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In Witnessing the Signs of Allah, A Call to Repentance


While some have failed to abide by true love to him (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) this lunar month, by celebrating that which he did not command to be celebrated, they have forgotten that this great Prophet was one who, “Whenever he saw clouds or wind, his color would change.”This came to mind the other day, when the sky darkened and rain poured for a few short minutes in this dry land, much to our pleasure. But Rasulullah, sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam, was questioned by his own wife; “Messenger of Allah! When people see clouds they look delighted hoping that they would bring them rain, but when you see clouds, your face shows worry.’ He said to me: ‘Aishah! How can I be sure that it does not carry punishment? Some people were punished with wind. Others saw the punishment approaching, yet they said that it was rain-bearing clouds.’” (Related by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad and Abu Dawud.)

For us, in recent days,  we have seen the signs in their various creations. Earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis, and an eclipse.

قُلْ هُوَ الْقَادِرُ عَلَى أَن يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابًا مِّن فَوْقِكُمْ أَوْ مِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِكُمْ أَوْ يَلْبِسَكُمْ شِيَعاً وَيُذِيقَ بَعْضَكُم بَأْسَ بَعْضٍ انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُصَرِّفُ الآيَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَفْقَهُونَ

Say, “He is the [one] Able to send upon you affliction from above you or from beneath your feet or to confuse you [so you become] sects and make you taste the violence of one another.” Look how We diversify the signs that they might understand. (al-An’aam 6:65)

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In a few seconds, hundreds of thousands are killed. Homes are destroyed. Families are separated. Surely, this does not happen by chance.

وَمَا نُرْسِلُ بِالآيَاتِ إِلاَّ تَخْوِيفًا

And We send not the signs except as a warning.” (al-Israa 17:59)

In these signs, there is a reminder, there is mercy; mercy from Allah, who is asking us to seek His forgiveness, for what our deeds have earned us.

Such should be the first response, for it is the best form of aid; serving as aid for our own souls and protecting our societies as a whole.

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness. (al-Rum 30:41)

وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيَظْلِمَهُمْ وَلَـكِن كَانُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

And Allah would not have wronged them, but it was they who were wronging themselves.” (al-Ankabut 29:40)

So in the midst of our busy lives, when we often forget to reflect as we survey the headlines bearing words describing the signs of Allah, this a call to myself before all to turn to the Creator admitting our wrong;

لَّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِين

There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” (al-Anbiyaa 21:87)

Through seeking forgiveness, Allah withholds his punishments and through it, the doors of sustenance are opened. It is for both; those who fear the harm of rain and those who desire it for their rain-thirsty lands.
For this repentance to be complete, we must cease from the wrong, regret it, be sincerely determined not to repeat the wrong and if we have transgressed the rights of others, then returning such rights is due or in some cases to seek their forgiveness.

When repentance is sincere, then Allah has promised;

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

“Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (al-Zumar 39:53)

So as fear of Allah’s wrath filled the heart of our beloved (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) so much that his face changed in color, although His Creator told him; “But Allah would not punish them while you, [O Muhammad], are among them.” Then, our hearts are more in need of fear, whilst not abandoning hope as we recite the remainder of the same verse; “and Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness.” (al-Anfal 8:33)

Also see: The Effects of Sins: Evil upon Land and Sea

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Mariam is of Middle Eastern origin, raised in North America, not quite settling in one specific place. After living up in the North of North America, she has shifted continents and currently residing in a rapidly flourishing, historical city located in the desert of Arabia. She is a recent graduate of the American Open University, with a Bachelors in Islamic Studies. She believes that regardless of where a person is, writing is a tool to reach out and express that which inspires, touches and affects them. So she writes; perhaps that which inspires her will be a source of good for at least one other person.



  1. The Muslim Blogger

    March 4, 2010 at 7:14 AM

    JazakAllahu khayr for this beautiful reminder. You know, SubhanAllah – it does become so easy like you mentioned to read headlines in the news with reflecting on the ayat of Allah in relation with our own lives and sins. May Allah forgive all of us Insha’Allah.

    Also there was the time was Umar (ra) was Khalifa and the earthquakes were in Medina that happened because of the sins. He told th people that if they didn’t stop sinning that he would leave the city of our beloved Messenger (pbuh). Scary.

    Anyhow, jazakAllahu khayr again for the reminder.

  2. Amatullah

    March 4, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    Jazaaki Allahu khayran ukhti for the very beneficial and beautifully written reminder.

    Something that amazes me is the use of “ba’dh” in the ayah from surah Room…Even in this, the mercy of Allah is apparent! If He ta’ala sent to us exactly what we deserved and what our own hands reaped, not one creature would remain on this earth yet He sends just a taste to us so that we can repent back to Him. May Allah forgive us.

    • Mariam E

      March 4, 2010 at 11:43 AM

      Asalamu Alikum

      Jazaki Allah khair for another reminder of Allah’s mercy! It is exactly as He (subhanahu wata’ala) says:

      وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ بِمَا كَسَبُوا مَا تَرَكَ عَلَىٰ ظَهْرِهَا مِن دَابَّةٍ وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى

      And if Allah were to impose blame on the people for what they have earned, He would not leave upon the earth any creature. But He defers them for a specified term. And when their time comes, then indeed Allah has ever been, of His servants, Seeing. (Fatir 35:45).

  3. Abd- Allah

    March 4, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Truly humans forget, and the believers benefit from the reminder. JazakumAllah khayr for the much needed (and always needed) reminder!

  4. A Brother

    March 4, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    A nation we are informed of that thought the coming clouds was to bring rain, but it was punishment, is that of Aad when Hud alay salam was sent to them:

    And when they saw it as a cloud approaching their valleys, they said, “This is a cloud bringing us rain!” Rather, it is that for which you were impatient: a wind, within it a painful punishment, [46:24]

    Imam Anwar, in Lives of the Prophets, likens it to a modern day tornado, Sar’Sar [Haaqqa, 6], and it was non-stop pounding them for 7 nights and 8 days, and it was husoomaa, continuous without break, slamming them. It is an area in Yemen and was wiped out so bad, there are no remnants, and we know about it because Allah mentioned it, Al-Ahqaaf, the sand dunes.

    May Allah protect us from His punishment, ameen, and Jazaki’Allah khayr for the reminder.

  5. TheSussist

    March 4, 2010 at 4:39 PM


    Simple and important reminders are always needed.

    JazakAllahu Khairan

  6. Sadaf Farooqi

    March 5, 2010 at 12:25 AM

    This was a great reminder. It reminded me of how everything that happens in this world is a result of our actions – positive as well as negative. The eye of a believer is not deceived by the apparent causes behind natural disasters. He doesn’t perceive the news of such events as the “blind” eye does.
    Jazaki Allahu khairan.

  7. Ibn Ameen

    March 5, 2010 at 1:05 AM

    :) Jazakallah Khair

  8. Ify Okoye

    March 5, 2010 at 5:27 AM

    Well done Mariam, ma sha Allah tabarakAllah. I view changes in the weather whether the normal progression of the seasons or being protected from extreme weather conditions as such a mercy from Allah and such a reminder of his might were he to call us to account.

  9. elham

    March 5, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Subhannallah, this reminded me of an event that happened in a non-conflict region in Somalia (the North) where the rain had been delayed by the will of Allah swt for a time and the people were desperate , so they came out into an open area of land in the hundreds and stood in rows for salatul istisqa.

    The Imam stood in front facing the people and said ”This delay of rain is a punishment from Allah as a result of the sins we commit” and then he continued ”recently a women was raped” and this was something considered strange by the community. He asked them to ask for forgiveness and repent.

    I wish we could remind people like this more often especially in these times, so that they look around them, understand the signs and wake up from their heedlessness and I am of the foremost who are in need of that.

    So Jazakillahu kull khair for this reminder

  10. kimc

    March 11, 2010 at 1:54 AM

    So let me get this straight, you are saying that earthquakes happen because people were not acting in a godly fashion so allah punishes them? A tornado takes a town down and its because they are sinners. lightening strikes a mosque and burns down killing all inside worshiping. Your telling me all things happen because allah God is getting back at those who sin? I don’t think any God would intenionally kill children babies, could it just be these are natural acts of nature and God is neutral on it. Why does everything have to be it happened because you were bad . I’m trying to understand your religion but this makes no sense to me.

    • Siraaj

      March 11, 2010 at 2:17 AM

      Trials, tests, and tribulations can fall upon anyone at anytime, particularly the God-fearing. Likewise, a natural disaster could be a punishment, or it could be just that – a natural disaster.

      When we say something is a “sign” of God, what we mean is that it’s something which point to His Existence and His control over the universe, as well as the temporary nature of our lives and how easily it can be ended.

      It becomes a reminder for us to keep our focus on the purpose for which we were created – to worship Him alone with no partners, and to live the best lives we possibly can for we don’t know when that moment will come for us, when our time will end, and the only worthwhile currency will be the good that we did in this life, worshiping God in our devotional prayers as well as through honest, virtuous lives we tried to lead with respect to our dealings with others.


    • Abu Maryam

      June 11, 2010 at 7:48 PM

      “I don’t think any God would intenionally kill children babies, could it just be these are natural acts of nature and God is neutral on it.”

      Well, when God takes a child or baby’s life away through a normal death – no one complains – however, if not a ‘natural death’ we are deeply saddened thinking they did not have a normal life and die of old age. In fact in Islam, children who die (killed by God) go straight to paradise.

      The Islamic stance is God through His widom choose the time and manner of people’s death.
      Normally people live a long life and die of old age. There are million and one ways one can die – does it really matter how one meets his/her death? We know that we will die – this is the only thing 100% guaranteed in our life – our death and other variables are not guaranteed! This is what makes everyone equal. We feel maybe regret or even ‘cheated’ that we did not die old but met our death at young, ‘unexpected’ or in a unsual fashion. God knows our nature and the resultant grief on all concerned, hence, he compensates people when he chooses to expire their life in what see as mayeb ‘not fair’. What better compensation for parents knowing a child who died goes straight to Paradise. Also Parents are compoensated…
      In the hadith reported by Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “If a child passes away, Allah says to His Angels, ‘Did you take the soul of My servant’s child?’ And the Angels would say, ‘Yes’. Thereupon Allah would say to them, ‘Did you take away the apple of his/her heart?’ ‘Yes,’ the angels would reply. Then Allah asks them, ‘And what did my servant say?’ And the Angels would say: ‘He/she has thanked You and committed all his/her affairs to You.’ Then Allah would say: ‘Then build a house in Paradise for My servant and name it the “House of Thankfulness.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi)

      • Abd- Allah

        June 13, 2010 at 10:36 PM

        Just one clarification is that killing is when a person takes some one’s life away when it is not his for him to take it, but we all belong to Allah and when He takes our lives back (our lives are His, for He gave them to us), then He is only taking back what is rightfully His, so that is not considered injustice, because injustice is when you take something which is not yours. Everything belongs to Allah, including our lives as He is the one who created us, so when He takes some one’s life, then He is taking what belongs to Him, and so it is not accurate, nor respectful, to say that Allah is “killing” these people.

        • Zaara

          November 3, 2010 at 7:11 AM

          Asssalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmathullahh,

          gre88 of this reply..very preicse n to the point of strike….masha Allah

          jazakallah Khairaan :)

      • Zaara

        November 3, 2010 at 7:14 AM

        Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmathullaah,

        Dear Abu Maryam…barakallaahu Feek va ajzakallah kahiraan for thth beautiful hadith u mentioned in the end….Subhanallah…Allah is the most gracious the most merciful !

        • Treasure Of Islam

          January 20, 2011 at 4:23 AM

          Assalamualaikum Sister Zaara!

          Indeed Allah Is The Most Gracious because everytime we make mistakes or sins (unknowingly) he forgives it if we ask for forgiveness. Please remember me and all those who left this world in your dua.

  11. Abu Maryam

    June 14, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    v. killed, kill·ing, kills
    a. To put to death.
    b. To deprive of life: The Black Death was a disease that killed millions.
    2. To put an end to; extinguish: The rain killed our plans for a picnic
    1. To cause death or extinction; be fatal.
    2. To commit murder.
    3. Informal To make such a strong impression as to overcome: dress to kill.

    Just semantics really. This is the limitation with English as it is a poor language and people can misconstrue things very easily. Yes, I should choose my words carefully but I was just being blunt about it – as you can see from the definitions.
    Jazakallahu khairan brother Abd-Allaah for clarifying

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