decreed was recorded in the Preserved Slate fifty thousand years before the creation of the heavens and the earth, and that there is no disaster except that it has been recorded therein, but why did Allaah inform us about this? Allaah says:

“No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register (i.e. the Preserved Slate (al-Lawh al-Muhfuth)) before We bring it into being — indeed that, for Allaah, is easy” (Al-Hadeed: 22)


Again, why did Allaah inform us about this? The answer is in the saying of Allaah:

“In order that you not despair over what has eluded you and not exult [in pride] over what He has given you. And Allaah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.” (Al-Hadeed: 23) This is because when one is afflicted with a disaster, it may cause him to lose some of his wealth, be bereaved of a child, or other such things; however, one should always remember that everything has been recorded and registered so that when one, for example, suddenly receives a large amount of money he should not become arrogant and boastful.


When the companions of the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left Makkah in the state of Ihraam, Allaah made some animals appear before them, so that they could have killed them without the need to shoot an arrow or spear; moreover, the Arabs loved to hunt; Allaah decreed that the animals be very close to these Muslims, which was a very strange thing, but why did this happen when a person in the state of Ihraam is prohibited from hunting?


Allaah says:

 “O you who have believed! Allaah will surely test you through something of the game that your hands and spears [can] reach.” (Al-Maa’idah: 94) Why? Because it was a test as Allaah continues to say:

 “…That Allaah may make evident those who fear Him unseen.” (Al-Maa’idah: 94). So, it was in order to know those who adhere to His command of refrain from hunting whilst in Ihraam. It was a test that would result in elevating the ranks of those who remain steadfast and increasing their reward.

Why did Allaah decree that people are not equally rich or poor? Had this been the case then no president would have found a driver or a worker to work for him, nor would there have been any labourers to build, clean, manufacture, and so on; it is a great wisdom, without which life would not function properly. Allaah says:

“Do they distribute the mercy of your Lord? It is We who have apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of this world and have raised some of them above others in degrees [of rank] that they may make use of one another for service.” (Az-Zukhruf: 32). This is concerning this life, but regarding the Hereafter, Allaah says

 “But the mercy of your Lord is better than whatever they accumulate.” (Az- Zukhruf: 32).

What is the benefit of mentioning all these different examples? It is to show that there is a wisdom behind everything that Allaah creates, and all that He does … nothing Allaah does or decrees can be purely evil… no matter how evil it may seem, it must have good in it … rather evil does exist in what Allaah creates as He says:

 “From the evil of that which He created.” (Al-Falaq: 2).

There is a wisdom behind everything that appears evil; snakes, scorpions, poverty, diseases, famine, earthquakes, volcanoes, and even the existence of disbelief upon the earth; when people kill each other, it happens for a reason. There is wisdom behind everything, even the creation of Satan, which only the people of knowledge can comprehend.

Creating opposites proves the perfect and complete ability of Allaah, for example the creation of darkness and light, day and night, Satan who is the symbol of all evil, and Jibreel who is the symbol of all good. In this, there is always definitely something related to exposing some of the names of Allaah, such as The Prevailing, The Severe in Punishment, The Owner of Retribution, and so on; these names of Allaah must be applied practically, and if people were as angels, then the effect of these names would never be evident. Moreover, Satan causes some people to sin, then they repent, and thereby the names of Allaah such as the all Merciful, The ever Forgiving, and so on become evident. Had it not been that Satan was created and whispered to people, enticing them to sin, then the effect of such names of Allaah would never have been made clear. This is how servitude can be established; had it not been that Allaah created Satan (who entices people to disbelieve and perform evil deeds) there would not have been Jihaad; and had there not been Jihaad there would not have been martyrs. Thus people’s ranks and status differ due to the creation of Satan, and due to his creation, a group of people will enter into Hell (because they obeyed him) and another will be admitted into Paradise (because they disobeyed him); had not been for Satan, people would have had nothing stimulating them to do evil. Thus, all that Allaah creates has a great wisdom behind it. Likewise, decreeing disasters and agonies has a great wisdom behind it. When some people are afflicted with pain and anxiety, they begin to ask: ‘What did I do to deserve all this? Why all this pain? Why does Allaah make me suffer? Why does Allaah make me go through this?Slaves of Allaah! These pains and disasters are tests; Allaah says:

 “Or did you think that you will enter paradise while yet there has not come unto you the like of (that which came to) those who passed away before you? Affliction and adversity befell them, they were shaken as with an earthquake…” (Al-Baqarah: 214).

Agonies and disasters condition people and strengthen their faith; it is a proof for the weakness of mankind, and if people did not suffer from any sicknesses (that prevent them from sinning) then they would have been even more sinful and evil; people get sick and transgress as much as they do, so how much worse would the situation be if they never became sick and their bodies were always strong?

Disasters and hardships expiate sins; a slave is not rescued from the Hellfire due to his good deeds, but rather due to the disasters which befall him (after the mercy of Allaah); nothing befalls the Muslim, even as minor as the prick of a thorn, except that Allaah will write a reward for him as a result, or wipe away one of his sins, or elevate his rank in Paradise – and hardships continue to befall the Muslim until he meets Allaah without having any sins in his record.

Healthy people realise the favours of Allaah upon them when they see the sick, and likewise the sick realise the favours that Allaah bestowed upon them when they were once healthy, which causes them to approach Allaah and supplicate to Him. When a person becomes sick he humbles himself to Allaah, as He says:

 “Then why, when Our punishment came to them, did they not humble themselves?” (Al-An’aam: 43).


Moreover, disasters happen in order for the Muslims to aid one another, or why else do disasters befall people? Why does Allaah decree disasters to befall the Muslims? The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The similitude of the believers in regard to their love, affection and mutual-compassion is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body shares the agony, sleeplessness and fever that arises from it.” Many disasters have befallen the Muslims, and many others are expected which may be even worse than those that have come, and people ask: ‘Why? Why do the disbelievers overpower the Muslims? Why are the Muslims always subject to bombardments, killing, displacement and looting of their resources?’ If we Muslims do not have firm belief then we will despair and continue to keep merely asking why, but those with insight know that Allaah does not do or decree anything except that there is wisdom behind it.


Slaves of Allaah! The Muslim nation has been afflicted with many disasters which resulted in their return to Allaah; people now are heedless; indulging in worldly pleasures; enjoying permissible pleasures as well as many impermissible ones; so what is the means of getting them to return to the straight path? One way is these disasters which Allaah decrees to befall them, these disasters make people humble themselves before Allaah and raise their hands in supplication to Him, as Allaah says:

“Then why, when Our punishment came to them, did they not humble themselves? But their hearts became hardened” (Al-An’aam: 43).

Slaves of Allaah! Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by reason of what the hands of people have earned, so Allaah may let them taste part of the consequence of what they have done … Why? That perhaps they will return to righteousness. Allaah hastens the punishment in this life so that perhaps they may repent and return to Allaah. Great goodness might occur to the Muslims after these wars and disasters, even if not immediately after, but most people are hasty. Allaah decreed that ’Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, be accused of adultery by some of the hypocrites, as a result of which she could not sleep and her tears would not stop falling; she suffered great anxiety and anguish; it was a great disaster that befell her, her family, and her husband sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; Allaah did not clear her except after a whole month, which made her rank higher than that before the accusation, despite the fact that she suffered and was innocent, but she persevered, and Allaah decreed her affliction in order to raise her rank. Allaah says:

“Indeed, those who came with falsehood (referring to the false accusation by the hypocrites) are a group among you. Do not think it bad for you; rather, it is good for you.” (An-Noor: 11). On the surface this appeared as a disaster and a great evil; accusations against a family, against the Prophetic household; an accusation of adultery … and not just against anyone, but the wife of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the daughter of Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him; people spread rumours and disorder overwhelmed Madeenah, which shook due to this story, yet Allaah says:

“…Do not think it bad for you; rather, it is good for you.” (An-Noor: 11). Its consequences were good. Therefore, we must be far-sighted; we must look at all matters with insight and faith – and with the guidance of the Qur’aan.


Second :

All perfect praise is due to Allaah; I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah and Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, upon whom may Allaah send salutations and exalt his mention, as well as that of his family and all his Companions.

Slaves of Allaah! Seventy of the companions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were martyred in a particular war, may Allaah be pleased with them… seventy of the best companions who were fighting Jihaad. But why did something like this happen? This seventy included Hamzah may Allaah be pleased with him, who was the prophet’s uncle, Mus’ab ibn ‘Umayr may Allaah be pleased with him, who was holding the Muslim’s banner during the battle, and many others … The face of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was injured and many of his companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, were also injured; why did this disaster take place? There are many great reasons why … it might appear as evil, but in fact there was a great deal of good in it. It is the decree of Allaah to alternate power between the believers and the disbelievers … one day the believers are victorious and the next the disbelievers are, until the final outcome is in favour of the Muslims, it is in order to distinguish between those who are good and sincere and those who are evil; this alternation is also a sign of prophethood, just like when Heraclius the Roman Emperor, asked Abu Sufyaan may Allaah be pleased with him (who was disbeliever at the time) about the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “Do you fight him?” Abu Sufyaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, replied: “Yes” so he then asked: “What is the outcome of the wars between you and him?’ So he, may Allaah be pleased with him, replied: “We win once and he wins the next time, and so on.” Thereupon Heraclius said: “This is how the case of the messengers (of Allaah) is, they win and lose, but the final outcome is always in their favour.”

During this battle the hypocrites withdrew from the battlefield, so it was a means to distinguish the truthful from the liars; and the believers from the hypocrites, as Allaah says:

 “Allaah would not leave the believers in that [state] you are in [presently] until He separates the evil from the good.” (Aal ‘Imraan: 179). This was one of the battles which exposed the reality of the hypocrites, and this is something which Allaah intended, in order for the Muslims to know the reality of people, and in order for Allaah to make the pious express their servitude during the battle … during times of hardship … in order for them to practice perseverance, otherwise how would they show perseverance? If Allaah made them permanently victorious, they would become arrogant. Likewise, if Allaah made His slaves wealthy all the time, they would transgress, but Allaah brings down provision with a decree. Allaah is All Knowing of His slaves, All Seeing of their situations, He afflicts them with hardships, then relieves them; during times of adversity and times of prosperity; all of which occurs to test His slaves. Allaah says:

 “on the day of Hunayn, when your great number pleased you, but it did not avail you at all.” (At-Tawbah: 25).

When Allaah intends to make His slaves honourable and victorious, He initially afflicts them and causes them to become humbled, in order for them to humble themselves before Him and supplicate to Him, then Allaah grants them victory according to the extent to which they humbled themselves before Him. In addition to the previously mentioned goodness that resulted from the battle, this battle had martyrs whom Allaah wished to honour by granting them this rank, which is one of the highest ranks with Allaah.


Also, Allaah intends to teach His believing slaves lessons. He says:

“And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allaah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision. Rejoicing in what Allaah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, and they receive good tidings about those [to be martyred] after them who have not yet joined them- that there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (Aal ‘Imraan: 169-170).

This is how the outcome of disasters is considered to be good … Some of the disbelievers get killed …deviant banners fall …the reality of matters are exposed … the chance is given for those who truly desire to support the religion … Muslims wake up, become serious and shake off their heedlessness.


Slaves of Allaah! In the story of Al-Khadr, peace be upon him, with prophet Moosaa, peace be upon him, Al-Khadr made a hole in a boat and killed a boy … why? This appears to be an evil act, but it was done in order to rescue the boat from a tyrant who was expected to seize it fromthem, as Allaah says:

 “…there was after them a king who seized every [good] ship by force.” (Al- Kahf: 79). As for the child, he would have grown up to become a major source of trouble and disbelief for his parents, so Al-Khadr killed him because Allaah wanted to rescue them from him.

O Muslims! O slaves of Allaah! The imprisonment of some scholars resulted in their writing of many books whilst in jail, like Ibn Taymiyyah, As-Sarkhasi and others, may Allaah have mercy upon them. This appeared evil during their time, but the outcome was a great one, and benefit for all the Muslims.

Consequently, regardless of what happens, and what types of disasters afflict the Muslims, we must realise that it is a decree from Allaah Who does what He intends. Allaah says:

 “And if Allaah had willed, they would not have fought each other, but Allaah does what He intends.” (Al-Baqarah: 253).

We Muslims must always be ready to please Allaah and rush to support Islaam and the Muslims; we must not feel despair regardless of what happens, because that is of no benefit.


Slaves of Allaah! This year is almost finished and we must hold ourselves to account before we are brought forth for account ourselves; we must weigh our deeds before they get weighed for us by Allaah, and let us prepare ourselves for the Main Gathering.


One of our pious predecessors, may Allaah have mercy upon him, wished to hold himself to account, and he was sixty years old, so he counted the days he had lived for and found them to be twenty thousand five hundred days, then he shouted to himself saying: “Woe to me! I will meet my lord with twenty thousand five hundred sins, and that is if I only sinned once a day. So how will the case be, knowing that I have sinned much more than once a day?”

Slaves of Allaah! The best month to fast in, after the obligatory fasting of Ramadhaan, is fasting the sacred month of Muharram. It is recommended to fast the days of this month; the reward is multiplied and it protects one from Hell, so show Allaah good from within yourselves.



Categories: Personal Development

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